a modernized and humanized take on the Japanese tale, Bunbuku Chagama
if you don't know, Bunbuku Chagama is a Japanese folktale about a raccoon-dog, or tanuki, that uses its shapeshifting powers to reward its rescuer for his kindness.
Bunbuku Chagama roughly translates to "happiness bubbling over like a tea pot." The story tells of a poor man who finds a tanuki caught in a trap. Feeling sorry for the animal, he sets it free. That night, the tanuki comes to the poor man's house to thank him for his kindness. The tanuki transforms itself into a chagama and tells the man to sell him for money.
The man sells the tanuki-teapot to a monk, who takes it home and, after scrubbing it harshly, sets it over the fire to boil water. Unable to stand the heat, the tanuki teapot sprouts legs and, in its half-transformed state, makes a run for it.
The tanuki returns to the poor man with another idea. The man would set up a 'roadside attraction' (a little circus-like setup) and charge admission for people to see a teapot walking a tightrope. The plan works, and each gains something good from the other--the man is no longer poor and the tanuki has a new friend and home.
In a variant of the story, the tanuki-teapot does not run and returns to its transformed state. The shocked monk decides to leave the teapot as an offering to the poor temple where he lives, choosing not to use it for making tea again. The temple eventually becomes famous for its supposed dancing teapot.
hopefully this will help you get where its coming from :)
Ki-Ki and the Raccoon Trap
A young girl was walking through the woods looking for flowers. Sun shone through small sections through the tree tops and she would go about picking up flowers at random. She saw a brook in the distance with cat tails and water lilies so she turned to go towards it and hit a trip wire, a cage fell over her from a tree, knocking the flowers from her hands as she hastily pulled them close to her and she inhaled quickly with her eyes wide in shock. She looked around almost in a twitching motion as she stayed crouched over in the barred cage.
Girl: oh my gosh... what? (Sigh) it’s just my luck I get trapped in a cage in the woods, because that just happens to everyone… (Looks around and takes out her cell phone, dials a number and puts the phone to her ear) great, no service… so I’m stuck here.
She pulled her knees to her chest as her head still crouched down to keep from hitting the top of the cage. She had a desperate look in her eyes and slightly scared, tapped her feet back in forth, rubbing the leather together on her boots to make a squeaking noise. She reached to her pocket and pulled out a peanut butter sandwich to eat and then she heard barking. A dog came barking angrily and smashed against the cage. The girl’s eyes grew wide as she shrieked as the dog stuck its muzzle through the bars in the cage nearly biting her and she crawled back as far as she could in fear. I few minutes later a voice from the background says “Daddy, we caught another raccoon!” She heard footsteps rustling through the grass and then two people: an older boy and a little boy. When they saw what they had caught their jaws dropped in shock.
Boy: Benny! …Benny! (Calling to the dog) Benny, come! …Sit; Stay.
The dog sat down and sat next to the boy.
Boy: (comes over to the cage and lifts it up) are you okay, sweetheart? (He reached out his hand to help her up)
Girl: (nods and takes his hand to get up) thank you...
Boy: Anytime (he smiles) now how did you manage to get caught in a raccoon trap?
Little Boy: Yea!! You’re not a raccoon! You’re a girl!! (In teasing voice)
Boy: (gives a mean look to the boy and he sits down and crosses is arms then begins to pet the dog)
Girl: I was just walking around the woods to collect some flowers for my vase at home and I guess I walked through the wrong place, ha-ha.
Boy: (smiles) well, I did place my trap in a questionable spot, I’m sorry you got trapped.
Girl: It’s alright (laughs) I don’t really have the best luck anyways, it was bound to happen.
Boy: well, I don’t want to waste your time too much; it’s starting to get dark. You should go home and get some rest.
Girl: but how can I thank you? You let me out of that trap and you’ve been nice to me, I’d love to make it up to you.
Boy: No, its fine. It’s just common courtesy (he smiled) just take it as a gift.
Boy: I’ll see you later (he turned and motioned for the little boy to come and they walked away)
She started walking home down the trail in the woods and back to the suburbs. She watched her feet as she walked down the sidewalk and came to her house and opens the door to sit down on the couch.
Girl: he saved me from his dog and got me out of that trap…I really wish I could do something to thank him. (Sigh) you don’t find that many nice people like that around here so it would be common courtesy…but the courtesy is uncommon so it deserves thanks.
She got up from the couch and went into the kitchen. She took out a kettle from a shelf and set it on the counter then made some tea in a pot and poured it in after it was made.
Girl: I’ve got an idea now! I’ll make them a kettle…and some of my mint tea! Everyone likes it; maybe they will too…it’s perfect!
She went to her room and took out her clay and spinning wheel and began on the kettle. She made the handle as a raccoon tail, the face as the spout and little raccoon legs and carved the details with a toothpick and put them in a kiln. She got the mint leaves from her garden and grounded them and made 5 packets of tea in cloth packs with a staple and string with a leaf on the end as a label then painted the kettle and cleaned it. After she was done she went to sleep.
After she woke up she put the tea packets in the kettle and put her mp3 player in her pocket and started walking back through the woods. It started to drizzle so she put the tea in her pocket to keep it dry. As she walked down the path she started hearing some noises behind her in the grass and looked back and saw nothing. She heard it a couple more times and kept on looking back. Then she heard a loud “Screeeech!” and she looked back again, there was a raccoon and she jumped.
Girl: Ahh! (Shrieking)
The raccoon crawled towards her and she began to step back
Girl: go away!! Shoo! (She held the kettle closer to her)
The raccoon stared at her
Girl: (speaking into the kettle) go away!
The raccoon wagged its tail
Girl: hmm… (She thinks then starts blowing a melody into the kettle)
The raccoon began to wag its tail and dance in circles.
Girl: (giggles) awe... so cute! (She kneels down and the raccoon comes to her) I have an idea for you (smiles)
The girl walked the rest of the way to the house in the distance and knocked on the door also leading the little raccoon away from the trap. The Little Boy came to the door.
Little Boy: Who is it? (He opened the door and looked up at the girl) Allen it’s the raccoon girl!!
Allen (Boy): (walks up to the door) Oh hey, come on in! Didn’t expect you, so the house is kind of a mess…sorry! (He laughs)
Girl: It’s alright (giggles) it’s not even messy.
Allen: So why did you come up here? Not to be rude or anything.
Girl: I wanted to say thanks for saving me the other day…so I made this kettle for you and some mint tea if you want it.
Allen: I told you, you didn’t have to do anything to thank me; it’s just common courtesy to —
Girl: It’s also common courtesy to say thank you. (She took out the tea bags and handed him the kettle)
Allen: (smiles) I guess you’re right. (He took the kettle and set it on the counter)
Little Boy: So what’s your name?
Girl: Ki-Ki, what’s yours?
Little Boy: I’m Kelley; we almost have the same name! Two Co’s!
Ki-Ki: (laughs) yeah, I guess.
Kelley: how old are you? Cause you are really small to fit in that raccoon trap
Ki-Ki: I’m 17…but I don’t look that old, I am kind of small.
Kelley: wow! You’re even older than Allen!
Ki-Ki: I am?! But he’s so tall!
Kelley: Allen is 15 and you are two years older…I’m 9…and I’m taller than you!!
Ki-Ki: I know… (Laughs sarcastically)
Allen walks back into the room and looks in the window
Allen: is that a raccoon in the window?!
Ki-Ki: oh!! Yeah, it’s really cute (smiles)
Allen: It’s vicious!
Ki-Ki: Not that one, I met it in the woods…here, let me see the kettle.
Allen: (gets the kettle and hands it to her) are you sure about this…
Ki-Ki: (takes the kettle) yea, its fine! Come outside (skips out the door)
Allen and Kelley: (follow behind Ki-Ki)
Ki-Ki: see, here, watch this. (She takes the kettle and blows inside it the tune to a song and the raccoon starts dancing) see? He dances when you hum a tune!
Kelley: let me see! (Snatches the kettle and hums and the raccoon dances) yay!!
Allen and Ki-Ki: (laugh)
Kelley: look at him dancing Allen!
Allen: I guess it is kind of cute...
Ki-Ki: it is!! (She looks at Allen and they laugh, then the scene fades out)