When Happiness No Longer Bubbles Over

“The tinker and his tightrope-dancing badger.” Illustration by Sanchi Ogawa, published in Japanese Fairy Tales by Teresa Peirce Williston (1904), Rand McNally & Co. (The date should make it in the public domain.)

As I’ve heard tell, the tinker never lived up to the saintliness of his friend. Tea-kettles crowded his mansion, which he warmed against his body in his bed every night, moonlessly hoping to awaken another friend from the sleeping metals.