Tales of the Sea Palace
Shim Cheong, The Rabbit and the Turtle
❖ The First Tale ❖
～The Rabbit and the Turtle～
A long time ago, there was a rabbit and a turtle.
The rabbit was quick on its feet, so it always made fun of the slow turtle.
One day, as usual, the rabbit teased the turtle slowly walking by,
to which the turtle said:
"I'll race you up that mountain. You're fast, but I will win."
With many animals watching, the race began.
The rabbit sprinted away and was almost at the top of the mountain in an instant.
It saw the turtle still far away.
so it relaxed and decided to take a nap.
However, the persistent turtle went past the rabbit while it was sleeping.
The rabbit woke up to find that the turtle had passed it and hurried to the end,
but the race was already over.
❖ The Second Tale ❖
～The Tale of Shim Cheong～
There once lived a blind man and his daughter, Shim Cheong, who was hard-working and kind.
One day, Shim Cheong was late coming home, so the worried father went out to meet her, only to fall into a stream while crossing a bridge.
A monk, who happened to pass by, helped him and said,
"If you offer three hundred sacks of rice to Buddha, you will be able to see again."
The father then promised the monk to offer the three hundred sacks of rice.
When he returned home,
he realized that he did not have enough money to buy the rice and regretted making the promise.
After learning of her father's concern,
Shim Cheong silently decided to do whatever it takes to help her father.
Then one day, a group of sailors came to the village and said,
"We need a human offering for the Dragon King. We will give anything for the one who volunteers."
Hearing this, Shim Cheong volunteered and asked them for three hundred sacks of rice in return.
On the day they set sail, Shim Cheong bid her father farewell,
but he had no idea she was being offered to the Dragon King.
When the ship arrived at its destination,
Shim Cheong jumped into the sea, praying for her father to be able to see again.
When Shim Cheong opened her eyes in the depths of the sea,
the beautiful vista of the Dragon Palace filled her view.
The Dragon King was deeply moved by her story and love for her father,
so he decided to send her back on a large lotus flower.
All of a sudden, there appeared a gigantic lotus flower on the shore,
and the sailors who found it decided to offer it to the king.
When the king touched the flower, it bloomed, revealing the beautiful Shim Cheong within.
Shim Cheong married the king and lived a happy life,
but she cried every day worrying about her father.
The king decided then to hold a feast for the blind.
Shim Cheong's father seemed not to have attended the feast at first,
but he finally appeared near the end of the event.
When her father heard Shim Cheong's voice,
his eyes could miraculously see again, and the two embraced each other in tears.
Shim Cheong then brought her father into the palace and they all lived happily ever after.