Mother Reincarnated as a Dog

Mother Reincarnated as a Dog

Headword

개로 환생한 어머니 ( Mother Reincarnated as a Dog )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer LeeSooja(李秀子)

This tale narrates the story of a mother who dies after living a hard-working life, never taking the time to see the world, and as a punishment, is reborn as a dog. When her son learns of this, he carries the dog on his back all around the country to show her what she has missed.

A woman who did nothing but housework all her life, never taking time off to see the world, died and arrived at the underworld, where she was admonished for doing nothing but work and sent back to the world of the living as a dog, obliged to guard her son’s house as punishment. One day, the mother, now a watchdog in her son’s home, was caught stealing food prepared as offering for the ancestral memorial service and was severely beaten up. The mother appeared in her son’s (or the daughter’s) dream and explained what had happened, and the son sold his farmland and with that money, travelled the country to show his mother the sights, carrying the dog on his back. When they were nearing the end of their journey, the dog died on the road. The son buried the dog in that spot, which turned out to be an auspicious site, which made the son a rich man.

This narrative is transmitted by those who appreciate and preach the importance of “seeing the world” in life. Recited mostly by women, many recordings of this tale refers to a temple or Buddha, which shows its association to Buddhist folk tales.

Mother Reincarnated as a Dog

Mother Reincarnated as a Dog
Headword

개로 환생한 어머니 ( Mother Reincarnated as a Dog )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer LeeSooja(李秀子)

This tale narrates the story of a mother who dies after living a hard-working life, never taking the time to see the world, and as a punishment, is reborn as a dog. When her son learns of this, he carries the dog on his back all around the country to show her what she has missed.

A woman who did nothing but housework all her life, never taking time off to see the world, died and arrived at the underworld, where she was admonished for doing nothing but work and sent back to the world of the living as a dog, obliged to guard her son’s house as punishment. One day, the mother, now a watchdog in her son’s home, was caught stealing food prepared as offering for the ancestral memorial service and was severely beaten up. The mother appeared in her son’s (or the daughter’s) dream and explained what had happened, and the son sold his farmland and with that money, travelled the country to show his mother the sights, carrying the dog on his back. When they were nearing the end of their journey, the dog died on the road. The son buried the dog in that spot, which turned out to be an auspicious site, which made the son a rich man.

This narrative is transmitted by those who appreciate and preach the importance of “seeing the world” in life. Recited mostly by women, many recordings of this tale refers to a temple or Buddha, which shows its association to Buddhist folk tales.