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Japanese sword fitting, kozuka, of copper with a stippled background showing the legend of the Crane "TSURU" and the Turtle "KAME". With highlights gilded. A high quality pressed kozuka. Overall 96mm. #8470lo.

Long ago, a turtle lived in a small pond. When summer came, the water gradually dried up. The turtle worried what to do, and every day he watched the skies, waiting for the rain to come. But long as he waited, there was no rain.One day he tried consulting with a crane that had flown to the edge of the pond."Tsuru-san, Tsuru-san," he said. "Whatever can I do? If the water keeps drying up like this, I won't be able to go on living. I worry about this all the time.""That's right," the crane said. "This pond is so small that if it doesn't rain a little while, the water will dry up and the bottom will be dry soon. You should move to a larger pond.""But Tsuru-san, is there a bigger pond like that anywhere nearby?""Well, there is. If you go across that mountain, there's a big, big pond five or ten times the size of this one. There are 10 or 20 of you turtles there, floating and swimming and having a good time. That would really be a good place for you.""I'd like to go there-- I really would. But I have such short legs that if I tried to cross the mountain, I could walk for 10 or 20 days and still not get there. Besides that, I might meet some mean kid on the way, and then I'd really be in trouble. Plus, I don't have the slightest idea which way to go to the pond.""There's nothing to worry about. If you really want to go, we'll carry you over the mountain."The turtle was delighted to hear that. "Really, Tsuru-san? Would you really do that? If so, I beg you. Please carry me to the big pond."The crane lifted his head and called, "Kuwaa, kuwaa." He was calling to other cranes. Before long, another crane came flying to him from across the mountain.Seeing that, the crane grasped a nearby rod in his beak, and placed it before the turtle. "Okay, Kame-kun," he said. "Bite the middle of this rod, and hang on tightly. The two of us will hold the ends of the rod, and we'll take you to the big pond.When they saw the turtle had his jaws locked on the rod, the cranes picked up the ends, flapped their wings, and rose into the air. Then they flew off toward the mountain.On the way, however, they flew over a mountain village. The village children saw the turtle dangling from the rod carried by the two cranes. They laughed at the sight, and pointed at the turtle and yelled, "Yaa, look what that turtle is doing!"The turtle got angry and yelled back, "Shut up, you brats!"However, as soon as he opened his mouth, he lost his grip on the rod and dropped like a stone. He landed on his back with great force.The cracks that made in his shell can still be seen in the pattern of the shell on a turtle's back. 


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