One night a boy set a bamboo fish trap in a small
river. In the morning, when he arrived at the river and took up the fish trap, he got
nothing. He looked inside, and all he saw were some fish scales and some bones left in the
fish trap. The boy didn't know why. He was upset. "Who stole all my fish?" he
wanted to know.
The next day, he went there again for a second time, and someone
had stolen his fish again like the first time. At that time, the river was a little dry,
and so, in the mud along the bank, he could see small footprints like children had been
walking around his fish trap.
The boy was very angry, so he followed the small prints until he
got to a place where the river widened into a big pond. The small foot prints stopped
there, and he found an evil forest spirit. He asked the evil forest spirit,"Where are
my fish? I came here to pick up my fish. Every morning I go to my trap, and it is empty. I
think that you are the one who stole all my fish."
The evil forest spirit answered, "No. I am
not the one who stole your fish."
The boy said to the evil forest spirit, "You
see these foot prints? I followed them from my trap to here where you are. They are
The evil forest spirit answered, "Don't talk
too much! If you talk too much, I will catch you and eat you right now."
The boy answered, "If that is all you have to say to me, it
means you are guilty. You robbed all my fish to eat."
The boy was convinced that he knew who had robbed his fish, but
there was nothing he could do about it. He returned home and never went back to catch fish
at that spot again.