A long, long time ago, in a certain place, there lived an old man. He had a dog named Pochi. One day, Pochi started barking in the garden behind the house, “Woof, woof!” The old man went to see what the matter was. Wherever the dog barked, “Dig here, woof! Dig here, woof!” the old man used his hoe to dig up the garden. To his amazement, piles and piles of small and large gold coins came up out of the ground.
Next door to the old man, there lived a mean old man. The mean old man felt jealous of the first old man, because he had become so rich. “Please lend Pochi to me too!” he begged the good old man. The mean old man took Pochi home and said to him, “Right. Find some small and large gold coins for me as well!” But Pochi remained silent.
“Hurry up and find the money! If you don’t find it, this is what I’ll do to you!” So saying, the mean old man hit Pochi with a pole. Pochi ran away into the field and barked out, “Woof, woof!”
“Oh, so you’ve found some small and large gold coins, haven’t you!”
But when the mean old man dug up the ground at the place where Pochi had barked, all he found was a whole lot of broken tiles and pieces of cracked bowls. The mean old man was so angry at this that he hit Pochi until the poor dog died.
The good old man had no choice but to bury the dead Pochi in the field behind his house. When he did so, a tree sprouted up on Pochi’s grave, and grew tall right before the old man’s eyes.
The good old man cut down the tree and made it into a mortar. When he used the mortar to make mochi rice cakes, a whole lot more small and large gold coins came out of the rice cakes!
The mean old man saw this and came over again to borrow the mortar. But when he made mochi rice cakes in the same mortar, all he got once again was broken tiles and pieces of cracked bowls. The mean old man got very angry and burned the mortar.
The good old man had no choice but to go and collect the ashes from the burned mortar and take them home. After a while, a lord came past. The good old man climbed up a dead cherry tree, and, spreading the ashes from the burned mortar over it, said, “Let’s have flowers grow on this dead tree! Let’s have flowers grow on this dead tree!”
When he did so, the tree, which until then had been dead, burst into blossom with cherry flowers all over the tree. The lord was so pleased that he gave the good old man many rewards.
When the mean old man saw this, he took some ashes that were left over and climbed up the tree. Then, when the lord passed by again, the mean old man spread the ashes on the tree, saying, “Tree, bloom, bloom! If you don’t, I’ll get mad at you!”
But the tree didn’t blossom into flower at all. Moreover, some of the ashes went into the lord’s eye, making him very angry. Then the angry lord arrested the mean old man and put him in prison.