Hukumusume fairy tale collection > Japanese classical stories > September
Hikoichi's Living umbrella
Introduction to Hikoichi
・Japanese ・English ・Chinese
English translator REN HANADA(花田れん)
Once upon a time, there was a very clever child called Hikoichi.
There was a rumor that there was a mysterious umbrella called a living umbrella in Hikichi's house.
When it rains, the umbrella opens naturally, and when it stops raining, it closes naturally.
The rumor spread so fast that it finally reached the ears of the king of the castle.
"Wow. If it's such a rare umbrella, I'd love to get it."
His Highness immediately sent a servant to Hikoichi's house to obtain the umbrella, but Hikoichi refused it.
"This living umbrella is an heirloom and a part of our family. I don't care if you're a lord, but I can't let you have it." Hikoichi said.
His Highness heard about it from the servant, and wanted the living umbrella more.
So, His Highness called Hikoichi to the castle and said,
"Hikoichi, Since I'm eager to have that umbrella, please sell it to me. I can give you any amount and I'll value it."
Hikoichi thought for a moment and then said to his highness.
“I understand. It's your highness's wish, , and I'm sure my living umbrella would be happier living in a castle than staying in a poor house.”
Thus, Hikoichi received a large sum of money from his highness in exchange for a living umbrella.
Now, although his highness got a living umbrella from Hikoichi, the weather has been so fine these days and it hasn't rained a bit.
His Highness and his servants were frustrated every day, hoping to see it rain soon and see the umbrella open.
Ten days after his Highness got the umbrella from Hikoichi, it finally started to rain, which was their longing.
“Okay, the umbrella is going to open.”
His Highness and his servants stared at the umbrella, but it was hard to open it.
"...what's wrong? Isn't it raining enough?”
Eventually, it started to rain heavily, but no matter how much it rained, the umbrella would not open.
“What's happening? Why don't you open?...Someone call Hikoichi and come!”
His Highness called out to Hikoichi and said angrily.
”You're a liar! It's raining and the umbrella doesn't even open!”
"What? It's funny. If it's raining today, the living umbrella should be wide open. ...Hey, can I see your living umbrella?"
" Hikoichi went to the living umbrella and asked his highness with a sad look on his face. "
“'You poor thing, you've lost so much weight. ...Your Highness. Have you given this umbrella any food?”
“What? What do you mean by that?”
“Oh, I knew it!
Your Highness, this umbrella is dying.
Even though it is an umbrella, this umbrella is alive and well.
Everything that is alive has to have food.
I'm sorry I didn't pay attention, but were there any people in the castle who noticed?
...living umbrella, forgive me.
At the very least, I'll give you a nice funeral.”
Hikochi said that and began to sob and cry.
His Highness and his servants had no words to say in response.
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