Hullo, hullo. It’s one of those Thursdays where I read a folktale that I’ve never read before and relay it for your enjoyment, mostly marvelling at the ridiculousness of it all. I love folktales. I love how weird and wonderful they can be, how different they can be across different cultures, and how they manage to stick around despite how incredibly old they are.
This week, we’re travelling to Japan for a tale with a very misleading title. It is called An Endless Story and yet it is quite possibly the shortest story in Favourite Folktales from around the World.
So, we jump right into the story and discover that the rats of Nagasaki have all jumped onto a ship to Satsuma because there is no food. All is going well, they’re on the ship, they’re sailing but then… they happen across another ship, equally filled with rats. These rats were from Satsuma (can you see where this is going?) making their way to Nagasaki because there is no food.
We have a dilemma on our hands and what do the rats decide to do?
(I’m not sure you’re ready for this. Are you ready for this?)
(Okay, okay. You’re ready.)
The decide to jump into the sea. And drown.
Of course, there was no other place in the whole of Japan that might have had food for them. They were clever enough to sail across the sea but apparently, geography was possibly not their strong suit.
So there you have it, An Endless Story made Endless only by the fact that the rats are jumping into the sea one-by-one and that it ends with an ellipsis.
Save a life, feed a rat.