ONCE upon a time the King
of the Dragons, who had till then
lived as a bachelor, took it into his
head to get married. His bride was
a young Dragonette just sixteen
years old, lovely enough, in very
sooth, to become the wife of a
King. Great were the rejoicings
on the occasion.
The Fishes, both great and small,
came to pay their respects, and to
offer gifts to the newly wedded
pair; and for some days all was
feasting and merriment.
But alas! even Dragons have their
trials. Before a month had passed,
the young Dragon Queen fell ill.
The doctors dosed her with every
medicine that was known to them,
but all to no purpose. At last they
shook their heads, declaring that
there was nothing more to be done.
The illness must take its course, and
she would probably die. But the
sick Queen said to her husband:
"I know of something that will
cure me. Only feteh me a live Mon-
key's liver to eat, and I shall get
well at once." "A live Monkey's
liver!" exclaimed the King. "What
are you thinking of, my dear?
Why! you forget that we Drag-
ons live in the sea, while Monkeys
live far away from here, among
(he forest-trees on land. A Mon-
key's liver I Why! darling, you must
be mad." Hereupon the young
Dragon Queen burst into tears:
"I only ask you for one small
thing," whimpered she, "and you
won't get it for me, I always
thought you didn't really love me.
Oh! I wish I had staid at home
with my own m-m-m-mama and
my own papa-a-a-a!" Here her
voice choked with sobs, and she
could say no more.
Well, of course the Dragon King
did not like to have it thought that
he was unkind to his beautiful young
wife. So he sent for his trusty
servant the Jelly-FLsh, and said:
"It is rather a difficult job; but what
I want you to try to do is to swim
across to the land, and persuade a
live Monkey to come here with you.
In order to make the Monkey
willing to come, you can tell him
how much nicer everything is here
in Dragon-Land than away where
he lives. But what I really want
him for is to cut out his liver,
and use it as medicine for your
young Mistress, who, as you know,
is dangerously ill"
So the Jefly-Fish went off on his
strange errand. In those days he
was just like any other fish, with
eyes, and fins, and a tail. He even
had little feet, which made him able
to walk on the land as well as to
swim in the water. It did not take
him many hours to swim across to
the country where the Monkeys
lived; and fortunately there just
a fine Monkey
trees near the place where the Jelly-
Fish landed. So the Jelly-Fish said:
"Mr. Monkey! I have come to tell
you of a country far more beautiful
than this. It lies beyond the waves,
and is called Dragon-Land. There is
pleasant weather there all the year
round, there is always plenty of
ripe fruit on the trees, and there are
none of those mischievous creatures
called Men. If you will come with
me, I will take you there. Just
get on my back."
The Monkey thought it would be
fan to see a new country, So he
leapt on to the Jelly-Fish's back, and
off they started across the water.
But when they had gone about
half-way, he began to fear that
perhaps there might be some hidden
danger. It seemed so odd to be
fetched suddenly in that way by a
stranger. So he said to the Jelly-
Fish: "What made you think of
coming for me?" The Jelly-Fish
answered: "My Master, the King of
the Dragons, wants you in order to
cut out your liver, and give it as
medicine to his wife, the Queen,
who is sick."
" Oh! that's your little game, is it?"
thought the Monkey. But he kept
his thoughts to himsel^and only said:
"Nothing could please me better
than to be of service to Their
Majesties. But it so happens that
I left my liver hanging to a branch
of that big chestnut-tree, which you
found me skipping about on. A liver
is a thing that weighs a good deal.
So I generally take it out, and play
about without it during the day-time.
We must go back for it" -The
Jelly-Fish agreed that there was
nothing else to be done under the
circumstances. For, silly creature
that he was, he did not see that
the Monkey was telling a story in
order to avoid getting killed, and
having his liver used as medicine
for the fanciful young Dragon Queen.
When they reached the shore of
bounded off the
and up to the topmost branch of
the chestnut-tree in less than
no time. Then he said: "I do
not see my liver here. Perhaps
somebody has taken it away. But
I will look for it. You. mean-
time, had better go back and tell
your Master what has happened.
He might be anxious about you, if
you did not get home before dark."
So the Jelly-Fish started off a
second time; and when he got
home, he told the Dragon King
everything just as it had happened.
But the King flew into a passion
with him for his stupidity, and
hallooed to his officers, saying:
"Away with this fellow! Take him,
and beat him to a jelly! Don't let
a single bone remain unbroken in
his body!" So the officers seized
him^ and beat him, as the King had
1 I 'M.*fi^f
commanded. That is the reason why,
to this very day, Jelly-Fishes have
no bones, but are just nothing more
than a mass of pulp.
As for the Dragon Queen, when she
found she could not have the Mon-
key's liver, why! she made up her
mind that the only thing to do was
to get well without it.
p,-inted fy tht. Kobuntha in Tokyo, Japan.
FftlR TftiE SEilES.
' t - ^ '^
Momotaro or Little \
The Tongrue Cut Spar- ? ^
The Battle of the Mon- ) J -f*
key and 'the Crab. '! ^ gg ^
The Old Man who > ^ t ~
made the Dead Trees ; ^ * ^
Blossom, .. j^l: ^ 'J L.
Kachi-Kachi Moun- : . ^ 3
tain. : ^
The Mouse's Wedding. : ; ^ ~
The Old Man and the ( ** ^
Urashima, the Fisher-
ft I -
The Eight-Headed Ser-
W ^ la
The Matsuyama Mir-
^ 2 ? IL
The Hare of Inaba. A
1 5 12.
The Cub's Triumph. I
$\ \ 13 -
The Silly Jelly-Fish. | & J
jt * ^ 14t
The Princes, Fire-flash I ^ S
and Fu-e-fade. fm ^<? *g JH
^^ 1 ft.
-*j. : -