The 22-year-old informant was born in South Korea and moved to the U.S. at a very young age. She chose to share this story because it is commonly told in Korean culture.
“So in this one folktale, there’s this traveler, who needs a place to stay so he asks this farmer if he can stay in his house, and the farmer’s like, ‘No, but you can stay in the barn.’ So he’s sleeping there and he sees this little girl running, and she drops a pearl and he sees a duck eat it. And then in the morning, he’s shaken awake by the farmer who’s like, ‘I’m gonna call the police! You stole my daughter’s pearl, it’s missing!’ and he’s like, ‘No I didn’t, just wait until your duck poops.’ So then the duck poops and they find it.”
The moral of the story is to be nice to people. According to the storyteller, this story is a common one amongst Korean people.
I find this piece interesting because it talks about such a simple concept that is a sign of human decency, however, it doesn’t always come naturally to everyone, which is why this story is more relevant and eye-opening that one would think at first. People are always quick to point fingers or let others take the blame for things and it’s important to remember not to assume anything.
For another version of this story, see Kim, Jinrak. The Generous Scholar. Seoul: Baramedia Publishing Inc., 2007. Print.