Hello, everyone. Welcome to “Korean Folktales.” This Monday corner takes you into the world of interesting Korean folk stories. I’m Jinny Na. Today, I’ll tell an amusing story about a foolish mole.
Once upon a time, there lived a mole. One day, the mole felt hungry and began looking for something to eat. Passing by a stream, he happened to see a crab under the water and caught it. It was the first time in his life that he saw a crab, so he looked closely at the animal. He mumbled to himself, “I’ve never seen such a strange creature like you before. How can I eat you? Can I boil you, roast you, or steam you? I could even eat you alive.” But after seeing the crab’s hard shell, the mole gave up on the idea of eating him alive. While the mole was wondering how to eat him, the crab was still dangling from the mole’s front paw, struggling to escape. Watching the wriggling legs of the crab, the mole finally said. “OK. I have a good idea. I’ll take one of your legs first!”
Then, the crab said, “Oh, that’s exactly what I want. As you see, I have too many legs, and I actually felt uncomfortable about that all the time. Please get rid of one of my legs. It’s so kind of you to save me trouble.” The mole was surprised. He didn’t want to make the crab feel free and easy by removing one of his bothersome legs. He said bluntly, “Do you think I am a fool? I have no intention of doing you a favor. I’ll broil you over a fire instead.” He was about to put the crab on the charcoal fire.
The mole thought that the crab would be frightened to death and beg for his life. Contrary to expectations, however, the crab looked very happy. “That would be great. As you know, I’ve been in cold water for quite a while, so it would be nice to warm myself up by the fire. Please go ahead.” Again, the mole didn’t want to please the crab. He retorted irritably, “No, I’ll never do that. I can simmer you in soy sauce before eating you. How about that?”
The mole expected that the crab would finally plead with him for mercy. But the crab seemed delighted to hear that. “How on earth do you know the things I badly want? I ate something bland a few minutes ago, so it would be wonderful to have something salty. And it just so happens that I’m very thirsty now. Soy sauce sounds perfect.” The mole was annoyed. “No, no. Forget soy sauce. I’m thinking of throwing you into the water.”
Suddenly, the crab turned pale. He quickly replied, “Oh, please don’t. Didn’t I say I hate the cold water? That is the last thing I want. I might even die. Don’t be so cruel.” Now the mole was satisfied. “Alright. That’s just what I’m going to do.” He put the crab in the water and waited for him to die. The crab shouted, “Now I’m safe! Thank you, stupid mole.” With these words, the crab hurriedly sidled away before completely disappearing into the water. The mole was left dumbfounded, wondering what was going on and why the crab called him stupid.
That’s it for today’s “Korean Folktales.” I hope you enjoyed the story. Thank you for listening, and please tune in again next time. I’m Jinny Na. Goodbye, everyone.