Hello, everyone. Welcome to “Korean Folktales.” In this weekly corner, we introduce you to interesting traditional Korean folk stories. I’m Jinny Na.
A long time ago, there lived three sisters who were old enough to get married. They left home together in search of their future husbands. The first and second sisters were so vain and materialistic that they dreamed of a prince on a white horse as their would-be spouse. The first sister said, “After all, money is everything. I’ll marry a rich man.” The second sister nodded her head in agreement. “Indeed. But I believe the best thing is power. Even money comes from power. I’ll marry a man of great influence and authority.”
Hearing that, the third and youngest sister said, “Sisters, I have a different opinion. I don’t think money or power is really important in a spouse, with whom you will live for the rest of your life. Rather, I guess I should choose a man who will truly love and support me, no matter what happens.”
The two elder sisters laughed at the youngest one. The first sister gave her a contemptuous look. “You silly girl, you are being so childish. You don’t know how the world works.” The second woman also sneered at her younger sister. “Love and support? What a stupid thing to say! It’s easy to imagine how miserable your life will be. I don’t think it’s a good idea to stay together because we disagree with you on this matter. We’d better go our separate ways from now on.”
So, the first and second sisters left, while the youngest one went her own way. She was walking on a mountain slope, wondering where she could find a husband. Suddenly there was a landslide, causing rocks and soil to fall on top of her. The incident happened so quickly that the girl couldn’t do anything. She fell from the cliff and passed out.
When she woke up, she found herself lying on a bed in a clean room. Her whole body was in pain. Although she was hurt, she was still alive. Looking around, she saw a big mouse standing beside her. Wearing human clothes, the mouse was looking at her, with a worried expression on his face. “Don’t be surprised, lady. You were hurt, and I brought you to my house. Don’t worry about anything and just relax. You need some rest.” The mouse gave her nutritious food and took great care of her. Thanks to his dedicated care, the woman was able to gradually recover. She was moved by the gentle and tender-hearted mouse and decided to marry him.
A year passed, and she began to miss her parents. So the woman and her mouse husband traveled to her parents’ house together. On the way, they happened to meet her two sisters. As expected, the women hated the animal husband of their sister. “So, are you saying you married an ugly mouse? How ridiculous you are! We just can’t let you live as the wife of a mouse.” The two sisters pushed the mouse into the river. The third sister was shocked and cried bitterly.
Then, something amazing happened. A golden light shone on the water and a handsome young man appeared. He introduced himself as a prince who had become a mouse after being placed under a curse. He said he was able to turn into a human again because of his wife’s kindness and true love. Embarrassed, the two sisters ran away. The youngest sister and the prince lived happily ever after, loving and supporting each other.
That’s it for today’s “Korean Folktales.” Thank you for listening. I’m Jinny Na. Goodbye, everyone.