Funny Story From Japan - Incredible feat

 The Incredible Feat

There was a landlord who achieved nothing himself but was very fond of listening to the glorious deeds of his ancestors. "They were great. There was nothing which they could not do," he would say proudly. He held a sort of court and many people gathered there every day. Some came on business and some came only to please him for their future gain. Each of them would tell him tales of his father, grandfather, or great grandfather. They would invent stories that were incredible. For example, some would say how his father had fought with a king and won, some would say how his grandfather outwitted the greatest scholar in the whole kingdom. Another flatterer even said that his grandfather's grandfather was so handsome that a nymph insisted on marrying her! "You have inherited that charm from that great ancestor of yours. I will not be surprised if yet another nymph decides to marry you, sir! To all of this, he would respond thus: "That was it. There was nothing that my ancestors could not do. If somebody can tell me some deed of any of my forefathers which he could not have performed, I would give that fellow a hundred gold coins. Here's the amount," saying so, he would dangle a pouch in front of his listeners. One day, he found nobody who could narrate any new anecdote to him. Those present had already repeated their stories and none could think of spinning any new yarn. Just then a poor farmer came to meet the landlord with an appeal.

The landlord's clerk had imposed on him a tax of one silver coin for a certain crop he had raised. The farmer thought it unjust. "Why do you bother about one silver coin? You can win hundred gold coins if you know of any wonderful deed of any of my ancestors," said the landlord, though he did not hope much from the farmer. "I can tell you something which your great grandfather did, which nobody else could have done, not even the king or the king's father or his grandfather or his great grandfather!" asserted the farmer. "Is that so?" said the landlord, pleasantly surprised. "But I must find his feat to be incredible myself. Your saying so would not do." "Naturally, sir, who am I to judge?" agreed the farmer. "Now, come out with your story!" said the landlord sitting alert. So did the others. The farmer narrated the story. Once the landlord's great grandfather, who was a great landlord, was on his way to a distant temple. He was accompanied by his friends, clerks, and servants. He rode on a palanquin while the others walked. At noon, he decided to take a little rest under a huge tree. As he sat down, a passer-by told him, "Sir, there are numerous birds on this tree and they may spoil your clothes. Better move on to another spot."

"Must I, an illustrious landlord, care for birds?" said the great landlord and he did not budge. As he listened to the narration, the landlord remarked, "That's quite possible, nobody could have influenced him to do anything other than what he has decided to do." The farmer continued, But soon thereafter, a bird's dropping fell on his shirt. "Throw this shirt away and bring me a new one," said the great man. His servants removed the shirt and put a new one on him. A little later, another bird's dropping spoiled his shawl. "Throw this shawl and bring me a new one," he said. His servants obeyed him at once. "That too was quite possible. My great grandfather always carried with him a boxful of new clothes," commented the landlord, feeling very proud. Next, another bird spoilt his, magnificent slippers. He threw them away immediately and looked at his servants. They brought him a new pair of slippers. "Haha!" laughed the landlord. "I know, he must have done that. He cared for no loss. After all, he was my ancestor!" The farmer went on: A little later, another bird's dropping fell right on his head. "Throw away my head and bring me a new one!" ordered the great man. "But that is incredible!" exclaimed the landlord. "Thank you, sir. I've won my reward," said the farmer, happily grabbing the pouch. The landlord could not contradict him, for, some of those present were so amused that they even clapped their hands. The farmer bowed to all and went away with the windfall that came his way.

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