Meet Dokkaebi – 8

Hungry Dokkaebi

Long ago there lived a poor farmer who lived just outside town. Early one morning on his way to market, a dokkaebi jumped out and scared the farmer. But instead of attacking, the dokkaebi said:

“Hey farmer! Go into town and buy me a leg of dog!”

And before the farmer could react, the dokkaebi pulled out a large bag of gold, threw it to the farmer and disappeared. When the farmer got to town he started to splurge and drank away the gold, completely forgetting to buy the dokkaebi any dog meat. As he stumbled his way home, the dokkaebi appeared again and demanded his dog meat. The poor, drunk farmer groveled and promised he would get the meat the next day.

Well, the next day the dokkaebi appeared once more and said:

“Hey farmer! Go into town and buy me a leg of dog!”

And it threw the farmer a new bag of gold. The farmer decided to ‘forget’ again, and sure enough that night the dokkaebi forgave him and gave him a new bag of gold the following day. Now with a steady income, the farmer began to save the gold and after a short while he bought a large tract of good land.

Once the farmer started to tend to his new land, the dokkaebi discovered it had been tricked. That night, the dokkaebi sowed the field with hundreds of jagged rocks, making it impossible to cultivate. The next day, the farmer looked over his field and saw all the rocks. With a laugh, he started shouting for joy. The dokkaebi appeared and asked him,

“Hey farmer! Why are you so happy?”

The farmer, wiping a tear away, said:

“Why, I’m overjoyed with my good luck! With all these rocks I’m sure to get the best crops and become rich within just one season! I’m just glad the field wasn’t covered with that smelly manure. I’d have become completely destitute had that happened.”

The dokkaebi became furious and the next night it replaced all the rocks with pieces of manure. The farmer looked over his field the next day and saw all his field covered in manure and began to beat his chest and wail. The dokkaebi appeared and asked him,

“Hey farmer! Why do you cry so hard?”

The farmer, sobbing heavily, said,

“I’m completely ruined now! There is no way I could ever make this field good again!”

The dokkaebi left, happy to have met out his revenge upon the farmer, and the farmer started tilling his field, happy to be the richest man in town.

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