The Woodcutter

(This folklore story is an example of how the ancient Korean people place importance on superstitions using harmony with nature)

Once upon a time a famous thief escaped from jail and to escape the authority he had to hide in the woods.  As he was running, he stumbled upon a lumberjack.  This lumberjack had worked in the woods since he was very young and was an expert with an axe.

The thief, feeling he had nothing to fear, let himself be seen by the lumberjack. The lumberjack recognized the thief immediately because he was so well known. As soon as lumberjack saw the thief, the lumberjack thought that “If I kill him and bring his head to the authorities, I will get a reward and never have to work in the forest again.”  But the thief, being so good, had trained in reading people's minds and knew exactly what the lumberjack was thinking and told the lumberjack, "You are thinking about try to kill me now."

The lumberjack was so stunned he did not know what to do. So he started cutting a tree again. He thought "How can the thief read my mind? I don't understand."  The thief again told him what he was thinking. "You have given up to trying to kill me because you know I can read your mind now."

By this time, the lumberjack was so stunned he just could not think and so he kept on cutting the tree. The thief started laughing, but suddenly, the lumberjack threw the axe, catching the thief on his head.  The thief lived long enough to tell the lumberjack "I could not read your mind?" Then he died. 

The reason the thief could not read the lumberjack's mind was because the lumberjack had lived so long in the woods cutting the trees with the axe, that he had developed harmony between his mind, body and axe.  He had so stunned by the thief's reading his mind that he couldn’t harmonize between his mind and body.    But being in harmony with himself and his axe, before he knew what was doing, he had thrown the axe at the thief, killing him. The thief could not read the lumberjack's mind because the lumberjack did not know he was going to throw the axe until after he threw it.