The Kijimuna and The Poor Boy

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Once, long ago, there were two young boys who were friends.  One was from a rich family and the other was from a poor family.  The poor boy secretly envied the rich boy, but the rich boy would sometimes bully and humiliate the poor boy.  One time while visiting his friend, the poor boy became annoyed with his rich friend and ran into the mountains to hide.

While hiding in the mountains the boy fell asleep under a tree.  After a little while the boy heard "Haisai, haisai!".  As the boy woke he saw a kijimuna standing over him saying "haisai".  The boy responded "Haisai", and the kijimuna asked "Why are you hiding in the mountains?"  The boy replied that he was very poor and his friend was very rich and he was hiding because their families were too different.  The kijimuna said to the boy "If you become my friend, I can make you very rich."  The boy responded "If you can make my family rich I will be your friend forever."  The kijimuna then said, "If you disappoint me, I will leave and your family will be poor again, do you understand?".  The boy happy at the thought of being rich promised the kijimuna that he understood and he would never disappoint him.  With that the kijimuna said he would see the boy the following day.

The following day the kijimuna showed up at the boy's house as promised.  The two of them went to a nearby bridge and went fishing.  The kijimuna caught many fish.  He took out the eyes from the fish and gave them all to the boy.  The boy asked "Why are you giving me the fish?", and the kijimuna responded "Take these fish and sell them, you will be rich before you know it."  The kijimuna vanished and the boy took the fish to his village and sold all of the fish.  This same thing happened for many months.  Eventually the poor boy sold so many fish his family became richer than everyone else in the town.

Then one day the boy said to himself, "Today I won't go with the kijimuna, I will go see my friend."  So the boy visited his old friend.  The kijimuna came to the boy's house and couldn't find him anywhere, and he thought to himself "I have been deceived by humans many times, the boy has broken his promise."

The boy had fun with his friend, and at the end of the visit he thought, "I had a great day even though I did the kijimuna wrong.  Everything will be ok though, we are already very rich."  The boy went home and went to sleep.  When the boy woke up all of the money was gone, as was everything he ever bought with the money.  The boy never saw the kijimuna again.

From Uchinaguchi Folktakes: Okinawa's Old Folktale Book, by Massaki Nagata (2005)
「うちなー口」で語り聞かせるふる里の民話―沖縄の昔話 単行本 - 長田 昌明
Translated by Scot Mertz