Bu Jum the Cabbage Spirit

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As you know, Bu Jum is the cabbage spirit. If you sit very still, you may see her walking the fields at dawn keeping your cabbages healthy and free of bugs.

In addition to keeping your cabbages green and healthy, Bu Jum is also responsible for making sure there are never too many cabbages in the Empire. For if there were too many cabbages, there would be no room to grow rice and turnips and our diet would be the worse for it.

Each year, between harvest and planting, Bu Jum tells a few farmers that they may not grow any more cabbages. Sometimes, this makes the farmers sad.

Bu Jum is a kind spirit, not a trickster like some others. Many farmers get one last chance to grow cabbages before they must switch to rice or radishes. Some farmers make a deal with a local spirit to go on growing cabbages for many more years. But some farmers really must not grow any more cabbages and are very sad.

One day, after talking to a very sad farmer, Bu Jum became very sad herself.

"I do not want to stop them growing cabbages", she said, "but the Empire must not have too many cabbages".

Now, The Great Tortoise Spirit is very fond of Bu Jum, for the Great Tortoise Spirit is very fond of cabbages. As it happens, he was listening, and heard her speak.

"Why are you sad, Bu Jum?" the Tortoise Spirit asked.

"Because I must stop these farmers from growing cabbages, and it makes them sad. I do not like to make people sad" she said.

"But if you did not, the Empire would fill with cabbages and there would be no fish or beetles or leaves to eat."

"I know. But I cannot tell the farmers to grow beetles."

The Great Tortoise Spirit nodded, and sat, and thought. And thought. And thought. Eventually he fell asleep, and Bu Jum politely withdrew.

When he woke up, the Tortoise reached out to all the children in the Empire who were to grow into a Tortoise aspect. "Children", he said, "would you like to have all your meals be cabbage, with no rice or turnips or leaves?"

The children agreed that they would not.

"Then, children, you should go out into the cabbage fields at dawn tomorrow, and sit very still, and when Bu Jum comes by on her rounds you should thank her for everything she does to give you a varied diet."

And so they did.