TKE FISHER.NY URISKiil.

jong,

long
the

ago

there

lived

'on
of

coast

of

the

sea

Japan

a

young
a

fisherman

named

Urashima,

kindly

lad
line.

and clever with

his rod

and

Well,
his

one day he went out
fish.

in

boat to

Bat instead of
what do you

catching any
think he

fish,

caught?
with

Why!
a

a great
shell

big

tortoise,

hard

and such a funny wrinkled old
face

and
tell

a

tiny

tail.

Now

I

must

you

something

which

very likely you don't know;
that
is

and
live

that

tortoises

always

a thousand years,
ese
tortoises

at least

Japan-

do.
"

So Urashima

thought to himself:

A

fish

would

do

for

my

dinner just as well as

this tortoise,

in fact better.
kill

Why
poor

should
thing,

I

go and

the

and prevent

it

from enjoy-

ing

itself for

another nine hundred

and ninety-nine years?
I won't

No, no!
I

be so cruel.
wouldn't
like

am
me

sure
to."

mother

And
the

with these words, he threw
tortoise

back

into

the

sea.

The next thing that happened was
in

that

Urashima went to sleep
for
it

his

boat;
hot

was
days

one of

those

summer

when
a

almost

everybody enjoys

nap

of an afternoon.

And

as he slept,

there

came up from
beneath the

waves a beautiful
girl,

who got

into

the boat and

said:

"I am the daughter of
God, and I
in
live

the

Seafather

with

my

the

Dragon
It

Palace

beyond
tortoise

the waves.
that

was not a
just now,

you caught

and so kindly threw back
water instead of
myself.
killing
it.

into the
It

was

My
me

father
to

the

Sea-God

had sent

see

whether you

were good or bad.

We now know
good, kind boy
to

that

you are a
doesn't
I

who

like

do cruel things; and so
to

have
shall

come

fetch
if

you.

You

marry me,
will

you

like;

and we
for

live

happily
years

together
in

a

thousand

the

Dragon

Palace beyond the deep blue sea,"

So Urashima took one
the

oar,

and

Sea-God's

daughter took the

other;

and they rowed, and they
till

rowed, and they rowed

at last

Palace they came to the Dragon

where the Sea-God
as

lived

and ruled
dragons
fishes.

King

over
tortoises

all

the

and the

and the

Oh
it

dear

!

what a lovely place

wasl
of

The walls of the Palace
coral,

were

the

trees

had

emeralds
for berries,

for

leaves

and rubies

the fishes' scales were

of

silver,

and the dragons'

tails

of solid gold.

Just think of the
beautiful,

very
things

most
that

glittering

you have ever
all

seen,

and put them
together,

and then
this
it

you

will

know
like.

what

Palace
all

looked
to

And

belonged

TJrashima;

for

was he not the son-in-law of
Sea-God, the husband of the

the

I lovely

Dragon Princess?

Well,
for three

they
years,

lived

on

happily

wandering about
the
beautiful

every
trees

day
with

among
emerald

leaves

and

ruby

berries.

But one morning
to
his

Urashima said

wife:
Still

"I
I

am

very

happy

here.

want to
father

go home and

see

my
for

and mother
Just

and brothers
let

and
a

sisters.

me go

short

time,

and

I'll

soon be
like

back again."
to

"I don't
she;

you
very

go,"

said

"I

am

much

afraid that

something dread-

ful will

happen.

However,

if

you

go,

there

is

no help

for

it.

Only you must take
be very
If

this box,

and
it

careful

not

to

open

you

open

it,

you

will

never

be able to come back here."

So

Urashima

promised
box,

to

take

great care of the
to

and

not

open

it

on any account;
into
his
last

and
he

then,

getting
off,

boat,

rowed

and

at

landed on

the shore of his

own

country.

But what had happened while
he had been away? Where had
his
father's

cottage

gone

to?

What had become
where
he
used

of the village
to

live?

The
as

mountains indeed
before;

were
trees

there

but

the

on them

had been cut down.
brook
that

The

little

ran

close

by

his

father's

cottage was

still

running;

but there were no

women washIt

ing clothes

in

it

any more.

seemed very strange
thing
should
in

that every-

have
short

changed
years.
to

so

much
as

three

So
pass

two

men

chanced

along the beach,

Urashima went
said:

up to them and
tell

"Can you
Urashima's
stand here,

me

please

where
to

cottage, that used

has been

moted
they;

to?" -"Urashi-

ma?"
was

said

"why!

it

was
lie

four hundred years ago

that

drowned

out

fishing.

His

parents,
their

and

his

brothers,

and
dead

grandchildren
It is

are
old,

all

long ago.

an

old story*

How

can

you be so

foolish as to
It
fell

ask ^fter his
pieces

cottage?
of

to

hundreds

years

ago."

Then
across

it

suddenly

flashed
that

Urashima's mind

the

Sea-God's
waves,
its

Palace
its

beyond
walls

the

with

coral

and

ruby
tails

fruits

and

its

dragons
be

with

of solid gold, must

part of fairy-land,

and

that

one

day there
as
his

was probably as long
this

a year in
three

world,

so

that

years in the Sea-God's

Palace had really been hundreds
of years.

Of

course
at

there

was

no use in staying
that
all

home, now
were

his

friends

dead

and buried, and even the village

bad passed away. was
to
in

So Urashima

a great hurry to get back
wife,

his

the
sea.

Dragon Princess
But which was
couldn't
find
it

beyond the
the

way?
one

He
to

with no

show

it

to him.

"Perhaps/'

thought

he

"if I

open the box which she gave me,
I shall

be able to find the way."
disobeyed her
the
orders not or

So he
to

open

box,
?

perhaps

he forgot

them

foolish

boy

that

he
the

was.

Anyhow
and

he

opened
do
of

box;

what
out

you
it?

think

came

Nothing but a white cloud which
floated

away over
shouted
to

the

sea,

Urato

shinia
stop,

the

cloud

rushed about and screamed
for

with sorrow;

he remembered

now what
and how,

his
after

wife had told him,

opening the box,
to

he should never be able
to

go

the

Sea-God's

Palace

again.

But

soon he could neither run

nor shout any more.

Suddenly
his

hair

grew

and

his

back bent

like

that
his
fell

of a

very old man.

Then

breath

stopped short, and he

down

dead on the beach.

Poor Urashimal
cause

He

died

be-

he

had been
If only
told,

foolish

and

disobedient.

he had done

as

he

was

he might

have
years.

lived

another

thoisand
like

Wouldn't you
see
the
lives

to

go

and

the

Dragon

Palace
the

beyond
Sea-God

waves,

where

and

rules as

King over the
tortoises

Dragons
the
fishes,

and

the

and
have

where the trees

emeralds
for

for

leaves

and

rubies
tails

berries,

where the
and

fishes'

are
tails

of
all

silver

the

dragons'

of solid gold?

fritted by the

Kobunsha in Tokyo, Japan.

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