Shiro and the Gold

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Long ago, in Japan, there lived an old couple who had a dog called Shiro.

The old man and woman were poor and they lived a simple life. All they wanted was enough money to buy rice for themselves and Shiro. But year by year their savings grew smaller. They worried that soon there would be no money for rice.

One day the old man and woman were working hard in their garden. Shiro ran here and there, sniffing the ground. Suddenly he started digging a hole and barking loudly.

"Be quiet, Shiro," said the old woman.

But shiro kept barking and digging, so the old man went to see what the dog had found. He poked a stick into the hole and felt it strike something hard. He dug further and uncovered a small box. When the old man opened the box he was amazed to see it was full of golden coins - enough to buy rice for the rest of the year!

But their greedy neighbour heard of this good fortune and he was jealous. He followed Shiro, digging holes wherever the dog sniffed, but he found nothing. Finally the neighbour flew into a rage and killed poor Shiro.

The old couple cried when they learned that Shiro was dead, for they loved the old dog dearly.

Then one night, the ghost of Shiro appeared to them.
"You loved and cared for me," said Shiro's ghost, "and now I shall care for you.
Tomorrow, cut down the pine tree in the garden. Mix some splinters from the tree into a pot of rice." Then the ghost vanished.

The next day the old man chopped down the pine tree and the old woman cooked a pot of rice. She stirred in the splinters and peerted into the pot.
"Look," she cried, her eyes filled with wonder. "Each grain of rice is turning into a golden coin! We shall have money for rice for the rest of our lives!"

The old couple smiled sadly as they thought of Shiro. Even though he had died, their faithful old dog had not forgotten them.

1 said...:

Joe Sam said...

is this from childcraft?