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Story No. 952

The Wicked Wizard punished

Book Name:

Aino Folk-Tales

Tradition: Japan, Aino

One day a wizard told a man whom he knew that, if any one were to climb a certain mountain-peak and jump off on to the belt of clouds below, he would be able to ride about on them as on a horse, and see the whole world. Trusting in this, the man did as the wizard had told him, and in very truth was enabled to ride about on the clouds. He visited the whole world in this fashion, and brought back a map which he had drawn of the whole world both of men and of gods. On arriving back at the mountain-peak in Aino-land, he stepped off the cloud on to the mountain, and, descending to the valley, told the wizard how successful and delightful the journey had been, and thanked him for the opportunity kindly granted him of seeing sights so numerous and so strange.

The wizard was overcome with astonishment. For what he had told the other man was a lie, a wicked lie invented with the sole intention of causing his death; for he hated him. Nevertheless, seeing that what he had simply meant for an idle tale was apparently an actual fact, he decided to see the world himself in this easy fashion. So, ascending the mountain-peak, and seeing a belt of clouds a short way below, he jumped off on to it, but was instantly dashed to pieces in the valley below.

That night the god of the mountain appeared to the good man in a dream, and said: "The wizard has met with the death which his fraud and folly deserve. You I kept from hurt, because you are a good man. So when, obedient to the wizard's advice, you leapt off on to the cloud, I bore you up, and showed you the world in order to make you a wiser man. Let all men learn from this how wickedness leads to condign punishment!"


Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 21st July, 1886.


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