This is a story from around Daisen.


Once there were two old couples who lived in a small, poor village. The first old man and his old wife lived simply and honestly, and the other old man and his wife were notoriously stubborn and lazy.

One day the first old man went out to chop grass as usual and began to polish his sickle, when he slipped. The old woman heard a terrible noise and feared her husband had fallen down the well, and sure enough, he had. “My dear! Are you alright?” she called down to him.

“I’m fine, but I can’t get out! Send down a rope!”

She lowered a rope down, which he tied to his waist, and she pulled as hard as she could. He soon came up with pockets full of gold coins. The village children all came out to see what the commotion was about, and the old couple shared the fortune with the children. They all lived happily ever after.

The lazy old couple, however, saw what happened and were filled with jealousy. “We could get a fortune that way too,” said the husband.

“Sure, they could get a fortune that way. That old man stays in shape because he goes out early every morning to cut the grass, but I just have a cunning good-for-nothing for a husband.”

“Fine, you want me to cut grass? I’ll go cut grass!” the old man barked back, then picked up a sickle to start sharpening it. He also fell down the well, and shouted to his wife, “Alright, I fell! Now lower a rope!”

She did do, and he tied it on. She pulled him up as fast as possible, but his pockets were empty and he upon emerging his hit his head.

The moral of the story–although you could glean many from it–is not to imitate others.