Monday, October 29, 2012


I am pleased to welcome a guest blogger today, Rebekah Washburn, joining us all the way from Seoul, South Korea.  Rebekah has won awards for her writing and still delights her friends and family with her stories while she takes a year and a half off (before getting a Masters in Creative Writing) to work and serve in South Korea.  While she speaks Korean during her normal day, she teaches an English class for Koreans and has written to us in English of her latest class.

Rebekah Washburn is also my daughter.  Do I sound proud?

Rebekah Washburn

Happy Halloween!

For English class this week, before our class members came, I wrote on the board in big, bold letters, "SCARY STORIES!"  We spent the whole hour, the 6 or 7 of us that were there, going back and forth sharing spooky stories that we've heard.  It was so fun, everyone had at least one scary story to tell, and after the hour was up everyone was laughing.  One of them shared a story I've never heard before and I thought it was so interesting--so I'll share it with you. In honor of Halloween. :)

Here we go:

Once upon a time there was a selfish old man who lived in a little shack high in the mountains of Korea.  He had one little son, a sweet boy who worked hard and had few pleasures in his life.  They were extremely poor and the father blamed the little boy for their misfortunes nearly every day.

"Because of you my stomach growls from hunger and my back hurts from sleeping on these bare wood floors!" he'd yell. "If it wasn't for you I'd leave this mountain and make a fortune."

The little boy could only bow his head.

One day, while the little son looked for food in the forest he found an old woman sitting by herself on a large rock.
cc rinux/flickr  Well at Bunhwansa

"What are you looking for, son?" she asked.

"I'm looking for food for my father."

"You are a good son," she said. "I will tell you a secret.  Walk behind those trees and you will find a well.  Throw whatever food you have found into the well and you will recieve what you need."

Then she hopped off the rock, bowed respectfully to the boy, and walked away.

The little boy did as he was told and found an old, mossy well surrounded by trees and covered in vines.  He threw a few mushrooms and pieces of cabbage into the well and waited.  Suddenly, two gold pieces came flying out of the well and fell at the boys feet.

Then, in a whisper, he heard these words: "Thank you for the food."

He ran home to his father and showed what he had found.  The father grabbed the gold, pushed the boy aside and ran to the village to buy rice cakes to eat with his friends in town.

The boy stayed home and thought about the old woman on the rock.

Day after day the father made the boy go back to the well and bring back the gold.  After a few weeks the father got greedy and said, "Ask for more money. I need more than just two little gold pieces a day."

The boy tried to throw in more food but he still only recieved two gold pieces.  When he returned home his father pushed him down and screamed at him for disobeying his orders.

"I will do it myself!" he cried, and marched off toward the well in the middle of the forest.  The boy followed his father, his head bowed and his cheeks red with shame.

When the father came to the well, he threw in two rice cakes.

Nothing happened.

He picked a green onion from the base of the well and threw it in.

Nothing happened.

He screamed in frustration and rolled up his sleeves.

"Fine," he said. "I will get it myself!"

He put his leg over the side of the well and slowly climbed toward the bottom.

As the boy watched his father disappear over the ledge of the well he suddenly noticed the old woman looking at him from the trees across the clearing. She smiled.

That's when two gold pieces came flying out of the well and fell at his feet.

"Thanks for the food," the well whispered.
Rebekah    Seoul, Korea

THANK YOU  Rebekah

And a Happy Halloween to all.


  1. This was a great story for Halloween! Thanks for sharing! Maybe one day you can turn this into a scary novella?

  2. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. Certainly makes you wonder what's at the bottom of that well! Lots of ways to go with that--I will have to ask Rebekah what she sees there.

  3. This reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode.

    1. A great compliment! Rod Serling would be proud.

  4. Sweet! Any more the words "guest post" scare me but this was AWESOME. Thanks for sharing, Rebekah!

    1. Thanks so much, Jack. Those words are music to a writer's ear.