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Elphinstone Kist   Stories for Bairns

The Good Fortune Kettle (A Japanese Folk Tale)     by: Wheeler, Les

Eence a lang, lang time ago, in the days fan the sun an the meen wir still freens, there wis a peer chiel fa made his livin oot o junk. Ae day he wis oot lookin for odd bitties that fowk hid thrown oot fan he cam upon a brock stuck in a snare. The aul man felt gey sorry for the brock an in nae time at aa hid set him free.

Noo this wisna jist ony aul brock but a special een an he wis that pleased wi fat the aul cadger hid deen he thocht he wid help him oot. Sae brock changed intae a tea kettle an crawled quaetly intae the basket the junkman wis cairryin on his back.

The chiel wis fair taen aback fin he got hame at the en o the day. There at the bottom a his basket wis the bonniest tea kettle that he’d ivver seen or wis ivver likely tae see.

He thocht he wad tak it tae a priest in the temple fa hid aye bin affa gweed till him for he kent the priest wid wint tae buy sic a kettle.

The neist mornin the chiel took the kettle tae the temple an the priest wis fair delighted wi it. The priest gaed him plenty o siller - far mair siller nor the cadger hid ivver dreamt a gettin. Weel, the chiel set aff hame an he could hardly believe his gweed fortune.
Noo, for a whilie, the priest sat admirin his bonnie tea kettle. Syne, he fillt it wi waater an pit it on the fire. Michty! Aa o a sudden gey queer ongyans began tae happen. The tea kettle skirled oot, “It’s het! It’s het!”

An at that, oot sprooted brock’s hairy heid! Fower brockit an hairy paas poppit oot neist an syne a muckletail. The brock-kettle loupit aff the hearth an set aff rinnin roon an roon the chaumer o the temple.

The priest, fat sorra else wad ye expect, got an affa fricht. He’d nae intention o keepin sic a kettle in his temple. He sent for the cadger an gaed him back the kettle.

O the cadger! Peer chiel! He hid tae cairry the tea kettle hame an he’d nae idea at aa fit tae dee wi it. At bedtime he laid it at the heid a his bed an tried tae get tae sleep.
It wis jist on midnicht fan a soond woke him up. He lookit aboot an saa naething but finally jaloused that the noise wis comin fae the teakettle. He wis a bit teen aback - like ye wid be yersel if yer ain kettle spoke tae ye -but he listened aa the same.

“Noo, aul man,” said the brock tea kettle, ”Yestreen ye saved my life - aye, I’m the brock that ye lat oot a the snare. I turnt mysel intae a fine tea kettle, for I winted tae earn ye some siller. Fu div ye nae cairry me roon wi ye noo as something ye can show? I’d be a gran curiostity an thegither wi could mak a gey bit siller.”

Sae the cadger did jist that. He taen the brock-kettle roon aa the toons, big an sma, an fowk herded in tae see the dancin o the wunnerfu tea kettle. Nae only could it dance but it could sing tae an dee tricks as weel. Fit a tea kettle!

It didna tak lang afore the peer cadger wis a gey rich chiel - sae rich that he an the brock-kettle thocht they wid stop wirkin an retire tae a life o leesure.

Sae eence mair the cadger taen his tea kettle tae the temple. He tellt his freen, the priest, fu the brock he’d set free hid turnt intae the fine tea kettle an helpit him tae mak a fortune.

The priest wis fair taen wi the story o the faithfu brock. This time he wis mair nor happy tae tak in the tea kettle as a treasure that they wid aa look efter

An, fowk say, the brock-kettle is aye yet among the treasures o the Morinji
Temple in the toon o Tatebayashi.

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