Keum’s Axe of Gwangju

In a small province called Gwangju, there were two mischievious brothers named Choi and Jung. Choi was at the age of about fifteen, and Jung thirteen. These two brothers were always wandering about getting into trouble. They didn’t mean to be bad, but their curiousity carried them overboard sometimes.

Choi and Jung were sleeping late one morning, and had heard two men fighting outside. The two men were shouting obscenities at one another. They seemed to be fighting over an axe. These two men had been life long rivals, and were always competeing against eachother. This time, they wanted to set out to find the legendary axe of Gwangju.

The axe of Gwangju was the province’s most prized possession. The myth of the axe has been told for centuries, passed down by the townspeople. The axe was said to have belonged to a brave warrior named Keum, who had died in battle saving Gwangju from invading beasts. If it was not for Keum, Gwangju would be destoryed. The axe was said to be lost in battle, in the fields of Kjumala, which was just south of Gwangju.

As soon as Choi and Jung had heard of this, they quickly ran to their mother and told her. The brothers told their mother they wanted to find this axe. Their mother laughed and explained to them there was no such thing as the axe, and it was just a tall tale. Although their mother had told them this, they disreguarded it and still wanted to find that axe.. but how?

Choi and Jung went to the local library and read about the axe, and its whereabouts. There was no exact location of the axe, but it was said to be somewhere in the Kjumala fields. The boys went to the librarian to find out what dangers were in the fields and she replied, “The fields are very dangerous.. even though most of the life there has died, there are still a few snakes and beasts that roam about.”

Fearless as these boys were, they finished reading the books and ran home to begin preparing for their journey to find the axe. It was late, and they had just finished packing. They brought their hunting knives which were given to them by their father, their water jugs, and some apples. They decided they would get some sleep and head out for the axe in the morning.

The woke up early and strapped their bags on their shoulders, and left for the Kjumala fields. After four hours of walking, they arrived at the fields. They sat down and had a bite to eat and some water to refresh them. They sheathed their knives and began walking through the fields in search of the axe.

Choi and Jung split up, Choi went to the left, and Jung went to the right. The grass in the fields was overgrown; up to Choi’s shoulders and almost over Jung’s head. They began slashing down the grass with their knives to make a path. About an hour later, the brothers met up at a tree and sat down to have a drink. They talked for a while and both of them had found nothing. Choi looked up and saw the sun’s rays hitting a metallic thing dazzling in the trees.

Choi nudged his brother, “Jung, look!” Jung looked up and replied, “Is that.. the axe?” Choi began to climb the tree and he was about to grab the axe when it fell, “Jung, look out!” Jung looked up and bounced back quickly; the axe nearly cut his head off. The brothers examined the axe for a while and rested. After a short break, Choi tried to lift the axe, but it was too heavy. Jung gave him a hand and they both carried the axe back through the paths that which they had cut with their knives, soon arriving back in Gwangju.

When they arrived, the people gazed at the axe which the boys were carrying through the streets. They were amazed at what these two young boys had found. The boys brought the axe to the local museam and were rewarded with $100,000 Gold coins.

– Dead