Fairies, Fairy Tales, Fairy Books

Fairies and Fairy Tales

Fairies, Fairy Tales, Fairy Books
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Japanese fairy tales    Oni     Tengu     Kitsune     Tanuki     Kami

Tengu's Magic Fan

One warm spring day Heysaku went up into the mountains to clear his fields. It was a hot lazy sort of day and Heysaku wanted to rest so he sat on a stump and looked up at the clear blue sky as he listened to the chirping sparrows and as he listened he forgot all about his work. Eventually he did grow tired of just sitting he took some dice from his pocket and began to toss them. The bones rolled across a large flat stone beside the stump and Heysaku sang:

Bones, bones,
Lie down bones,
White bones.

Suddenly from behind the tall pines a tiny voice asked him: “Heysaku what are you doing?”
Startled Heysaku looked around and saw a big nosed devil, a tengu which looked just like the tengu look in the paintings. The tengu’s long nose was sticking out up above his head and in his hand he carried a fan.
Heysaku dropped to his trembling to his knees.
“Have mercy on me Tengu, don’t hurt me!” Heysaku cried with fear.
“Don’t be afraid,” the Tengu told him gently. “I don’t plan to kill you. I just want to know what you’re tossing and why you’re mumbling those words.”
“I’m rolling dice, you see,” Heysaku told the Tengu as he explained the game, how their were points and how one used them to gamble for money. The tengu didn’t understand and thought that the dice were a funny, strange thing humans did so he really wanted them.
“Heysaku, let me have your dice,” the tengu told him.
“How can I give you my bones? It would like giving you my head, my fun,” Heysaku told the tengu.
“I didn’t ask you to give them to me for free, I can pay you with something very nice,” the Tengu pressed.
“What’s that?” Heysaku asked at which point the tengu showed him the fan in his hand. “Is that all? Why would I need a beat up old fan?” Heysaku scuffed.
“Silly man, this is the fan of a tengu,” the tengu laughed. “Let me explain, if you knock on the painted side of the fan three times and say nose grow! Nose grow! Nose grow! Then the tip of the person who’s nose you choose will grow. If you wish for the nose to grow shorter again you knock on the back side of the fan and say; shrink nose, shrink nose, shrink nose,” the tengu explained.  “Do you seen now what a wonderful thing the fan of the tengu can be,” the tengu told him as he showed off his long nose that could rise above his head.
 “Have mercy! Have mercy! He cried, how could I live with such a long nose, Heysaku exclaimed as he grew afraid once more.
“Lets trade now,” the tengu told him as he took the bones and gave the Heysaku his fan.
Lazy Heysaku walked along the road and pondered who he would try the magic fan out on first when he saw a procession of four servants carrying a bamboo stretcher with a silk canopy and the beautiful daughter of the richest prince in the country who was surrounded by a crowd of servants and maids. 
“Ah, I will make her nose grow long, that would be fun,” Heysaku smiled.
Heysaku stepped stealthily in among the crowd of servants and made his way to the litter as he knocked the fan on the painted side and whispered, “nose grow, nose grow, nose grow.” Then the beautiful princesses nose bent and began to stretch and stretch as it grew one inch, then two then three.
Heysaku got so frightened as he realized what he’d done he ran home. After a few days a rumor began to spread that the prince’s daughter had taken ill with an unknown illness one which made her nose grow like that of a tengu and no amount of medicine or doctors, or prayers from monks could cure her. The poor princess had locked herself in the castle and covered her face with sleeves as she spent the whole day crying. Her parents too had started to go mad with sorrow and so they hung an announcement that anyone who cured the princesses disease would get her for his wife. When lazy Heysaku saw the announcement he ran home and took up his magic fan and then ran off to the castle.
“I can cure the princess,” Heysaku told them as soon as he was admitted to the castle.
So the servants brought him to the princesses chambers and Heysaku bowed down to her as he knocked on the back side of the fan and whispered three times; “shirnk nose, shrink nose, shrink nose.” When this was done the princess’s nose began to shrink back down to be even more beautiful then it was before. 
Heysaku and her were married, and thus with the help of the tengu’s fan lazy Heysaku became the richest man in the village. He was able to eat as much fried eel with white rice as he wanted, and stay in bed or walk about the mountains trumped up with his own importance as he did nothing. And this is how he lived. One day began to blend to another as he slept through some days without even waking up, or just hung around his palace and then did all this over again. Soon however he started to tire of doing nothing and he was lying in his garden yawning with boredom. 
To break his boredom he drew the fan from his belt and wondered how far he could stretch his own nose. So he knocked on the fan and said three times: “nose grow, nose grow, nose grow.” Immediately his nose began to grow, one inch then two, then six inches, then a foot, a yard, then two and three feet at a time it grew. It grew and grew taller then the tallest tree. It stretched out so far that Heysaku could not see the end of it. Heysaku  was quite amused by this so he kept drumming his fan until his nose rose above the clouds and then pierced through the sky. 
Sitting up in the sky was a thunder kami. The thunder kami was surprised to see the tip of the nose and he thought it looked like a carrot growing up. So he firmply grasped it to pull it up.
“Ah!” Heysaku screamed in pain.
He immediately turned the fan and drummed the other side and spoke very quickly; “nose shrink, nose shrink, nose shrink.” And immediately his nose began to shrink. Seeing the strange object shrink however the thunder kami grasped it even more firmly, and being stronger then Heysaku the kami pulled Heysaku rose up into the heavens as his nose shrank. 
Heysaku rose up onto his tippy toes, then up off the ground. The shorter his nose got the higher he rose up. He rose above the house and the tallest tree, and the clouds and finally to the sky dome. But the hole his nose had poked into the sky dome was too small for him to go through so he just hung there by his nose, and he still hangs there to this day.

Fairies, Fairy Tales, Fairy Books


Fairies, Fairy Tales, Fairy Books