Here is a folk tale from Korea, in honor of the approaching Chinese New Year.
The Rabbit and the Dragon King
Long, long ago, there was a Dragon King who ruled a kingdom beneath the Southern Sea. Mighty though he was, this monarch was laid low by a lingering illness. All his physicians consulted together and determined that only the liver of a rabbit could cure him.
The Dragon King summoned all his followers: the whales, squids, fishes and crabs. He asked who would go and fetch a rabbit’s liver. Now the surface of the land was as mysterious and forbidding to these denizens of the deep as the undersea is to land dwellers. Everyone was afraid to go. After much hemming and hawing, a lowly turtle stepped forward.
“Majesty, I can breathe the air and my shell protects me. Allow me to go in search of the rabbit.”
The Dragon King…
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