A Dokkaebi’s Gratitude
A long time ago, in a certain town, there was a considerably poor man. Unable to stand his condition any longer, went beneath the bridge that was just outside of town and laid out some dog meat and a keg of wine, crying,
“Brother Dokkaebi! Uncle Dokkaebi! I have something good for you!”
Some dokkaebi appeared and when they had eaten everything up, he asked them for help. As expected, this caused the dokkaebi great fury, but because they had eaten well, they remembered their manners and replied quite seriously,
“Thank you. How do you want us to return the favor? If you have a wish, tell us.”
“I am beset with many troubles and as I was born with no money, I don’t even have one naked leaf to my name.”
The dokkaebi nodded quite seriously, “Yes, yes, in that case we’ll help you. Certainly we’ll help you.”
The pauper slept for many days. One extremely cold day, when he all but starved for dinner, there was a sound outside his hut.
“Good sir! Do you have a niece? I have a gift for her.”
When he went out, what should he see? Just outside his door herbs sprouted everywhere, but were all frozen dead. The poor man’s stomach twisted, but he was patient. The next night he heard the dokkaebi just outside his door.
“Put this on.”
When he went again, what should he see? Just outside his door, caught on a branch, was an old cotton skirt, trembling in the winter breeze.