meidos: (touhou * discolored)
mあddy ([personal profile] meidos) wrote2013-11-11 10:55 pm

Lucky Girl's Fairy Tales #1

I found a collection of cute Japanese folklore tales online, so I decided to translate as many as I could!

Link to original story.

This tale is from Wakayama, called "Trading Tasks." It's pretty cliche, but such is folklore.



Once upon a time, an old man and an old woman lived together.
Every day, the old man would go to the mountains and collect firewood, and every day, the old woman would go to the river to do laundry; however, one day, the old man said something to the old woman. "What's with this, my underwear is all dirty! Do the laundry better!" The old woman was cooking dinner at the time on the stove, and she replied with undaunted words. "Even though you say that, why is this firewood so damp? If you don't bring back dryer kindling, I won't be able to cook dinner well!"
"What's that?! If you're going to complain, then why don't you go and collect firewood!"
"Alright, then you shall do the laundry!"
And so, the two traded tasks.

The next day, the old man took the laundry to the river, but the water was so cold that he couldn't find a place to do the cleaning.
"That old bag, was she always doing the laundry in water this cold? My hands are already growing numb, there's no way you could do it well like this..."

Meanwhile, the old woman had gone to the mountain to collect firewood, but she couldn't find the kindling so easily. Even when she did, it was small and damp. Moreover, walking the mountain path left her feet aching.
"So he was always walking up this mountain path, huh... and only to find nothing but damp firewood..."
And so, without having done the laundry well, and unable to gather firewood well, the old man and the old woman returned home.
On that path home, the two bumped into one another and spoke at once.

"Grandma, I'm sorry. I couldn't do the laundry!"
"Grandpa, I'm so sorry. I could not collect firewood!"

"...Ahahahahahaha!"
"...Ufufufufufufu!"

And so the two loudly laughed.

From then on, the old man would collect firewood, and the old woman would do the laundry.

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