Hello, everyone. Welcome to “Korean Folktales.” In this weekly corner, we introduce you to interesting traditional Korean folk stories. I’m Jinny Na. Today, I’ll tell a marvelous tale about the adventures of four strong men.
Once upon a time, there lived an old man and his wife. They lived peacefully and comfortably together but they always wished that they had a child. As if their prayer had been answered, the wife unexpectedly became pregnant and gave birth to a healthy baby son. Needless to say, the couple was overjoyed at such a great blessing from heaven. They brought up their son with love and affection, and the child grew well.
Years passed, and then one day the parents saw something very strange. From a distance, a huge rock was moving toward their house, as though it had legs. As the rock was approaching, they were even more surprised to see their son carrying the enormous rock. They found that he was not an ordinary boy. He was so strong that he could lift anything with ease, no matter how large or heavy it was. The parents named their son Rock-hand.
One day, a big war broke out in the country. Rock-hand, who had grown up to be a strong man, just couldn’t sit idly by when his country was in crisis. He decided to fight the foreign invaders and left home. While walking on a path, he saw a big tree swaying back and forth. Behind the tree, a man was sleeping and snoring loudly. The tree moved toward the man when he breathed in and moved back when he breathed out. It turned out that the extraordinary man, who called himself Nose-wind, could blow strong wind with his nose. Rock-hand and Nose-wind quickly became friends, and they hit the road together.
After a while, the two discovered that a hill of earth appeared and disappeared over and over again. They ran toward the scene to see what was happening. A man was plowing a field with his rake. The hill of earth stood up or flattened out, depending on whether he pushed or pulled the rake. When Rock-hand and Nose-wind asked him who he was, the man introduced himself as Rake-hand, as he was good at raking. Rake-hand was eager to join forces to drive away the foreign enemies. On their way, the three men found that water was suddenly flowing under their feet. They quickly went up along the waterway and saw a man urinating. The man was named Pee-hand, since he would pass an incredible amount of urine. Like the three men, Pee-hand was willing to participate in the war.
The four men reached a battlefield near a mountain, where a large number of foreign troops were stationed. It was Rock-hand who first took action. He collected many large rocks and piled them up between valleys, blocking the way. Then, Pee-hand climbed up to the mountaintop and discharged his urine. The foreign soldiers, trapped between the valleys surrounded by rocks, were at a loss with the pouring water that came up to their chests. Now, it was Nose-wind’s turn. He blew wind from his nose with all his strength. The wind was so cold and strong that it froze the urine. The invaders were stuck in the ice and couldn’t move at all. Lastly, Rake-hand pushed and pulled his rake on the ice, sweeping the helpless enemies up and down. Finally, the invaders surrendered and retreated. The four men with exceptional power were able to defeat the enemy easily. Even after the war ended, the four friends joined forces to do many good things for their country.
That’s it for today’s “Korean Folktales.” Tune in again next time for another interesting Korean folk story. Thank you for listening. I’m Jinny Na. Goodbye, everyone.