32.Tock, Tock, Tong, Tong, All Day Long

Long, long ago, in the faraway land of Korea, there was a minister. On the right of his house, there lived a blacksmith. On the left, there lived a carpenter.

The blacksmith and the carpenter began their work early in the morning. Tong, tong, tong – the blacksmith beat the iron with his big hammer. Tock, tock, tock, – the carpenter worked with his small hammer. Krrr – krrr – krrr – he used his saw to cut the wood. They worked day and night and made a lot of noise. All that noise disturbed the minister. ‘I must do something about this!’ he thought.

One day, the minister called the blacksmith. “I order you to shift your house somewhere else.” Then he called the carpenter and gave him the same order.

After a few days, the blacksmith went to the minister. “I’m moving my house tomorrow,” he told the minister. The minister was happy. He said, “That’s very kind of you. You are such a good man. Please stay for lunch today.”

Then the carpenter came, “I’m also moving my house tomorrow,” he told the minister. The minister was overjoyed. “Oh, no! You are too kind! Please stay for lunch today.”

The minister offered his neighbours many tasty dishes, sweets and fruits. Then he said goodbye to them.

The next day, when the minister went to bed, he thought, ‘Ah! At last I will have some peace. Tomorrow when I get up, I will listen to the sweet sounds of birds. How nice it will be!’

But the next morning, the minister woke up with the sound of tong, tong, tong, tock, tock, tock, krrr, krrr, krrr again. He got annoyed. He called his servants. “Go and see who is making all that noise!”

After some time, the servants came back. They had some news for the minister. The carpenter and the blacksmith had moved their houses the blacksmith had moved to the carpenter’s house and the carpenter had moved to the blacksmith’s house!

The blacksmith and the carpenter carried on their work in their houses day and night!