Hukumusume fairy tale collection> Japanese classical stories > December
game of wit Hikoichi vs Kicchom
Introduction to Hikoichi
・日本語(Japanese) ・英語(English) ・日本語(Japanese)＆英語(English)
English translator REN HANADA(花田れん)
Once upon a time, there was a very pleasant person named Kicchom-san.
One day, a child named Hikoichi, who is famous as a wit master, challenged Kicchom-san to a wit match.
There, the village monk was present, and the game of wit began on a single road in the mountains.
"Ehem, well then, we're going to have the game of wit."
"OK. So, what do I do?"
In response to Kicchom-san's question, the monk answered,
"Well, while I count a from one to a hundred, I want you to make something that the world needs. That's the subject of the game of wit."
Hearing that, Hikoichi thought with a serious face.
(It's hard to make a thing while counting from one to a hundred. Moreover, what is an indispensable thing in the world? But it's the same thing with Kicchom-san. I've heard that Kicchom-san is very good at this, but I'll make sure I win.)
On the other hand, Kicchom-san has a blank look. (As rumored, he's a serious and smart kid. But that alone doesn't beat me.)
"Let's get started!"
At the call of the monk, the two of them walked into the mountain.
"One, two, three..."
The counting voice of the monk echoes in the mountains.
"...Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred!"
As soon as the monk finished counting up to a hundred, the two of them each returned with something.
First, Hikoichi proudly held out the items he had brought with him.
"How about this, Kicchom-san!"
It was a well-made scarecrow for a quickie.
When the monk saw it, he was impressed and said,
''Hmm, I see. Surely this is something the world can't live without. What's more, it's easy to make it. Hikoichi, you've brought something brilliantly suited to the subject."
Hikoichi is happy to be praised by the monk.
Kicchom-san, however, said to Hikoichi with a stupefied look.
"You're a wise man, of course. But is this the only one?"
"Of course! I can't make so many in such a small amount of time when he's counting up to a hundred only!"
“Well, I guess I win then.”
He said so, and showed him the firewood he had cut from the grass at the roadside, and began to count one or two.
"..Eighteen, nineteen, twenty. Well, I've got twenty of them ready for you."
Hearing that, Hikoichi gives a funny look.
"Kicchom-san. It is true that the firewood is a necessity for the world, and you are superior in number, but aren't you just firewood gathering?"
Kicchom-san smiled and replied,
“It's a wit game of wit trial. It's obvious that I win(gather; both), isn't it?”
Hearing this, Hikoichi and the monk are at a loss for words.
One point advice : The older the wiser.
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