Meet Dokkaebi – 4

A Dokkaebi Party

 Not too long ago there was a small village deep in the country. Like most small villages of that time there was a village head who made sure everyone in the community was connected. If there was a party he made sure all the families knew about it.

One moonless night, the elder was out walking when he saw dancing lights deep in the woods. Suspecting a party, he decided to investigate. As he got closer he started to hear a rumbling sound he assumed was thunder. When the thunder sounded, the fire grew larger, and as the fire grew larger, so did the thunder. Soon he heard singing and dancing. But before he could tell others about it, he had to find out who was partying. It didn’t seem like any of the villagers.

As he got closer he could see people feasting and dancing, but he still couldn’t get a good look, so he climbed one of the bigger trees, went out on a large limb, and sat in the fork of a large branch just above the party.

The people partying didn’t look quite right. Their hair, wild and growing all over their heads, flew and danced like fire to the beat of the thundering drums. Their bellies were rotund and they wore tiger skins around their waists. They were drumming and dancing, playing cards and wrestling, telling rude jokes and hollering to the music, and all of them eating and drinking. When they danced they lifted their legs straight up and brought them down again to the beat, leaving behind small holes in the campground. And their eyes. When the village head saw their flaming eyes he knew he had come across a party, not of people, but of dokkaebi.

As the frenzy of the song increased, their eyes burned brighter and brighter until they shown like spotlights, searching the sky. When one of the lights focused on the elder he began to tremble, which unfortunately did not favor the branch he was sitting upon. The branch snapped underneath him and he fell, breaking many more branches on his descent.

Upon his rough crash landing, the music and dancing suddenly stopped. The dokkaebi went dim and cried, “Thunder! It’s a thunderstorm! Run!” And so they fled in every direction.

The village head looked around and saw the remnants of the party, juicy meat and drink. He found a sack and started stuffing it with food. He thought ‘No reason to let such a spread go to waste!’ But when he tried to pick up the sack, he found he couldn’t budge it. As he strained, he faintly smelled cow dung. The harder he tried to lift the sack, the stronger the smell became.

The next day his son was sent searching for him. The village head was found, neck deep in cow dung.

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