Friday, April 5, 2019

E is for Eggplants vs Ghosts (A to Z Challenge 2019: Fruit Folktales)

No, this is not the sequel to Plants vs Zombies, but it's close.
Also, yes, eggplant is technically a fruit.

Among many, many folktales collected from Japan's Niigata Prefecture, and compiled by Fanny Hagin Mayer, there is an especially fun story about mushroom ghosts.

Story goes that behind a certain village shrine, every midnight the sounds of music and singing could be heard. No one was brave enough to investigate, until one night a young man decided to pluck up the courage and see what's up. Walking behind the shrine at midnight, he came across a crowd of Little Folk singing and dancing merrily. He asked them who they were, and the little figures told him they were mushroom ghosts. The young man, thinking quickly, told them he was a human ghost. Having established ghost rapport, they started to chat, and the little folk asked the man what he was especially afraid of. "Gold coins," he told them, without missing a beat "And you?" Turns out, the mushroom ghosts were deadly afraid of salty eggplant juice.

As the party got wilder, the mushrooms started having fun by throwing gold coins at the young man, who pretended to be terrified, amusing the little folk to no end. In the morning, the young man collected the gold, went home, and made a bucket of salty eggplant juice. The following night he returned to the party, and threw juice at the ghosts with a ladle. In the morning, all that was left of them was a bunch of shriveled up mushrooms.

(You can also find the story in this book)

As fun as eggplant-allergic, money-throwing mushroom party ghosts are, I am a little sad about how this story ends. What do you think?

23 comments:

  1. Definitely not a nice young man - surely it was enough to get all that money?

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  2. How sad. They were just having a party.

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  3. I'm very sad. I love mushrooms. I actually forage for wild mushrooms. Date Night to Avoid Burnout

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  4. The young man was brave enough to venture and find out the source of the noise. He became rich after his adventure.

    https://ideasolsi65.blogspot.com/2019/04/eye-parts-of-body.html

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  5. Here in Mumbai we have a variety of egg-plants.( we call it bringal here). I make vegetable (sabzi) out of it.

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  6. Bad bad man.. I would have liked if he had just gone to the party and collected more gold coins..

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  7. Why did he do that, silly man? The idea would be to go back to the party night after night...talk about killing the goose that laid golden eggs!!

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  8. It seems very rude to throw egg-plant juice at them when they had invited him to their party. And, on a purely mercenary angle, since they kept throwing gold at him, wouldn't it have been better to keep them around?
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - Ghost Stories

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  9. This is something like cutting the goose which laid the golden eggs. Poor mushroom ghosts (what imagination though!)

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  10. interesting story but, as far as I'm concerned, not exactly the type of story I would tell my children.
    Mushrooms are my favourite photographic subjects, they don't move around and are really beautiful to photograph from almost any angle.
    Egg plant, can't stand it.
    Blessings from Geoff in South Africa.

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  11. Mm, he was probably afraid of retaliation -- the Little Folk can be capricious.

    Ronel visiting from the A-Z Challenge with Music and Writing The E

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  12. A fun story indeed albeit with a sorry ending for the ghosts! If I'd written this is would have been A for Aubergine as that's what's they are called here in the UK. Interestingly, aubergine is the French word for eggplant!

    My A-Z of Children's Stories

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  13. I think he was clever, and not nearly so bad as that princess yesterday who stole from a king, taunted the prince, and got rewarded for it! I didn't like her one bit.
    I liked the story. I hate mushrooms (one stray slice ruins a pizza for me) AND eggplant! So, poisonous eggplant juice killing mushrooms? My kind of story!

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  14. Sad story, poor mushrooms! But I love eggplants ;)

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  15. I really enjoyed this one - I think there's a real charm in those tales in which crafty folk outsmart supernatural beings.
    Thank you for sharing it.

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  16. Oh my! That is funny--and mean. I mean, I guess they did spend the evening throwing gold coins at him because they thought he was afraid of 'em, which isn't very nice; still, he made good money out of it, so throwing eggplant juice at them seems pretty petty.

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  17. Amusing story really! I am sad the way it ended though... but, glad I came across such folktale about eggplants. Thanks you for sharing. Can't guess what your next post will feature.

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  18. The story was quite entertaining and I especially enjoyed the boy's quick wit to say he was a human ghost. Unfortunately, the plot took an unexpected and deadly turn which sort of eliminates it as a children's story. Well told, though.
    http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com/
    E is for: Elderly Fare at Cork Market

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  19. oh dear. shriveled up? poor mushrooms. i agree there could have been a happier ending but not many fairytales really do have happy endings.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

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  20. To be fair, the mushrooms thought they were being mean to the young man and having a blast tormenting him, so I can't feel too terribly sorry for him. On the other hand, eggplant juice is a terrible way to go -- eggplants are one of the few veggies (or fruits, if you prefer) that I really dislike.
    Black and White: E is for Emela-ntouka

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  21. Fascinating story - and you tell it so well. The mom in me had to go back and read it because mushrooms and gold coins and I am instantly thinking of my children's super mario adventures. Everywhere else I am pro-mushroom and anti-eggplant but not in this tale.

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  22. Well, they were being mean (or so they thought). Just not sure if Mushroomcide was warranted.

    Stuart
    Tale Spinning
    https://stuartnager.wordpress.com/

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