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Folk Tales from Korea $3.95 $2.95

Author: Edited and Translated by Zong In-Sob

About:

The myths, legends, fairy tales, fables and old novels have, in translation, lost nothing of their immediacy and robust humor, and will alternately shock, delight and amuse the general reader. As folklore, they are indispensable for those who wish to know and understand Korean culture, history, religion, philosophy and even politics and economics.

A scholar himself, Professor Zong In-Sob has been careful to put on record a source for each of the 99 tales. Since most are based on oral tradition, they make excellent primary source material for folklore studies, but they are told first and foremost to be enjoyed.

Excerpt:

LONG, LONG AGO there lived an old woman who had two children, a son and a daughter. One day she went to a neighbouring village to work in a rich man's house. When she left to come back home, she was given a big wooden box containing buckwheat puddings. She carried it on her head, and hastened back to her waiting children. But on the way, as she passed a hill, she met a big tiger.

The tiger blocked her path, and opening its great red mouth asked, 'Old woman, old woman! What is that you are carrying on your head?' The old woman replied fearlessly, 'Do you mean this, Tiger? It is a box of buckwheat puddings that I was given at the rich man's house where I worked to-day.' Then the tiger said, 'Old woman, give me one. If you don't, I will eat you up.' So she gave the tiger a buckwheat pudding, and it let her pass the hill.

When she came to the next hill the tiger appeared before her and asked her the same question, 'Old woman, old woman, what have you got in that box you are carrying on your head?' And, thinking it was another tiger, she gave the same answer, 'These are buckwheat puddings I was given at the rich man's house where I worked to-day.' The tiger asked for one in the same way. And the old woman gave it a pudding from her box, and it went off into the forest.

The tiger then appeared several more times and made the same demand, and each time she gave it a pudding, until there were no more left in the box. So now she carried the empty box on her head, and she walked along swinging her arms at her sides. Then the tiger appeared again, and demanded a pudding. She explained that she had none left, saying, 'Your friends ate all my buckwheat puddings. There is nothing at all left in my box.' Thereupon she threw the box away. Then the tiger said, 'What are those things swinging at your sides?' 'This is my left arm, and this is my right arm,' she replied. 'Unless you give me one of them, I will eat you up,' roared the tiger. So she gave it one of her arms, and it walked off with it. But not long afterwards it appeared in front of her again, and repeated its threats. So she gave it her other arm.

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 08 May, 2007.
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