Mr. Lumpy and the Goblins: Tale teaches that greed doesn’t pay
Once upon a time, there was a humble and kindhearted man who lived in a mountainside village. Despite his kind nature, the large unusual growth protruding from his cheek inspired people to call him Mr. Lumpy. One day, Mr. Lumpy went up into the mountains to gather firewood. The intensity of the work, however, caused him to lose track of time and before he knew it, the sun was setting.
“Oh dear, the sun is already setting. I should find a place to stay for the night,” Mr. Lumpy said. Mr. Lumpy eventually spotted an old abandoned hut and decided to spend the night there.
An Unexpected Encounter
However, as the night deepened Mr. Lumpy became scared, for being alone in a dark abandoned hut, tucked away on an isolated mountainside, proved harder on one’s nerves than ever imagined. Shivering with fright and unable to sleep, Mr. Lumpy started humming a tune and singing to calm himself. His singing did the exact opposite of calming him down, however, as it soon attracted the attention of a group of wandering goblins—gruesome horns protruding from their beastly heads—who soon appeared before poor Mr. Lumpy.
“Hey, where’d you learn how to sing like that,” what appeared to be the goblin leader asked.
“Um…what do you mean?” Mr. Lumpy stammered. “Your singing—it’s really good. How did you learn how to sing like that?” the goblin leader elaborated, sneers of impatience showing on his horrid face.
“Um…well…I don’t know, I just sort of…” Mr. Lumpy struggled to find an answer, reverting to his nervous habit of touching the cystic lump on his cheek while he did so. One of the goblins, seeing this, concluded Mr. Lumpy’s talent was hidden in his cystic lump.
“The lump! His talent lies within that growth on this 49 cheek!” the goblin cried. The other goblins quickly agreed. “Give us that lump hanging off your cheek!” they demanded.
“What? No, I promise, this thing doesn’t hold any special powers, I promise you!” Mr. Lumpy pleaded.
The goblins didn’t believe him, and knocked Mr. Lumpy out and removed the cystic lump from his cheek. Before running off, however, the goblins rewarded him with a nice pouch of silver and gold. When Mr. Lumpy awoke, he was shocked to discover that not only was the cystic lump gone but that he was now a rich man.
Imitators Never Get it Right
After he returned home, word of his miraculous transformation spread throughout the village, and soon another man with a cystic lump on his cheek got an idea: he was going to do the exact same thing—go to the exact same forest and sing in the same abandoned hut. He was going to become rich.
So the greedy man went to the same abandoned hut where Mr. Lumpy had his serendipitous encounter with the goblins, and sat in the dark while singing a song. “I’m finally going to get rich!” he thought.
When the goblins appeared, the greedy man excitedly told them that his cystic lump was filled with even more beautiful music than the other guy. However, the goblins had already learned their lesson: they knew he was lying.
“Well, in that case, we’ll be generous and give you ten more of them!” the goblin leader said venomously.
Horrified, the greedy man tried to run away but was captured by the goblins, who not only replicated the man’s cystic lump, covering his entire face with them, but also gave him a nice beating.
As one might guess, the story of Mr. Lumpy has a moral: the kind are rewarded, the greedy are punished.
Written by Felix Im
Illustrated by Shim Soo-keun