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My Lord Bag of Rice
Start of Story
Then Hidesato called to the Dragon King to come out with him on the
balcony, for the centipede was dead and he had nothing more to fear.
Then all the inhabitants of the palace came out with joy, and Hidesato
pointed to the lake. There lay the body of the dead centipede floating
on the water, which was dyed red with its blood.
The gratitude of the Dragon King knew no bounds. The whole family came
and bowed down before the warrior, calling him their preserver and the
bravest warrior in all Japan.
Another feast was prepared, more sumptuous than the first. All kinds of
fish, prepared in every imaginable way, raw, stewed, boiled and
roasted, served on coral trays and crystal dishes, were put before him,
and the wine was the best that Hidesato had ever tasted in his life. To
add to the beauty of everything the sun shone brightly, the lake
glittered like a liquid diamond, and the palace was a thousand times
more beautiful by day than by night.
His host tried to persuade the warrior to stay a few days, but Hidesato
insisted on going home, saying that he had now finished what he had
come to do, and must return. The Dragon King and his family were all
very sorry to have him leave so soon, but since he would go they begged
him to accept a few small presents (so they said) in token of their
gratitude to him for delivering them forever from their horrible enemy
As the warrior stood in the porch taking leave, a train of fish was
suddenly transformed into a retinue of men, all wearing ceremonial
robes and dragon's crowns on their heads to show that they were
servants of the great Dragon King. The presents that they carried were
First, a large bronze bell.
Second, a bag of rice.
Third, a roll of silk.
Fourth, a cooking pot.
Fifth, a bell.