This kind of statement showed how hard it was even
for Choi Chum-ji to eat his food without side dishes.
Aside from the rice only soy sauce was on the table.
One day while eating his meal, he happened to see a
fly come in and sit on the cup of soy sauce. Choi Chum-ji put a full spoon of rice into
his mouth and reached to get some soy sauce.
He saw a fly sucking it up.
He moved his hand to catch the fly saying, “Damn it!
You are stealing my precious soy sauce.”
However, the fly flew away before he could catch it.
Choi Chum-ji dropped his spoon and stood up to catch
the fly. Although
he was close to catching it a few times, he was not quite
successful. But he did not give up and kept chasing it. The fly flew out of the house. Choi Chum-ji ran after it breathing hard, until
he finally caught it.
“Damn you, I won’t let you fly away after drinking
my precious soy sauce! I can eat two spoons of rice with a
drop of soy sauce.”
As soon as Choi chum-ji caught the fly, he chewed it
and swallowed it, remarking that the soy sauce was too salty. When he ate the fly, there was some rice in
his mouth. Choi Chum-ji
smiled with satisfaction while chewing the poor fly.
His family could not stand Choi Chum-ji’s stinginess.
His newly married daughter-in-law especially found
it difficult to eat her rice without any side dishes.
One day a fishmonger passed the house, and the daughter-in-law
went out to select some fresh fish. Although the fishmonger chattered on about
being surprised that the Choi family was buying some fish,
the daughter-in-law pretended not to hear her and continued
to turn over this fish and that fish.
The daughter-in-law selected the biggest
fish and tried to get its price reduced to only half a pun.
“No, don’t go on like that. It’s worth a nyang. I can’t sell it at only half a pun. You have to pay at least seven puns for it.”
“If you can’t sell it for half a pun, I
won’t buy it.”
She entered her house without cleaning the
fish scales off her hands.