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age rating 6 to 8 approx.
Accomplished and lucky teakettle.
By A. B. Mitford.
Start of Story
A LONG time ago, at a temple called Morinji, there was an old
teakettle. One day, when the priest of the temple was about to hang it
over the hearth to boil the water for his tea, to his amazement the
kettle all of a sudden put forth the head and tail of a badger. What a
wonderful kettle, to come out all over fur!
The priest, thunderstruck, called in the novices or assistants of the
temple to see the sight; and while they were stupidly staring, one
suggesting one thing and another another, the kettle, jumping up into
the air, began flying about the room. More astonished than ever, the
priest and his pupils tried to pursue it; but no thief or cat was ever
half so sharp as the wonderful badger kettle. At last, however, they
managed to knock it down and secure it; and, holding it in with their
united efforts, they forced it into a box, intending to carry it off
and throw it away in some distant place, so that they might no more be
plagued with the goblin.
For this day their troubles were over, but as luck would have it, the
tinker who was in the habit of working for the temple called in, and
the priest suddenly bethought him that it was a pity to throw the
kettle away for nothing, and that he might as well get a trifle for it,
no matter how small. So he brought out the kettle, which had resumed
its former shape and had got rid of its head and tail, and showed it to
the tinker. When the tinker saw the kettle, he offered twenty copper
coins for it, and the priest was only too glad to close the bargain and
be rid of his troublesome piece of furniture. And the tinker trudged
off home with his pack and his new purchase.
That night, as he lay asleep, he heard a strange noise near his pillow;
so he peeped out from under the bedclothes and there he saw the kettle
that he had bought in the temple covered with fur and walking about on
four legs. The tinker started up in a fright to see what it could all
mean, when all of a sudden the kettle resumed its former shape. This
happened over and over again, until at last the tinker showed the
teakettle to a friend of his, who said, "This is certainly an
accomplished and lucky teakettle-you should take it about as a show,
with songs and accompaniments of musical instruments, and make it dance
and walk on the tight rope."
The tinker, thinking this good advice, made arrangements with a
showman, and set up an exhibition. The noise of the kettle's
performances soon spread abroad, until even the princes of the land
sent to order the tinker to come to them; and he grew rich beyond all
expectations. Even the princesses, too, and the great ladies of the
court, took great delight in the dancing kettle, so that no sooner had
it shown its tricks in one place than it was time for them to keep some
At last the tinker grew so rich that he took the kettle back to the
temple, where it was laid up as a precious treasure and worshiped as a