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 The Greatest One of All

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Poco

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Number of posts : 856
Localisation : High in the Rocky Mountains
Registration date : 2007-03-11

PostSubject: The Greatest One of All   Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:07 pm

Hey everyone. This isn't my own story, it's actually an old Japanese folktale. I like it a lot, though. I'm sure you can guess why.
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Once, long ago in feudal Japan there lived a father and his daughter. The father was a proud man, of noble bearing and great wealth and privilege. When the time came that his daughter, Chuko, was ready to marry, the father decided that she should marry the greatest one of all.
And so he went to see his friend the Emperor, for surely he would marry such a beautiful girl from such a noble family. "No, my friend." Was the Emperor's reply. "No? You would not marry my daughter?" The father was taken aback. "I would gladly marry Chuko, for she is beautiful, and you are a good friend. But I am not the greatest one of all, for when Sun beats down even I must take shade. Go see Sun, for he must marry your daughter.
So the father climbed to the top of a hill outside the city and called out to the sun. "Sun! Sun, hear me for my daughter Chuko would be married and I would have her marry the greatest one of all! The emperor himself must hide his face from your glory and so she shall marry you!" Sun glared down at him silently for a moment and then replied: "No. I am not the one you seek. For although my rays scorch even the mightiest creatures, when Cloud covers the the sky I must submit to hide behind him. Go seek Cloud."
And so the father wearily continued his climb, this time into the mountains. At the top of the highest peak he looked out and saw Cloud gathered about him. "Cloud! Please tell me you are the greatest one of all. I have seen the Emperor, I have spoken to the Sun. I am told that even that mighty being must hide behind you when you wish it. Are you the mightiest creature there is?" Cloud didn't even hesitate. "No, father. I am not. For when Wind blows I flee before him. Go talk to Wind, for he is mightier than I."
The old man sighed, but he was determined. So he walked back down the mountain and into the valley below, where the wind howled between the hills. He braced himself and shouted above the din. "Wind! Please be still and hear my plea! I must find the greatest one of all to marry my beloved Chuko! I have heard that the mighty Cloud which covers the sky flees before your power! Are you the greatest one of all?" The wind paused in his commotion. He thought long and hard about the father's question. Finally he said simply: "No. For although I move Cloud, and tear up trees, and even knock down great buildings. Although I move the ocean itself, there is one who stands firm against me. It is the ancient Wall who sits in the field outside of town. I have tried for centuries, but Wall will not budge. He must be the great one you seek.
With a heavy heart, the noble father returned to the city and walked into the field outside the gates. There he found the ancient Wall which had stood since time immemorial. It had long defended the city from invasion and marked the edge of the Emperor's territory. He knelt before the wall and spoke. "Oh mighty Wall, I have journeyed long and far. I hear that you can stand against Wind, who's power moves Cloud, who's body blocks Sun, who's rays make the Emperor himself hide his face. If this is so than you are the one I seek. I must find the mightiest one of all, that he may marry my daughter, Chuko. Are you that creature?
No, sir. I am not. For while it is true that for centuries all have broken against my stones, soon I shall be no more. One tunnels within my very body and burrows beneath my mighty foundations. This powerful creature will soon cause me to fall, for so great is his skill that no wall can hold him back. He is the one you seek."
"Who is this wondrous being?" asked the father in awe. "Look between my stones and you shall see him." said the wall. The man looked as ordered and there within the very stones of the wall sat Ko Nezumi, the field mouse. And so it came to pass that the beautiful daughter of the powerful nobleman married a common field mouse, for he was the greatest one of all.
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