The dancing skeleton
Ghost story from Japan.
Once upon a time there were two men, Jiro and Taro who were best friends. Taro took care of himself and always made plenty of money from his various businesses. Jiro, on the other hand, had both bad habits and seemed to be haunted by bad luck. He drank and gambled away his money. Once he had been robbed of the last pennies he had. The next day, both friends went out for a walk together. Jiro bemoaned his fate and explained that now he could not even afford to eat. Taro felt sorry for him and gave Jiro a big buck. But when Jiro saw how much money Taro had with him, his mind flew out of his head. When they came to a mountain pass, Jiro ambushed his friend and killed him with a rock. Then he took all the money and hid Taro's body under a bush.
Over the next year, Jiro spent Taro's money on even more gambling and drinking, and in the end he was just as poor again. One day he took a long walk and suddenly found himself standing in the very mountain pass where he had murdered his friend. Then he heard a voice calling to him from a bush. When he moved the branches away, he saw a human skeleton lying there. The voice came from the skeleton!
“Jiro, Jiro!” said the bone rattle. "Do you no longer recognize your friend whom you murdered and robbed? I have been waiting to see you again.”
Jiro was obviously terrified and tried to run away, but the skeleton grabbed him. “Don't be afraid, my friend!” said the skeleton. “I'm not mad at you anymore. I actually have a business proposition, if you're interested.” Jiro listened attentively. "You play the flute, after all. I could dance to your tunes and you charge me for the show. You can carry me around in a box.” The skeleton stood up and began to clatter and dance around. It looked both comical and terrifying. Jiro immediately realized how brilliant the skeleton's idea was. So it happened that Jiro started traveling around the squares of different villages with the bone rattle in a box under his arm. Jiro played his flute and the skeleton jumped out of the box and danced around. As you can probably guess, Jiro and his dancing skeletons became widely famous and eventually the most powerful nobleman in the area heard about their performances. He immediately ordered a showing for him and his friends. Jiro was obviously flattered and found himself at the nobleman's palace.
A large gathering of powerful men sat and waited to see the dancing wonder, but when Jiro opened the box and began to play, at first nothing happened. Then he got angry and kicked the box over so that the legs fell out. Then the skeleton stood up, but he did not dance. Instead, he approached the nobleman, bowed deeply and said: “Your Grace! I have danced as long as it took for the word to reach you and for you to call us. But now I don't dance anymore. When I was alive I was your honest subject Taro, but my friend Jiro here murdered me and bought me off. Now I demand justice!”
When the nobleman heard this, he became angry and exclaimed: “Guards! Grab this bastard. He shall be beheaded for his crimes!”
Then the skeleton collapsed and never moved again.
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