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Kintaro the golden boy.
Start of Story
So the monkey and the hare, encouraged by their friends, tried their
very hardest to beat each other. The hare at last gained on the monkey.
The monkey seemed to trip up, and the hare giving him a good push sent
him flying off the platform with a bound.
The poor monkey sat up rubbing his back, and his face was very long as
he screamed angrily. "Oh, oh! how my back hurts--my back hurts me!"
Seeing the monkey in this plight on the ground, the deer holding his
leaf on high said:
"This round is finished--the hare has won."
Kintaro then opened his luncheon box and taking out a rice-dumpling,
gave it to the hare saying:
"Here is your prize, and you have earned, it well!"
Now the monkey got up looking very cross, and as they say in Japan "his
stomach stood up," for he felt that he had not been fairly beaten. So
he said to Kintaro and the others who were standing by:
"I have not been fairly beaten. My foot slipped and I tumbled. Please
give me another chance and let the hare wrestle with me for another
Then Kintaro consenting, the hare and the monkey began to wrestle
again. Now, as every one knows, the monkey is a cunning animal by
nature, and he made up his mind to get the best of the hare this time
if it were possible. To do this, he thought that the best and surest
way would be to get hold of the hare's long ear. This he soon managed
to do. The hare was quite thrown off his guard by the pain of having
his long ear pulled so hard, and the monkey seizing his opportunity at
last, caught hold of one of the hare's legs and sent him sprawling in
the middle of the dais. The monkey was now the victor and received, a
rice-dumpling from Kintaro, which pleased him so much that he quite
forgot his sore back.
The deer now came up and asked the hare if he felt ready for another
round, and if so whether he would try a round with him, and the hare
consenting, they both stood up to wrestle. The bear came forward as
The deer with long horns and the hare with long ears, it must have been
an amusing sight to those who watched this queer match. Suddenly the
deer went down on one of his knees, and the bear with the leaf on high
declared him beaten. In this way, sometimes the one, sometimes the
other, conquering, the little party amused themselves till they were
At last Kintaro got up and said:
"This is enough for to-day. What a nice place we have found for
wrestling; let us come again to-morrow. Now, we will all go home. Come
along!" So saying, Kintaro led the way while the animals followed.
After walking some little distance they came out on the banks of a
river flowing through a valley. Kintaro and his four furry friends
stood and looked about for some means of crossing. Bridge there was
none. The river rushed "don, don" on its way. All the animals looked
serious, wondering how they could cross the stream and get home that
Kintaro, however, said:
"Wait a moment. I will make a good bridge for you all in a few minutes."
The bear, the deer, the monkey and the hare looked at him to see what
he would do now.
Kintaro went from one tree to another that grew along the river bank.
At last he stopped in front of a very large tree that was growing at
the water's edge. He took hold of the trunk and pulled it with all his
might, once, twice, thrice! At the third pull, so great was Kintaro's
strength that the roots gave way, and "meri, meri" (crash, crash), over
fell the tree, forming an excellent bridge across the stream.
"There," said Kintaro, "what do you think of my bridge? It is quite
safe, so follow me," and he stepped across first. The four animals
followed. Never had they seen any one so strong before, and they all
"How strong he is! how strong he is!"
While all this was going on by the river a woodcutter, who happened to
be standing on a rock overlooking the stream, had seen all that passed
beneath him. He watched with great surprise Kintaro and his animal
companions. He rubbed his eyes to be sure that he was not dreaming when
he saw this boy pull over a tree by the roots and throw it across the
stream to form a bridge.
The woodcutter, for such he seemed to be by his dress, marveled at all
he saw, and said to himself: