Three Pieces of Straw Rope

Three Pieces of Straw Rope

Headword

새끼 서 발 ( Three Pieces of Straw Rope )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer ChoHeewoong(曺喜雄)

This tale narrates the story of man who was considered a lazybones but uses his wit and intelligence to achieve great success.

A long time ago, there lived a mother and her lazy son, and the mother kicked him out, giving him nothing but three pieces of straw rope. On the road, the son met an earthenware vendor who needed rope and exchanged his rope for an earthenware water jar. Then he met a maiden who broke her water jar and exchanged his jar with one mal of rice. In a home where he lodged, a rat ate up the son’s rice and he took the rat. Then at another house, a cat ate his rat, and the son was given the cat. At another house, a horse stepped on his cat, killing it, and the son was given the horse. Then he met a man burying a maiden’s corpse and he exchanged his horse for the corpse. Then he encountered another beautiful maiden who pushed the corpse, making it fall, and the son accused the beautiful maiden of killing the dead maiden, and acquired the beautiful maiden. The son continued his journey with the maiden, when he met a rich man, who, wanting the beautiful maiden for himself, proposed a riddle wager. The lazy son asked the rich man, “What is the thing that came out of three pieces of straw rope that turned into a water jar that turned into rice that turned into a rat that turned into a cat that turned into a horse that turned into a dead maiden that turned into a living maiden?” The rich man was unable to answer, and handed over his wealth to the son, who returned home with the maiden.

The first half of the tale “Carrying a Chest” is identical to that of “Three Pieces of Straw Rope, ” but in the second half, the fool, who is the protagonist, while carrying the maiden on his back inside a chest, puts down the chest by the road to relieve himself. Just then the king (or the magistrate) happens to pass by and takes the maiden out of the chest, leaving instead dregs of bean curd. The fool, unaware of this, arrives home and asks his mother to prepare a banquet to celebrate. But when they open the chest to find it filled with nothing but bean curd dregs, the fool says, “When did I say there was a maiden in here? All I said was let’s get some soy sauce and spoons and eat bean curd dregs.”

“Three Pieces of Straw Rope” tells the story of the weak defeating the strong with a witty strategy, and achieving success in life, the lazy son’s triumph over the greedy rich man offering a satisfying ending for the audience.

Three Pieces of Straw Rope

Three Pieces of Straw Rope
Headword

새끼 서 발 ( Three Pieces of Straw Rope )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer ChoHeewoong(曺喜雄)

This tale narrates the story of man who was considered a lazybones but uses his wit and intelligence to achieve great success.

A long time ago, there lived a mother and her lazy son, and the mother kicked him out, giving him nothing but three pieces of straw rope. On the road, the son met an earthenware vendor who needed rope and exchanged his rope for an earthenware water jar. Then he met a maiden who broke her water jar and exchanged his jar with one mal of rice. In a home where he lodged, a rat ate up the son’s rice and he took the rat. Then at another house, a cat ate his rat, and the son was given the cat. At another house, a horse stepped on his cat, killing it, and the son was given the horse. Then he met a man burying a maiden’s corpse and he exchanged his horse for the corpse. Then he encountered another beautiful maiden who pushed the corpse, making it fall, and the son accused the beautiful maiden of killing the dead maiden, and acquired the beautiful maiden. The son continued his journey with the maiden, when he met a rich man, who, wanting the beautiful maiden for himself, proposed a riddle wager. The lazy son asked the rich man, “What is the thing that came out of three pieces of straw rope that turned into a water jar that turned into rice that turned into a rat that turned into a cat that turned into a horse that turned into a dead maiden that turned into a living maiden?” The rich man was unable to answer, and handed over his wealth to the son, who returned home with the maiden.

The first half of the tale “Carrying a Chest” is identical to that of “Three Pieces of Straw Rope, ” but in the second half, the fool, who is the protagonist, while carrying the maiden on his back inside a chest, puts down the chest by the road to relieve himself. Just then the king (or the magistrate) happens to pass by and takes the maiden out of the chest, leaving instead dregs of bean curd. The fool, unaware of this, arrives home and asks his mother to prepare a banquet to celebrate. But when they open the chest to find it filled with nothing but bean curd dregs, the fool says, “When did I say there was a maiden in here? All I said was let’s get some soy sauce and spoons and eat bean curd dregs.”

“Three Pieces of Straw Rope” tells the story of the weak defeating the strong with a witty strategy, and achieving success in life, the lazy son’s triumph over the greedy rich man offering a satisfying ending for the audience.