Introduces a colorful cast of characters whose fates are connected in different ways, exploring the importance of kindness and the dangers of greed.
The Story is about a stingy and greedy farmer who loses his prized sheep, one by one.
A strange little man helps the miller’s daughter spin straw into gold for the king on the condition that she will give him her first-born child.
The Man in the Clouds lives up a mountain and shares his treasure–a beautiful painting–with all the people from the village below. Those whose lives are touched by unkindness and cruetly are especially moved by the painting, finding comfort in its promise of a beautiful world that does not know pain and suffering.
One day, a stranger comes up and tells the Man in the Clouds how much his painting is actually worth. Bit by bit, this changes how he perceives his art and begins to think of it in terms of monetary value. In fear of his precious painting being stolen, the Man in the Clouds puts locks on his doors and chases people away. Finally, he is all alone, then finds out that his painting has lost all its beauty.
He destroys the painting, opens his doors and windows, and discovers the real beauty lies outside.
A sparrow receives kindness from strangers and repays each act of kindness with a trick to get more, but at last, in a surprising twist, the sparrow is back with his original problem.
One day, a poor flower sellers drops his leftover flowers into the sea as a gift for the Dragon King. What does he get in return? A little snot-nosed boy–with the power to grant wishes! Soon the flower seller is rich, but when he forgets the meaning of “thank you,” he loses everything once again. “You just can’t help some humans,” say the snot-nosed little boy and the Dragon King.
One small boy has a special gift—he can weave cloth from the clouds: gold in the early morning with the rising sun, white in the afternoon, and crimson in the evening. He spins just enough cloth for a warm scarf. But when the king sees the boy’s magnificent cloth, he demands cloaks and gowns galore. “It would not be wise,” the boy protests. “Your majesty does not need them!” But spin he must—and soon the world around him begins to change.
Poor Chinye! Back and forth through the dark forest she goes, fetching and carrying for her cruel stepmother and lazy stepsister. Terror lurks behind every tree, and ghostly figures cross her path–but strange powers are watching over her, and waiting somewhere in the moonlight is a hut piled high with magic gourds.
Fish Eagle uses Hyena’s overriding greed to teach him a lesson he won’t soon forget when she tells him the biggest, sweetest meat is in the sky and he just has to climb up to get it.
The sky was once so close to the Earth that people cut parts of it to eat, but their waste and greed caused the sky to move far away.