무 ~ radish
Now you’re probably thinking “didn’t she tag this ‘folktale’?”. Yes, I did, and we will get to that straight away.
When I found out that 무 is radish, I couldn’t help but chuckle “that is the sound that cows make” and then discarded the thought of making some crazy sample sentence about cows and radishes. That’s when my language partner told me that I don’t even need to make up a story myself, since there is actually a folktale including both a cow and radishes!
I know, I did a double take as well.
The story goes like this:
There once was a man who was so incredibly lazy that the Gods took offence. So as a punishment they turned him into a cow and told him to work hard. They also told him to never eat radishes lest he wanted to die.
The man worked hard as a cow, and thought about his lot in life. As time passed he grew tired by the continuous hard work, and thought he would be better off dying than working so hard all the time. He therefore thought long and hard about the radishes he was told not to eat if he held his life dear.
Eventually he couldn’t handle any more hardship and ate the radishes. Great was his surprise when he was transformed back into a human being!
Isn’t that a great story for remembering that 무~ radish? 🙂