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This story is suitable for children age 6 to 8 approx.
My Lord Bag of Rice
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Start of Story
Long, long ago there lived, in Japan a brave warrior known to all as
Tawara Toda, or "My Lord Bag of Rice." His true name was Fujiwara
Hidesato, and there is a very interesting story of how he came to
change his name.
One day he sallied forth in search of adventures, for he had the nature
of a warrior and could not bear to be idle. So he buckled on his two
swords, took his huge bow, much taller than himself, in his hand, and
slinging his quiver on his back started out. He had not gone far when
he came to the bridge of Seta-no-Karashi spanning one end of the
beautiful Lake Biwa. No sooner had he set foot on the bridge than he
saw lying right across his path a huge serpent dragon. Its body was so
big that it looked like the trunk of a large pine tree and it took up
the whole width of the bridge.
One of its huge claws rested on the
parapet of one side of the bridge, while its tail lay right against the
other. The monster seemed to be asleep, and as it breathed, fire and
smoke came out of its nostrils.
At first Hidesato could not help feeling alarmed at the sight of this
horrible reptile lying in his path, for he must either turn back or
walk right over its body. He was a brave man, however, and putting
aside all fear went forward dauntlessly. Crunch, crunch! he stepped now
on the dragon's body, now between its coils, and without even one
glance backward he went on his way.
He had only gone a few steps when he heard some one calling him from
behind. On turning back he was much surprised to see that the monster
dragon had entirely disappeared and in its place was a strange looking
man, who was bowing most ceremoniously to the ground.