Tea Time Tales - Truly Rich
Enjoy this tale with a luxury cup of green tea.
Once upon a time, there lived a rich old man surnamed Yun. One day, he had a strange dream. In his dream, a mountain god with a long, white beard appeared and said to him, “Listen. The richest man in your village will die around noon tomorrow. So prepare for the man’s funeral and hold the ceremony in a grand way.”
The dream was so vivid that Yun could remember it clearly after he woke up. Since he believed that he was the wealthiest man in the village, Yun began to worry about his fate. Although he felt perfectly healthy, he felt uneasy about the ominous dream. He suspected that he had already developed a fatal disease.
Early in the morning, he hurriedly sent his servant for a doctor. He promised to give half of his wealth to any doctor who could cure his disease. The rumor quickly spread around the town. A number of doctors swarmed to Yun’s house in the hope of grabbing the golden chance to become rich. But they all had to turn back because there was nothing wrong with Yun’s health. On the contrary, the old man seemed even healthier than any other young man. As the doctors all left, Yun became even more nervous.
It was after noon, but Yun was still alive and well. He was relieved. But he didn’t think it was just a silly dream. Now he began to wonder if anyone in the village was in fact richer than he was. He asked his servant if there was anyone who died around noon that day. The servant replied that a poor old man with the last name Park passed away at noon.
Yun was very surprised because Park was the poorest man in the village. He was so poor that he couldn’t even afford underwear in the middle of winter. Yun couldn’t believe his ears. He went to Park’s house himself to see what was going on. Park’s shabby house was bustling with lots of people. It seemed almost all residents in the village gathered there. And they were all lamenting over the death of Park, shedding tears. A villager said, “Park was such a good man. He would give everything he had to others.” Another villager also said, “Right. He was always willing to help other people. So many people owe him a big favor.” Other villagers said, “He might be one of the poorest men, but in mind he was always rich.”
Hearing what the villagers were saying, Yun felt deeply ashamed. He had believed that he was the richest man in the village. But now, he realized that Park was richest he was loved by others while he was alive and even after death. Yun looked back on his own past and reflected on himself. And as the mountain god instructed in his dream, he held a funeral for the deceased man in a magnificent way.