World Folk Tales – The Magic Pot
When one becomes two and two becomes many, the greed of a family knows no bounds!!
Once upon a time, long long ago, there lived a woodcutter by the name of Joon in Korea. He lived with his wife Jong in a small hut. They were poor and hence they struggled to survive. Their main possessions were their house and axe. Even food was scarce in their home and so Joon worked hard every day to improve their situation.
One day, Joon was in the forest and it was a hot sunny day. He felt very thirsty and he decided to find a stream nearby to drink water. But he roamed and roamed and could not find any place to drink water from. Finally, he decided to venture deeper into the forest and after a lot of time, he came across a stream. He ran to the stream and dipping his hands into the water, he drank handfuls of water. Suddenly, he dipped his hands deeper into the stream and it hit something hard. Joon then wanted to see what it was and so he decided to pull the object out of the water.
Joon huffed and puffed and after a great struggle, he pulled out a huge pot from the water. He liked the pot very much and so he decided to take it home. He dropped the axe inside and tied the pot behind his back. He went home and showed the pot to Jong. She too liked it very much and on peeping inside, she found two axes! Even Joon was surprised and this was when they realised that the pot was magical in nature.
Jong and Joon then dropped some rice into it and left it overnight. The next day, they saw that the pot was overflowing with rice and they were overjoyed. Jong then began to drop some money into the pot and soon it doubled and tripled! After this, they dropped some gold coins and jewels into the pot. Very soon, the pot overflowed with coins and jewels and their happiness knew no bounds!! Jong and Joon began to dance in happiness around the house.
As they both were dancing around the house, Jong tripped over a jewel and she fell head first into the pot. Joon pulled her out immediately, but it was too late. The pot’s magic had already begun to work and soon a second Jong sprang out of the pot! Joon now did not know which one of them was his real wife. Jong and Joon had paid the price for being extremely greedy!
Moral – Too much of anything is a bad thing. Being greedy is never beneficial.