1985 (pub): Manbei and the Kappa

A tale from Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan:

        One summer evening, Manbei and his horse were patroling the rice patties, when, while crossing a river, the horse let out a terrified whinny. Surprised, Manbei looked back to find that a kappa had attemped to drag the horse into the deep water of the river, but been dragged up onto the bank instead.

        Manbei captured the weakened kappa, and tied it to a pillar in his house's storeroom. The kappa was very sad, and realized it had to get water into the bowl on its head or it wouldn't have enough strength to escape.

        Manbei's mother entered the storeroom carrying the water she had washed the evening's rice in, to give to the horse. When the kappa saw her, it hung its head low and muttered angrily, "the life of a kappa is very difficult!" Manbei's mother felt sorry for the kappa, and so poured a little water into the bowl on its head.

        The moment the water touched the kappa's head, its strength returned; it pulled off the ropes, and ran back to the river.