Dog and Cat Fight Over Magic Marble

Headword

개와 고양이의 구슬 다툼 ( Dog and Cat Fight Over Magic Marble )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer LeeJiyoung(李志映)

This tale narrates the origin of antagonism between dogs and cats, which is traced back to a fight that occurred in the course of repaying the favor of their master.

There lived a poor fisherman who was scraping by for a living. One day he went fishing but caught no fish, except for a large carp whose tears made the fisherman set it free. The following day the fisherman went out to the shore and saw a boy who offered him a bow. The boy said he was the carp that the fisherman set free the previous day, and the son of Yongwang (Dragon King). He thanked the fisherman and invited him to the Dragon Palace, where the fisherman was treated generously and was given a magic marble, which made him a rich man. An old woman from a neighboring village, upon hearing news of the fisherman’s good fortune, stole the magic marble by switching it with a plain one, and the fisherman became poor again. The fisherman’s dog and cat headed to the old woman’s house to repay the fisherman for his care, and retrieved the magic marble by threatening the rat that lived in the house. On their way back, the dog had to swim across the water, carrying the cat on its back, the cat carrying the marble in its mouth. The dog kept asking again and again if the marble was safe, and while the cat tried to answer, the marble fell in the water. The two animals began a brawl, and the dog headed home first, while the cat stayed behind catching fish and found the marble inside one of them. When the cat returned with the marble, the fisherman favored the cat while ignoring the dog, which turned their relationship for the worse.

The part about acquiring the magic marble overlaps with the tale of “receiving a gift of gratitude from a carp, the son of Yongwang, ” also known as the bangideukbo (free the carp and acquire the marble) narrative. There are variations of the tale that combine the narrative with the “Pheasant and Serpent” tale, in which a friend borrows the magic marble from the rich couple and does not return it. In these variations, the magic marble is sometimes replaced by a cintamani, magic flute, rectangular or triangular marble. The person who takes away the marble also varies, from women’s ware vendor to friend.

While in the variations that combine the “free the carp and acquire the marble” narrative, human suffering is resolved by good deeds and animals returning the favor, those that combine the “Pheasant and Serpent” narrative highlight wisdom as the means of overcoming human fate, and the treasure is acquired by the bride’s wisdom.

This narrative can be categorized as a “animal- returns-favor” tale and also as an animal origin tale.

Dog and Cat Fight Over Magic Marble

Dog and Cat Fight Over Magic Marble
Headword

개와 고양이의 구슬 다툼 ( Dog and Cat Fight Over Magic Marble )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer LeeJiyoung(李志映)

This tale narrates the origin of antagonism between dogs and cats, which is traced back to a fight that occurred in the course of repaying the favor of their master.

There lived a poor fisherman who was scraping by for a living. One day he went fishing but caught no fish, except for a large carp whose tears made the fisherman set it free. The following day the fisherman went out to the shore and saw a boy who offered him a bow. The boy said he was the carp that the fisherman set free the previous day, and the son of Yongwang (Dragon King). He thanked the fisherman and invited him to the Dragon Palace, where the fisherman was treated generously and was given a magic marble, which made him a rich man. An old woman from a neighboring village, upon hearing news of the fisherman’s good fortune, stole the magic marble by switching it with a plain one, and the fisherman became poor again. The fisherman’s dog and cat headed to the old woman’s house to repay the fisherman for his care, and retrieved the magic marble by threatening the rat that lived in the house. On their way back, the dog had to swim across the water, carrying the cat on its back, the cat carrying the marble in its mouth. The dog kept asking again and again if the marble was safe, and while the cat tried to answer, the marble fell in the water. The two animals began a brawl, and the dog headed home first, while the cat stayed behind catching fish and found the marble inside one of them. When the cat returned with the marble, the fisherman favored the cat while ignoring the dog, which turned their relationship for the worse.

The part about acquiring the magic marble overlaps with the tale of “receiving a gift of gratitude from a carp, the son of Yongwang, ” also known as the bangideukbo (free the carp and acquire the marble) narrative. There are variations of the tale that combine the narrative with the “Pheasant and Serpent” tale, in which a friend borrows the magic marble from the rich couple and does not return it. In these variations, the magic marble is sometimes replaced by a cintamani, magic flute, rectangular or triangular marble. The person who takes away the marble also varies, from women’s ware vendor to friend.

While in the variations that combine the “free the carp and acquire the marble” narrative, human suffering is resolved by good deeds and animals returning the favor, those that combine the “Pheasant and Serpent” narrative highlight wisdom as the means of overcoming human fate, and the treasure is acquired by the bride’s wisdom.

This narrative can be categorized as a “animal- returns-favor” tale and also as an animal origin tale.