(Above Image from White Rabbit Press – https://www.whiterabbitpress.com/japanesegradedreaders/)
Disclaimer: The following is my personal attempt to translate a Japanese Graded Reader story published by White Rabbit Press. If you are interested in reading the published story, please refer to the White Rabbit Press website (https://www.whiterabbitpress.com/japanesegradedreaders/) for further information. This is NOT my story and I have no ownership of the story whatsoever. I have simply translated the story in English for my own Japanese language learning purposes.
Now, let’s begin the story…….
Somewhere, there lived an old man and old woman.
They had no money, but every day they were living happily.
One day, as the old man was working on the farm, he could hear the sound of a dog.
Under the tree, there was a white puppy.
“Oh! Aren’t you a cute puppy? Don’t you have a home?”
The old man brought that dog back with him to his home.
The old woman saw the puppy and spoke.
“My, so cute!”
The old woman, then, placed rice in front of the puppy. The puppy was delighted and ate it.
The old man and old woman gave the puppy a name.
The name is Pochi.
Pochi is always together with the old man.
The puppy would go to the farm with the old man. It would also go home with the old man.
One morning, Pochi made a big sound.
The old man spoke.
“Pochi, what is wrong?”
Pochi runs towards the mountains. He then went to climb the mountains. The old man went with the puppy and climbed the mountain. When Pochi arrived at the top of the mountain, he dug at the ground with his paws and made loud sound.
“Woof, woof! Woof, woof!”
When the old man dug there, a lot of money appeared. The old man was very surprised.
The old man carried the money and returned home.
He then spoke in a loud voice.
“Old woman, old woman! Please look!”
The old woman looked at the money and was also surprised!
They both then spoke to Pochi.
“Thank you, Pochi.”
An old man and old woman from next door were watching this.
The old man and old woman from next door loved money.
The next day, the old man from next door took hold of Pochi and went to climb the mountains.
When they arrived at the top of the mountain, this old man from next door spoke to Pochi in a scary voice.
“Where is the money?!”
Pochi did not make a sound.
The old man from next door spoke to Pochi in a scarier voice.
“WHERE IS THE MONEY?! HERE? THERE?”
Pochi whines and sobs.
With a sad voice, Pochi cried out.
The old man from next door spoke. “So it’s here, right?!”
He then dug there. As he dug, lots and lots of snakes and insects came out.
“WHAT IS THIS?!”
The old man from next door got angry and killed Pochi.
It is the evening. It is time for dinner.
Pochi is not there. Pochi has not returned home yet. The old man and old lady were worried. The two went to the mountain and Pochi is found dead.
As the old man and old lady cried, they buried Pochi in the garden.
They then planted a small tree there. That tree, very shortly, turned into a big tree.
Every day, the two of them cried in front of the tree.
One day, that tree spoke. “I want to become a mortar…. I want to become a mortar.”
Using that tree, they made an “usu” (wooden mortar and pestle).
“Old man, with this mortar, let’s make rice cakes!”
“Oh right! Pochi liked rice cakes.”
The old man and old woman started to make rice cakes.
~cling, cling, cling~
As they were doing this, money appeared and came out from the mortar.
“Oh my! Old man! Money is…”
The old man and old woman from next door were watching this. They then went to borrow the mortar.
The two started to make rice cakes right away.
As they were doing this, a lot of rubbish appeared from the mortar!
“What on earth?! What is this?!”
The old man and old woman from next door got angry and burnt the mortar.
The next day, the old man went to the house next door.
“Please return our mortar.”
The mortar had become ash. “Oh no…. the mortar.. has…”
The old man carries the ashes and left the house from next door.
It is winter time. The trees have no leaves nor flowers. Right at that moment, a cold wind blows over. The ashes covered the tree.
As this happened, poof and beautiful flowers bloomed. The old man was amazed!
“Flowers! The flowers have bloomed!”
The old man grew happy, climbed up the tree and sprinkled the ashes. More and more flowers bloomed.
A Lord rode his horse and arrived. The Lord is very surprised.
“Oh! So beautiful! So pretty! Flowers are blooming in winter.”
The Lord saw the old man up in the tree.
“The old man is sprinkling ashes and flowers are blooming. You shall be named ‘The Flower Blossom Old Man’.”
The Lord gave a lot of money to this old man.
The old man from next door was watching this.
The old man from next door went back home and brought back with him some ashes.
“My Lord, I am also a ‘Flower Blossom Old Man’.”
The old man from next door then sprinkled lots and lots of ashes. However, flowers did not bloom. The ashes went into the Lord’s eyes.
“Ahhh ouch! That hurts! My eyes hurt!”
The Lord became mad and the old man from next door went to jail.