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Korean Lesson 114 (한구말 수넙), A Traditional Korean Story (한국의 전통 이야기) 볍씨 한톨 (One Rice Seed)

엣날 어느 마을에 부자 영갑이 살았어요 (One upon a time, a rich man lived in a village.) 부자 영감에게는 며느리가 셋 있었어요. ( The rich man had three daughter in laws.) ‘첫째 며느리는 게으르고, 들째 며느리는 덤병대고, 셋째 머느리는 아직 어리고….’ (‘The first daughter in law was lazy, the second daughter in law was shy, and the third daughter in law was still young…’) 부자 영감은 어느 며느리에게 곳간 열쇠를 물려주어야 좋을지 각정이 되었어요. (The rich man had to make a decision about which daughter in law he should give the key to the barn.)

어느날, 부자 영감에세 좋은 생각이 떠올랐어요. (One day, the rich man had a good thought:) ‘그래! 볍씨 한 틀씩을 나눠 주고 어떤 며느리가 지혜로운지 시험을 하자.’ (‘Okay, let’s hand out the rice seeds one by one and test which daughter in law is wise.’) 부자 영감은 며느리둘을 불러 앉이고 말했어요: (The rich man called his daughter in laws and sat them down and said:) “이볍씨는 아주 귀한 것이니 잘 간직 해야한다.” (This rice seed is very valuable and should be taken good care of.”) 첫째 며느리는 볍씨를 멸리 전져 버렸어요. (The first daughter in law destroyed the rice seed.) ‘이까짓 볌씨 한 톨이 무슨 귀한 거라고.’ (After all, what kind of precious thing is a rice seed.’) 들째 며느리는 그 자리에서 볍씨를 먹어 버렀어요. (His second daughter in law ate the rice seed on the spot.)

‘아버님이 무슨 뜻으로 이볍씨 한 톨을 주셨을까?’ (‘What did your father mean to give you a grain of rice?’) 셋쩨 며느리는 볍씨를 들어다보다며 고개를 갸우뚱 생각하고 또 생각했어요. (The third daughter in law was listening to the rice seed, tilting her head and thinking and thinking.) ‘그래, 이걸로 재산을 불리라는 뜻일 거야.’ (‘Yes, it would mean using this to get a fortune.’)

셋째 며느리는 볍씰 한 톨과 소쿠리로 참새 한 마리를 잡았어요. (The third daughter in law caught a sparrow with the seed, a straw and a colander.)

그리고 장날이 되지 참새와 병아리를 맞바구어 왔어요. (And, it was the market day, and she traded sparrow for chicks.)

병아리가 암탉이 되고, 그 안탉이 되고 그 안탉이 알을 놓고 그 알이 다시 병아리가 되었어요. (The chicks became hens and roosters, and the hens laid eggs, and there were more chicks again.)

셋쩨 며느리는 그렿게 닭을 여러로 늘린 뒤 팔아서 새끼 돼지를 샀어요. ( The third daughter in law increased the number of chicks and used them to buy a piglet.)

새기 돼지가 어미 돼지가 되고, 또 다시 새끼들을 낳았어요. (The pig became a mother pig and gave birth.)

셋째 며느리는 돼지을을 팔아송아지를 샀어요. (The third daughter in law sold a pig and bought a calf.)

소아지가 자라 어미 소가 되고, 어미 소는 다시 송아지를 낳았지요. (The calf grew up and became a mother cow, and the mother cow gave birth to a calf again.)

어느날, 부자 염감이 며느리들을 부른 뒤 첫째 며느리에게 물었어요. (One day, the rich man called his first daughter in law and asked her a question.) “네가 준 볍씨를 어떻게 헸느냐?” (“How did you do with the rice seed I gave you?”) “땅에 버렸어요.” (“I threw it on the ground.”)

부자 영감은 들째 며느리에게 도 같은 것을 물었어요. (The rich man asked his second daughter in law the same thing.) ‘저는 그냥 먹어 버랐는 에요.” (“I just ate it as it was.”)

부자 영감은 마지막으로 셋째 며느리에게 물었어요. (The rich man finally asked his third daughter in law.) “막내야, 너는 어떻게 했느냐?” (“Youngest, how did you do?) 셋 마느리는 부자 영감을 넒은 눈과 밭으로 데려가, 볍씨 한 톨이 논 밭이 된 이야기를 들려주었어요. (She had been inspired by the large fields of rice and told him the story of how the seed became a field.)

“우리집 곳간 열쇠는 너에게 주마.” (“I will give you the key to my barn.”) 부자 영감은 셋째 며 느리에게 곳간 열쇠를 주었어요. (The rich man gave the key to his third daughter in law.)

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