Kids Web Japan

Web Japan > Kids Web Japan > Folk Legends > Sanmai no Ofuda > 2

Folk Legends

Sanmai no Ofuda
(The Three Charms and Mountain Witch)

Sanmai no Ofuda

When he reached the mountain the boy found many ripe chestnuts, just as he had thought. He became so absorbed in gathering them that he completely forgot about the time. He didn't notice the sun going down, and before he knew it, it had become pitch dark. "It feels a bit spooky when it's this dark. What will I do if the mountain witch really came out?" Just as he was thinking this, he suddenly heard a voice behind him.

"Well, well. Hello there, young boy."

Still thinking about the witch, the apprentice jumped with fright, but when he turned round he saw a gentle-looking old woman. "Have you come to pick chestnuts? Why don't you come to my house? I'll cook them for you to eat."

The boy was very hungry and happily followed the old woman home. He ate chestnuts until he was so full that he grew sleepy and dozed off. He woke up in the middle of the night, not knowing how long he'd been asleep, and found that the old woman was not there. He heard a strange noise coming from the next room. Puzzled, he peeped into the room and saw the frightful-looking mountain witch sharpening a knife.

"Aaaaah!" he screamed, horrified. The witch looked up and glared at him.