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Topic – The Broken Promise

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The Broken Promise

Based On a Japanese Folktale

Long, long ago, a young man was walking along a beach. He saw a group of children gathered in a circle. He went over to see what they were doing.

“Look, we have found a big turtle!” one of the children said. The other children were poking the turtle with sticks and throwing stones at it.

“Go away and find something else to do!” the young man said angrily. The children all ran off.

“You are very kind,” the turtle said to the young man. “I would like to invite you to my secret castle. Please climb on my back and I will take you there.” The young man climbed on the turtle’s back and the turtle swam out in the ocean. Then the turtle dived under the waves and took the man to his underwater castle.

The turtle called for food, and servants brought out a huge feast. The young man had never eaten such tasty food. When it was time for the young man to go back to land, the turtle said, “I am going to give you two boxes. You must promise to open only one.”

“I promise,” said the young man. When he got back to land, he opened the largest box. He found it was full of gold. “I am rich!” said the young man, and he was very happy.

Then the young man looked at the other box. “It must be full of money too,” he said. He knew he should not, but he opened the box anyway.

Right away, all his hair turned white. His face was full of wrinkles. He looked like a very old man for the rest of his life.

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