Kwan, Kwon, Quan discussed on Stories Podcast
An equal housing lender thanks enjoy the episode owed the plum pit thief once upon a time when korea had a king there was a hungry old man man named quon. He was too old to work and he'd outlived all his savings each day. He had a meager meal of rice and whatever wild greens he was able to gather it was a quiet life but it suited old kwan. He was a clever man and what he lacked in money. He made up for in books. They filled shelves along every wall of his home and when there wasn't enough food he filled himself with stories but sadly even the best stories won't keep your belly from grumbling when you run out of rice and that's exactly what happened to quan late one on fall. He looked for work but there was nothing for an old man like him. He tried to forage but the early frosts had killed anything edible. Oh soon kwon found himself starving and out of options with a heavy heart he headed into the market he found the stall of a rich merchant and when he thought no one was looking he stole a cup of rice just as much as he could grab with one shaky hand. Stop up thief came the guards ringing shout in an instant old kwan found himself staring down the gleaming edge of a sword. No oh i'm sorry he said pulling out the rice from his pocket. I was starving. Please here. Is your rice back too late for that. The guard said the king wants thieves punished harshly. You're going to see the judge. The guard bullied him into local jail and left him stewing in a cell after a lot of waiting. He was brought to the court there. The judge looked at him for barely a moment faith and caught red handed. What do you have to say for yourself well. I've never been a thief before. I ran out of food and i won't have more money until the market next week. I just didn't want want to starve. I'm sorry a thief is a thief is a thief and the king wants thieves punished harshly. You are to pay. Hey a fine of ten copper. Coins coins mouth fell open ten copper coins would feed him for a month for many months if if he was careful your honor if i had ten copper coins to spare i would have purchased food. I only stole because i have nothing thing please. I returned the rice. Have mercy what i'm hearing is you can't pay well by order of the king. Being your sentenced to five years in the dungeons old kwan tried to argue but he was dragged away by two burly guards. It's they dumped him. Unceremoniously in a cell underground it was bare stone with one tiny window set up near the ceiling. Being there was a bucket for the bathroom and a pallet of straw for a bed once a day his jailers would bring him a meal of worm. E scraps in a paper bowl. There was just enough in there to keep quan from starving but that was only food quan was clever and in the cell well he was starving for his books for his stories for interesting conversations with strangers at the market and the temple the most interaction he'd had in days was when a bird dropped a plump it by the window he moved too fast and scared the bird away though and watching it soar or into the distance he felt more trapped than ever no. It was worse than just food. He was starving for in his spirit and he knew oh that if he didn't get out soon the weight of being in prison would carry him to his grave. That can't happen. He decided he had to be strong. Instead of panicking he turned inward thinking of all he knew and started on a plan. He was after all all a clever man. The next day kwan called for the guard. She came in with her sword half drawn a sneer on her face. What is it prisoner. She barked. I have a gift for the king. He replied calmly. The guard laughed enrolled enrolled her. Is you have a gift for the king. That's ridiculous your a prisoner. I may be a prisoner kwan replied but i was given a magic gift by a lucky spirit. It told me on this gift will make you rich beyond imagining oh yeah. Why should i believe you. The guard asked her brows narrowed and she loosened her sword in its scabbard bird. If i'm lying i'd be executed. Why would i take that chance. The guard looked at him for a long time time fine. You can present your gift but you better hope that you're telling the truth. A few long cold in hungary days later old clever kwon found himself being dragged to the royal quarters. It was beautiful all paul intricately carved with grand thrown at the far end on the throne set the king broad and regal alongside the throne on the ambbassador the general and the prime minister all proud and royal looking in their own right a crowd of others there to view the day's decisions packed the sides of the hall. Well thief boomed the king. You peaked my curiosity but i don't don't have the time share your gift or face. The axe clone nodded and pulled from his pocket a pale white ball. It was origami folded from a few of his paper bowls. He unwrapped it slowly lovingly as though it were the most fragile thing in the world the court looked on with wonder inside was the gnarled plum pit. The bird had dropped near his window. It was nothing special but they didn't know that king. I was given this magic plum pit by an ancient spirit. If you plant this you'll grow nothing but plums of solid gold. There was a murmur in the court well if that's true. Why did you not plan to yourself. I see your in jail for stealing and not being able to pay the fine. Surely you could use some gold yourself alas said kwan with all the sadness he could muster. The spirit told me it will only work if it's planted by someone appeal or of heart someone who has never stolen or cheated. I thought surely the king with his famous hatred of thieves would be the best best man to plant it. The king looked at kwon older clever kwan and shook his head sadly ma. I cannot be the one to plant this. He said and the crowd gasped. When i was a boy. I stole a knife from my father. He said i wasn't wasn't ready yet and i wanted. It doesn't matter. I cannot plan to the seed. I understand your highness. Kwon said ambassador. How about yourself <hes> no i <hes> i don't think so the ambassador blustered he was i was thinking about how he had taken bribes in order to make favourable suggestions to the king well then how about you general the general look down at his boots suddenly ashamed he had kept copper coins men for his soldiers and had wasted them gambling. No oh not me. Quan put a desperate look on his face a pity but maybe prime minister surely you can plan this and harvest the golden plums. The prime minister was a famously honest woman but even she shook her head head she too had taken bribes over the years and her face flushed red with shame is they're non here. Among all you important orden decision makers that can plant this tree there were grumbles and mutters and no one came forward. The king's face paled old. He looked sick on his throne. Then kwun old clever kwan started to laugh he didn't mean to you but just seeing the look on all their faces pushed him over the edge and what's so funny. The king demanded oh you <music> all kwan laughed you take bribes and favors and carelessly steal more coins than i'll ever see in my life and then you put me in prison over over a handful of rice ten copper coins for rice. I stole because i was starving and you're fine. Put me in jail. You all have more money johnny then you know what to do with and still you still and then lock me away. His laughter died and he looked up at king with serious is your highness. I tried to take a handful of rice and i didn't even succeed for that crime. I'll have to rot in your dungeons for five years. The king looked embarrassed but finally he looked up and met kwanzaa is please as my king if you truly believe in justice you know this isn't right. The king sat on the throne. He licked his lips and shook his ahead slowly. I believe we should take up a collection for this man. Let anyone in my core who was too afraid to plant the plum. Give a a bit. I'll start myself. The king summoned a serving man who returned with a small leather purse. It was passed around the room mm-hmm and quietly sheepishly filled. When it got back to the king he opened it up and counted out ten copper coins then he cinched pinched the bag and threw it to quan mid seems that gore fine has been paid friend. He said more than that. You've taught us all all of valuable lesson. It's easy to make laws and to pass judgment but so too. Is it easy to get carried away. I will look at to these thieving fines. I have made perhaps perhaps i was too hard on the poor. Thank you your highness. Kwan said with the bow you honor me. You've honored yourself and that purse is your payment. You may go free but i i require one more orth thing from you. Yes your highness. You must leave the plummeted with me real. Oh rely. I don't care it will stay jay here in my quarters and serve as a reminder for all of us of course your highness kwan said and then croissant on old clever kwan. He left the pit and took the purse. He's strolled out of the palace whistling to himself. Once more of freeman he returned happily home to his books and he never went hungry again. The end today's story the plum pit beef was an adaptation of a korean fable written for you by daniel hynes and perform for you. Buy me amanda weldon. If you would like to support stories podcast you can leave us a five star review on. 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