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Smells And Jingles






Source: Japanese Fairy World

Yedo people are very fond of broiled eels. A rich merchant, named
Kisaburo, who was very miserly with his money, once moved his quarters
next door to the shop of one Kichibei, who caught and cooked eels for a
living. During the night Mr. Kichibei caught his stock in trade, and in
the day-time served them, smoking hot, to his customers. Cut into pieces
three or four inches long, they were laid to sizzle on a grid-iron over
red hot charcoal, which was kept in a glow by constant fanning.

Kisaburo, wishing to save money, and having a strong imagination, daily
took his seat at meal time close to his neighbor's door. Eating his
boiled rice, and snuffing in the odors of the broiled eels, as they were
wafted in, he enjoyed with his nose, what he would not pay for to put in
his mouth. In this way, as he flattered himself, he saved much money, and
his strong box grew daily heavier.

Kichibei, the eel-broiler, on finding this out, thought he would charge
his stingy neighbor for the smell of his eels. So, making out his bill he
presented it to Kisaburo, who seemed to be much pleased. He called to his
wife to bring his iron-bound money box, which was done. Emptying out the
shining mass of kobans (oval gold pieces, worth five or six dollars),
ichi-bu and ni-bu (square silver pieces, worth a quarter and a half
dollar respectively) he jingled the coins at a great rate, and then
touching the eel-man's bill with his fan, bowed, low and said with a
smile:



"All right, neighbor Kichibei, we are square now."

"What!" cried the eel-frier, "are you not going to pay me?"

"Why yes, I have paid you. You have charged me for the smell of your
eels, and I have paid you with the sound of my money."





Next: The Lake Of The Lute And The Matchless Mountain

Previous: The Sazaye And The Tai



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