068 Gateway to Success

Gateway to Success

“Gateway to Success”

At the base of the waterfall, many young carp were gathering. one muttered, “Looks like we can go no further.” and the others echoed him: “no way up this waterfall.” “I guess we’ll have to turn back.”

While they were admitting defeat, one young carp shouted, “I’ll climb to the top!” loud laughter arose. “ha ha, what …?” “come on, give me a break!” “are you crazy?” “poor guy.” “well, boys, we should go.”

The carp held back his voice, whispering, “I will climb it.” “are you still on about that?”
cried the others. “Okay then, try hard for nothing.” one by one, they swam away from the base of the waterfall.

But the young carp was a serious fellow. he stared intently at the waterfall, and boldly threw himself into it. but again and again, he was knocked down before he even got started.

Many years passed by. the carp who went down the stream had grown up and started families. their lives were peaceful but boring.

Then one of them said to his neighbors, “hey, do you remember that waterfall?” “oh yes, now that you mention it. there was a fool …” “I wonder what he’s doing now.” “say, why don’t we go and see?” “it’ll be a good way to kill time.” so, for the first time in years, they swam upstream. as they expected, the other carp was nowhere to be seen.

“Just as I thought. No way he would be here.” “he must have run away to hide.” “such a huge waterfall, nobody could make it.” “I thought he might … for a second.” “he wasted his time.”

Meanwhile, from the clouds above, someone was watching them. “you were the ones who wasted your time,” the fine young dragon whispered.

Suddenly, dark clouds appeared and thunder rumbled. the astonished carp looked up at the sky to see a golden dragon shining as he rose into the Heavens.

*Translator’s note: the three kanji that make up the title are pronounced “toh”, “ryū”, “mon”, and the literal meaning is “climb to the dragon gate”.