"In Teacher's Eyes", by YUMENO Kyuusaku

Only a day later, this snow had
magically turned into nasty sludge
and hazardous sheets of ice. True story.

Here's a translation of a very short story called 「先生の目玉に」 ("In Teacher's Eyes") by YUMENO Kyuusaku (夢野久作), who wrote many a trippy fantasy piece but didn't bother to build most of them around a moral like this one. I worked from the text at Aozora Bunko.

* * *

In Teacher's Eyes

A group of children were playing together when snow began to fall. "Hey, ho, it's started to snow!" they sang gleefully.

  "Fall, snow, do not halt!
  "Turn into sugar, turn into salt!"

"What would you do if it turned into sugar?" came a loud voice. Surprised, they turned and saw an old man with a white beard, a white kimono, a white hat, and a staff like a long, clear icicle.

The children stared at the old man in astonishment. He smiled brightly and asked them again: "What would you do with the snow if it turned into sugar?"

"I'd put it on a rice cake and eat it," answered Sankichi.

"I'd let grandma have it," said Chuutarou.

"I'd give it to the bees in the garden," said Tamako.

The old man looked most pleased. "Wonderful, wonderful," he said. "What good children you are. And if it turned into salt, what would you do then?"

"I'd rub it into Teacher's eyes!" answered Akutarou, who had been keeping quiet up until now.

The old man's expression quickly darkened. "Very well. I'll give you what you want, so wait right here," he said, and vanished.

Right away, it began to snow so fiercely that nobody could see anything but white.

All the snow that fell on Sankichi and Tamako and Chuutarou was sugar, but Akutarou's snow was nothing but hard, grainy salt. It got into his eyes and hurt so much he couldn't bear it. He cried all the way home.

* * *

The moral, I hope, is obvious: don't mess with teachers. We have powerful connections. Also, when you are born, try not to get named "Akutarou" (悪太郎), because it means "bad boy" and that's got to hold you back in life.

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What if ALTs want to put the salt in other teachers' eyes? Is that acceptable?


I think there's a clause in our contract forbidding that.


How about "Be careful what you wish for"? and/or something banal like "Do Unto Others", etc.?

It is possible to will evil upon oneself...

There's more than enough evidence of that in this world!

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