The first Korean story I have read, can be called the Spring of Youth or 젊어지는 샘물 in Korean. It is the story about an elderly couple finding a special well.

As many of you probably have read, I am currently reading a collection of korean folk tales. The ebook containing them was published by TTMIK. While I simply cannot hand out the Korean text since that would be a grave violation of respect towards the work of a lot of people, I can however share my version of the story.

I plan to do this for all these Korean folk tales after I clearly understand the Korean version myself. The versions I share will not be direct translations. Rather, they are rewritten versions based loosely on the several texts I found.

The Spring of Youth

Once upon a time in a forgotten place there lived an elderly couple in a village. The couple was kind and full of love, yet did not have children. While they were poor and childless, they happily spent their days together taking care of sick or hurt animals.

One day the old man went to cut wood as he normally does. However, on that day he met a young bird whom he cared for when it had broken one of its wings. The bird flew to him and with many gestures guided the old man towards a cave in the mountains. The bird guided the man deep into the cave where he saw a small spring. The walk to the spring had made the elderly man thirsty thus he scooped a bit of water up with his hand and took a sip. Suddenly the man noticed his reflection. Where he expected to see his old self, he now saw himself as he when he married. The water of the spring had given back his youth.

The now young man hurried back to his house to meet his wife. He wanted to let her drink from this mystical spring as well. His wife startled by his new appearance, but followed her now youthful husband. Once they arrived at the well the elderly wife also scooped a bit of water to sip from. As her husband, she too became as she was when she married her loving husband. The couple that turned young spent their days the same as they always did: happily taking care of sick animals.

However, one of their neighbours, a greedy old many, became curious about how his once elderly neighbours turned young again. To satisfy his curiosity he asked the couple how they became young again. The kind couple told his their tale and even told him where he could find the mystical spring. Without a single hesitation the old man hurried to the cave to find the old spring. Once he got there he drank as much as he could manage. He drank so much of the mystical water that he ended up becoming a baby.

Since no one had seen the old man since he went to the cave, the now young couple went after him. They were worried something terrible had happened to him. When they entered the cave, they found a pile of clothes and in the pile they found a baby. Since they never had a child, they decided to take the baby as their own. They raised him and lived happily ever after.


About Author

Nick is a someone who enjoys exploring new and different things. 2 years ago when he met his Korean friends he decided to go for it and learn Korean. Now he is struggling with the language while sharing an apartment with his Korean roomie.

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