Lightning Bolt Pond

A long time ago there lived a certain couple in the hamlet of Daho within Dodu Village. For some time, the couple was worried because they were unable to have any children. Then one year they finally had a son, who grew up strong and healthy. One day, when he was seventeen years old, the couple sent him to Jeju City on an errand. Normally it would take quite some time to complete the task and return, but their son came back shortly after leaving. There was no doubt, however, that he had indeed gone to the city. 

The parents were very suspicious and thought to themselves, “How could he possibly have gone and come back in such a short time? It’s as though he flew there.” So one day when it had been raining nonstop, they sent their son on another errand to the city, intending to find out how he got around so quickly.

The son again returned from the errand in no time at all. When he wasn’t looking, they carefully examined his straw shoes. Since it had continued to rain and the ground was muddy, there ought to have been dirt clinging to the soles. Bizarrely, there was not a single speck of mud on them. It was clear that the boy had flown to the city and back. 

The couple was very deeply concerned. They tricked their son into drinking alcohol until he became so intoxicated that he fell down and nearly passed out. Taking advantage of his barely conscious state, they lifted up his arms to examine his armpits. Sure enough, there were wings attached there, the size of a large bird’s. 

The couple was incredibly frightened, since if the government found out, they and all their relatives would surely be put to death. The boy might grow up to be a great hero. In those days, the entire families of real and suspected traitors or rivals to the king’s power were subject to execution. They resolved to cut off the boy’s wings to save their families.    

The couple sharpened a knife and approached the boy. At the exact instant that they sliced off his wings, there was a flash of lightning, a roar of thunder, and the entire earth seemed to tremble. A lightning bolt struck the house and completely incinerated it. The force of the strike carved out a large hole where the house had been. This hole eventually filled with water and became the pond which is known today as Lightning Bolt Pond.

Based on the account given on July 20, 1960, by Mr. Mun Jang-Dang of Dodu-dong, Jeju City.

From 99 Legends of Jeju Island, a compilation based on accounts compiled by Professor Hyun Yong-Joon.

Daho : 다호

Dodu Village : 도두동 : 道頭洞

Lightning Bolt Pond : Berakgurung : 베락구룽

   In the dialect of Jeju, berak (베락) means lightning bolt and gurung (구룽) means a pond with water suitable for drinking. The pond seems to have dried up or been paved over.

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