Primary Source

Friendship

Drawing of two children one standing, one crouching

Annotation

Published in 1946 for an audience of affluent, book-buying families in Seoul, Grapes and Beads realistically describes the daily lives of children in the poorer countryside with affection and respect. These interlocking stories feature a neighborhood group of young girls and boys, and include traditional Korean gender roles, foodways, games, and clothing.  In “Friendship,” author Hyŏn Tŏk shows the competence of young children foraging independently in the mountains for local plants to help feed their families.  It also pokes gentle fun at stereotypes of masculine protector and feminine weakness, finally praising instead the solidarity of the Young-yi and her friends.

This source is included as part of the Korean Colonial-Era Children’s Literature Source Collection.

Transcription

우정 영이하고 노마 똘똘이 셋이서 산으로 나물을 캐러 가기로 하였 습니다. 영이는 어른처럼 치마를 올려 뒤로 동이고 또 바구니를 가졌습 니다. 치마로 바구니로 가득히 나물을 캘 작정입니다. 사실 영이 는 이만한 준비를 할만합니다. 산에는 가지각색 나물이 수없이 많은것이고 또 그산은 한없이 없습니다. 그리고 노마하고 똘똘이는 남자니까 치마도 바구니도 안가졌습 니다. 도대체 남자가 되어서 산으로 나물을 캐러가는것도 없는일 입니다. 허지만 동무 영이가 혼자서 산에를 가기가 허전해서 보 호를 하는데는, 더욱이 남자가 되어서 거절을 하는수는 없었습 니다. 물론 노마하고 똘똘이는 쾌히 승락을 하였습니다. 모두 마음이 기쁩니다. 영이는 노마하고 똘똘이가 자기를 위해 서 산엘 가주는데 감사하며 무한 기쁩니다. 또 노마하고 똘똘이 는 영이가 자기에게 보호를 청한데 무한 만족해합니다. 동무를 위해서 하는 일이니까 혹 늦게 돌아오더라도 어머니에게 꾸중을 듣거나하지 않을게지요. 노마하고 똘똘이는 영이보다 앞을 서서 활개를 치며 아주 활발 한 걸음으로 발을 구르고 갑니다. 만약 산에가서 호랑이같은 짐승 을 만난다하더라도 노마하고 똘똘이는 자기의 업무를 잊고 혼자 달아나거나 하지는 않을것입니다. 마침내 동리를 지나고 개울을 건느고 목적한 곳에 이르렀습니 다. 산입니다. 여기서부터 나물을 캐기시작해야합니다. 노마하고 똘똘이는 영이를 보호해주는 외에 영이를 위해서 나물이 있는 곳을

가르켜주고 또 자기도 캐고하는 수고를 아끼지 않습니다. 작난이 아닙니다. 작난이 아닌 일을 작난하듯이 절거웁게 할수있는것이 더욱 절겁습니다. 강파른 언덕길을 왔습니다. 이런 올라가기 힘드는 언덕이 있 다는것이 또 질겁습니다. 서루 제 재주와 또 우정을 뵈어주게된 때문이겠지요. 먼저 노마가 올라갔습니다. 그리고 손을 내밀어 영이를 잡아올렸습니다. 그 다음으로 똘똘이가 올라갑니다. 언덕 위에서 노마하고 영이가 손을 내미는것입니다. 똘똘이는 거절을 합 니다. 아무리 키가 작기로 이만한 언덕쯤자기 힘으로 못 올라갈 자 기가 아니라는것을 보이기 위해서겠지요. 그러다가 그만 잘못해서 똘똘이는 찌익, 미끄러지며 언덕아래 로 굴러 떨어졌습니다. 손바닥 풀팍에 생채기가 나고 빨간피가 흐 릅니다. 매우 가엾습니다. 영이는 자기로 말미암아 산에를 왔다가 이런일을 당한것이 퍽 미안하겠지요. 자기 치맛자락을 쭈욱 찢어 똘똘이의 상처를 잠매 주는 친절을 잊지않았습니다. 그리고 노마는 자기가 제일 키가 크다는것에 또 적지않은 책임감을 느꼈습니다. 노마는 똘똘이를 업으려고 궁등이를 돌려댔습니다. 허지만 똘똘이는 영이 노마가 자기를 위하여 힘을 쓰는 그일이 무한 감사하고 또 미안하였습니다. “괜찮다, 괜찮아” 하고, 아무렇지 않다는 증거를 보이려는듯이 벌떡 일어 서서 터 벅터벅 걸음을 걸어 보입니다. 전에 없이 영이 노마 똘똘이는 갑절 사이가 가까워졌습니다.
 

Translation

Yeong-yi and No-ma, together with Ddol-Ddol, decided to go to the mountains to gather wild vegetables. Yeong-yi, like an adult, pulled up her skirt and carried a basket. Yeong-yi was surprisingly capable.  She thought of such preparations on her own, even though most children would need an adult to tell them what to do. The mountains were filled with various kinds of wild vegetables, and the mountains seemed endless.
 
Because No-ma and Ddol-Ddol were boys, they didn't bring skirts or baskets. It was unusual for boys to go to the mountains to gather wild vegetables at all. However, Yeong-yi felt unsafe going to the mountains alone, so they couldn't refuse to protect her, especially since they were boys.
 
They were all happy. Yeong-yi was thankful that No-ma and Ddol-ddol were going to the mountains for her. The two boys were very happy that Yeong-yi asked them for protection. They wouldn’t be scolded by their mothers even if they came home late, as they did this for a friend.
Noma and Ddol-ddol went ahead of Yeong-yi and walked with a swagger. They wanted to show clearly that they were her protectors. Even if they confronted a tiger from the mountains, the boys would neither forget their responsibility nor run away.
Finally, they left the village behind and crossed a stream to reach their destination: a mountain. From here on, they must start gathering wild vegetables. Aside from protecting Youngyi, the boys guided her to the place where Ddol-ddol himself dug and gathered, sparing no effort. They were not goofing off. Doing serious work out in the mountains was satisfying for them.
They struggled up a steep hillside. It's truly exhausting to climb such a hill. Perhaps they made the effort because of their friendship. Ddol-ddol was the last to climb up. On top of the hill, the other two extended their hands to help him, but Ddol-ddol refused. Even though he was small in size, he wanted to show that he could climb that hill on his own.
Then, by accident, Ddol-Ddol tripped and fell down, slipping and sliding down the hill. There was a cut on his palm and red blood flowed. It was very pitiful.
Yeong-yi must have felt sorry that this happened when they came to the mountain because of her. She quickly thought of the kindness of tearing her skirt apart and wrapping Ddol-Ddol’s cuts.  No-ma also felt a lot of responsibility because he was the tallest, so he tried to put Ddol-Ddol on his back to carry him home. Ddol-Ddol was grateful and sorry that Yeong-yi and No-ma were working so hard to help him.
 "It's okay, it's okay!" He jumped up and trudged on, trying to prove that he was fine.
When they came down from the mountain, the three friends were closer than ever.
 

 

Credits

Translated by Songlee Jun, Taehee Park, Ben Oh, Hyeonjeong Park, and Professor EunHee Seo

From Hyŏn Tŏk, P'odo wa kusŭl, 1946, p. 67-8

https://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/digital/collection/korean/id/9656/rec/1

How to Cite This Source

"Friendship," in World History Commons, https://worldhistorycommons.org/friendship [accessed April 15, 2024]