The Non-eating Wife
Long long ago, there was a hard-working man. Whenever his neighbors said
"Why don't you marry?" He answerd " If I marry, I have to get food for 2 people." and he
Oneday, a beautiful woman visited him and asked
" I won't eat and I will work hard, so let me be your wife please."
Then he decided to get marry to this woman. She had been working very hard without eating for several days.
The man wondered why she could work without eating and he pretended to go to work, backed home secretly,
observed the wife from the loft.
After the man left home, the wife cooked rice with a big pot then she took her clothes off. She made many riceballs and through them into a mouth on
her back. She ate whole rice in the pot in a minutes. The man saw this then went to the
rice field. He said " What a terrible woman" by himself.
In that evening, he came home from work as if he didn't know anything and said to his wife
"You've been worked very hard and I appriciate you very much, but I want to
divorce. Please leave this house."
She answared " It was me who asked you to get marry. I'll leave, but before that could you make a bucket for me?"
"Sure." The man made a bucket.
" This is a nice big one! Why don't you get into it?"
"Sure." When the man got into the bucket, the wife put on the lid and ran into the mountain with the bucket on her
"Drop me off! Drop me off!" How loudly he screamed, she didn't stop. When the man looked above, there was a branch.
He jumped to it and could escape. She didn't notice his escape and kept running. The man chased the wife.
In the heart of the mountain, she stopped running and said
" I'm home! I got a nice food. Come on!"
Then many spiders came out and looked inside of the bucket.
" It is empty" they said to her.
" You are kidding. There must be a food I got... Oh, when did he get off? Well, I'll go to his house tonight, down along the pothook( which is above the
hearth) and will catch him again."
The man heard this in the bushes and ran to his house. He gathered his neighbors and asked
" A monster of a spider will come to my house tonight,
down along the pothook and catch me. Please help me, please"
The young neighbors gathered his house, boiled water with a big pot on the hearth and waited the monster.
After a while thousands of little spiders came down from the ceiling along the pothook.
" Here they come!"
The young men dip spiders into the boiling water one after another. Then the
biggest spider came down along the pothook at last.
" Here it comes!"
They caught it and put it into the boiling water. With neighbors help, the man had a narrow escape.
This is why spiders are hated especialy at night in Japan.
Translator ： Mochiko