This is bedtime story for children. Once upon a time, in a certain village of Japan, there lived a good old man and a bad old man. One day, the good old man went into the mountains to work. Suddenly, he heard some voices calling from somewhere.
The voices repeatedly asked him, “Shall we hold fast to you or stick fast to you?” Finally, without thinking anything, the old man replied, “If you want to hold fast, hold fast! If you want to stick fast, stick fast!”
At once, lumps of gold and silver came flying. The treasure landed on his shoulders and back until it made him groan. He carried all the gold and silver to his home and spread it out in front of his wife.
The old man told her how he got the treasure. When they were talking and looking at the treasure, the bad old man watched them from the window. He was very jealous.
The bad old man went to the couple’s house. “I want to do that, too, and bring home gold and silver on my back,” he said.
So, the next day, the bad old man set out into the same mountains. As he had expected, the voices called him from both sides of the mountain. “Shall we stick fast to you or hold fast to you?” they called.
In great excitement, the bad old man answered, “If you want to hold fast, hold fast! If you want to stick fast, stick fast!”
This time, a huge amount of pulp came flying down from the tops of the pine trees. It landed on the old man’s shoulders and back until he was heavily loaded. He rushed home.
“Granny, granny, I’m home! Hurry! Bring a light and let’s see,” he called. The old woman quickly brought the light. But as soon as she came close to the old man, the pulp caught fire. The old man was badly burnt.