The Old Man with a Lump


A long, long time ago, in a certain place, there lived an old man with a big lump on his cheek. Whenever the old man was cutting firewood, the lump kept swinging and swinging. It was a lump that really got in the way. But the old man didn’t worry about it at all. He was a very relaxed old man.


In the same village there lived another old man with a lump on his cheek. Perhaps it was because the lump on his cheek got in the way and really bothered him, but this old particular man was always angry and in a bad mood.


One day, the relaxed old man was cutting wood deep in the forest when suddenly, out of the blue, it started to rain, drip, drip, drip. Soon, in the shake of a lamb’s tail, it was pouring down. “This is completely hopeless! If I stay out here, I’ll catch a cold.” So saying, the old man rushed under a big tree to take shelter from the rain there. After a while, the old man fell fast asleep.


Eventually it stopped raining, and the bright moon came out, but even so the old man stayed fast asleep, snoring loudly. In no time at all, it was midnight. And then, coming from who knows where, for who knows what reason, he began to hear lively festival-like music. “Huh? Where can that be coming from?” When the old man, who had completely woken up by now, headed in the direction of the music, he was completely floored. “Whaaaattt?!”


To his amazement, a group of monsters who lived deep in this forest, were in a circle singing and dancing! Dah dah dee dum, dah dah dee dum


There were red monsters, blue monsters, black monsters, big monsters, small monsters. All of them were drinking, singing, and having a great time.


The old man, who at first had been afraid, after a while forgot his fear and without thinking, joined in the dancing himself. “Oh, this is a really fun dance!”


Because the old man’s dancing was so good and he was enjoying himself so much, the monsters started dancing with the old man.


Finally the leader of the monsters stood up and held hands with the old man and danced with him. The relaxed old man and the cheerful monsters kept on dancing, completely forgetting about the time. Eventually, the sky in the east grew bright. Dawn had come already.


“Cock a doodle doo!” “Oh, the first cock of the dawn has crowed.” Once it becomes morning, the monsters have to return to their homes.


“Hey, old man, come and dance again tonight. I’ll keep this lump of yours till then. If you come tonight, you can have it back, OK?” And the leader of the monsters plucked the old man’s lump off his face. Instinctively, the old man stroked his cheek. “Oh, my lump has gone!” Without leaving any scar or causing any pain, the old man’s lump had cleanly disappeared!


 After that, the old man returned to his village. Thrilled with what had happened to him the previous night, he told the other old man with a lump on his cheek all about it.


“What! The monsters took off your lump?!” This old man was really envious. “Right! If that’s the case, I’ll also get my lump taken away by the monsters.”

So, when evening came, the second old man with a lump set out for the depths of the forest. At last, he began to hear the sound of the festival music.


 “If I go to where the sound’s coming from, they’ll take away my lump!” So the old man walked towards the place where the monsters had gathered in a circle and were dancing. But the moment he saw the monsters’ scary faces, his legs began to tremble and he couldn’t walk any further.


“I’m a.. a.. a.. afraid.”


But unless he went to where the monsters, he wouldn’t be able to have them take away his lump. So the old man at last gathered his courage and threw himself in front of the monsters.


“Hey, we’ve been waiting for you!”


“Please do a funny dance again for us tonight!”


The monsters were very happy.


But there was no way that the old man, who was so frightened of the monsters that he couldn’t stop trembling, could be expected to do any kind of funny dance.


“Hey, what’s that terrible dancing?” Because the old man’s dancing skills were so poor, the leader of the monsters gradually fell into a bad mood. Then he became angry and yelled, “You fool, you’re a hopeless dancer! I’ll give you back what you left behind last night. But never come back here again!”


And that’s how the other old man ended up getting a second lump on his cheek.



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