Young Folks' Treasury: Myths and Legendary Heroes HTML version
dance as well as the other, so the devils cried out: "You dance badly, and are getting
worse and worse; we will give you back the lump which we took from you as a pledge."
Upon this, one of the devils brought the lump, and stuck it on the other side of his face;
so the poor old fellow returned home with a lump on each side.
Autumn And Spring
ADAPTED BY FRANK HINDER
A fair maiden lay asleep in a rice field. The sun was at its height, and she was weary.
Now a god looked down upon the rice field. He knew that the beauty of the maiden came
from within, that it mirrored the beauty of heavenly dreams. He knew that even now, as
she smiled, she held converse with the spirit of the wind or the flowers.
The god descended and asked the dream-maiden to be his bride. She rejoiced, and they
were wed. A wonderful red jewel came of their happiness.
Long, long afterwards, the stone was found by a farmer, who saw that it was a very rare
jewel. He prized it highly, and always carried it about with him. Sometimes, as he looked
at it in the pale light of the moon, it seemed to him that he could [pg 140] discern eyes in its
depths. Again, in the stillness of the night, he would awaken and think that a clear soft
voice called him by name.
One day, the farmer had to carry the midday meal to his workers in the field. The sun was
very hot, so he loaded a cow with the bowls of rice, the millet dumplings, and the beans.
Suddenly, Prince Ama-boko stood in the path. He was angry, for he thought that the
farmer was about to kill the cow. The Prince would hear no word of denial; his wrath
increased. The farmer became more and more terrified, and, finally, took the precious
stone from his pocket and presented it as a peace-offering to the powerful Prince. Ama-
boko marveled at the brilliancy of the jewel, and allowed the man to continue his journey.
The Prince returned to his home. He drew forth the treasure, and it was immediately
transformed into a goddess of surpassing beauty. Even as she rose before him, he loved
her, and ere the moon waned they were wed. The goddess ministered to his every want.
She prepared delicate dishes, the secret of which is known only to the gods. She made
wine from the juice of a myriad herbs, wine such as mortals never taste.
But, after a time, the Prince became proud and overbearing. He began to treat his faithful
wife with cruel contempt. The goddess was sad, and said: "You are not worthy of my
love. I will leave you and go to my father." Ama-boko paid no heed to these words, for he
did not believe that the threat would be fulfilled. But the beautiful goddess was in earnest.
She escaped from the palace and fled to Naniwa, where she is still honored as Akaru-
hime, the Goddess of Light.
Now the Prince was wroth when he heard that the goddess had left him, and set out in
pursuit of her. But when he neared Naniwa, the gods would not allow his vessel to enter