Illustrated By: Tristan Liu
I AM SO tired of being a stonecutter," Haku sighed. He watched the Emperor, held aloft in a curtained chair, pass by in a magnificent royal procession. "I have been a poor stonecutter all my life. If only I were the Emperor! Then I would be the most powerful of all. I would be carried on high by servants and look down on everyone else."
Suddenly Haku was the Emperor, in that very curtained chair! He could not believe it! Yet in a few minutes Haku realized that the sun's beating down on the curtained chair made the air inside stuffy. Worse, he was getting queasy from the bumpy ride.
"What was I thinking?" moaned Haku. "It's nothing to be Emperor, jostled about until you get sick. The sun is the one that's the most powerful of all. I wish I were the sun itself!"
In a flash, Haku discovered that he was the sun!
Proudly he beat his rays upon the earth, warming the vast land that lay below. But clusters of clouds soon gathered, blocking his strength. He tried to send his rays through the clouds but to no avail - they were too far away, and too thick. Without a care the clouds hung in front of him, casting shadows on the earth.
"What good is it to be the sun?" Haku groaned. "Clouds can come whenever they want and block your rays. They are the ones that more powerful. Oh, if only I could be a rain cloud!"
Instantly, Haku became a huge black rain cloud! Full of rain, he blocked the sun's rays while pouring a torrent on the earth. Yet soon he was dismayed. "I have been pouring rain on that black boulder for over an hour," he frowned, "but I can't get it to move or change in any way. Only a stonecutter with good tools and great skill can make that stone useful or beautiful. Oh my!" he cried out. "What have I done? Gladly would I be an stonecutter again!"
The next moment, Haku found himself back to normal. He went to work - the happiest stonecutter in Japan.
- What was Haku's power?
- Name the best reason you would want to be someone else. Name the best reason you're glad to be yourself.
Retold by Elaine L. Lindy. ©2005. All rights reserved.