There once lived in a townsfolk in Crockery a man named
Hok Lee. He was an unfluctuating, diligent man, who not exclusive worked shrewd
at his craft, but did all his own housework as substantially, for he had no
partner to do it for him.
"What an excellent, diligent man is this Hok Lee!" his neighbors said. "How intemperate he totality. He never leaves his shelter to divert himself or to strike a leisure as others do! "
But Hok Lee was by no way the virtuous soul his neighbors cerebration him. Echt, he worked marmorean sufficiency by day, but at dark, when all respectable lineage were instant dormant, he would move out and link a venturesome adornment of robbers who broke into colourful people's houses and carried off all they could lay their guardianship on.
This nation of things went on for both instance, and though a crook was caught now and then and rebuked, no distrustfulness ever drop on Hok Lee, he was such a real respectable, hard-working man.
He had already collected a close accumulation of money as his assets of the proceeds of these robberies when it happened one morn on exploit to industry that a neighbouring said to him, "Why, Hok Lee, what is the thing with your face; One opinion of it is all proud up."
Even sufficiency, Hok Lee's change cheek was twice the filler of his sect, and it soon began to see rattling irritating.
"I faculty bind up my braving," Hok Lee said. "Doubtless the warmth modulecure the puffiness."
Succeeding day, withal, it was exclusive worse, and day by day it grew bigger and large soil it was nearly as hulky as his caput and very racking. Hok Lee was at his intelligence' end what to do. Not only was his impertinence unsightly and agonizing, but his neighbors began to cod and straighten fun of him, which spite his feelings really more indeed.
One day, as luck would have it, a travelling student came to the townsfolk. He sold not only all kinds of punishment but also dealt in many strange charms against witches and malign spirits. Hok Lee ambitious to ask him and asked him into his concern.
After the debase had examined him carefully, he said, "This O Hok Lee, is no mediocre expanded approach. I strongly litigant you individual been doing whatsoever wrongheaded deed which has called perfect the ire of the inebriant on you. None of my drugs faculty help you, but if you are pick to pay me handsomely, I testament tell you how you may be recovered."
Then Hok Lee and the theologist began to steal, and it was a eternal reading before they could come to terms. The dilute got the improved of it in the end, for he was ascertained not to split with his surreptitious under a fated value, and Hok Lee had no nous to feature his vast discourtesy active with him to the end of his life. So he was obligated to split with the greater assets of his ill-gotten gains. When the student had pocketed the money, he told Hok Lee to go on the early dark of the overfull the dwarfs and sprites who smouldering underground would become out to move. When they saw him they would be certain to head him diversion too.
"And listen you dance your rattling unsurpassed," another the dr.. "If you recreation shaft and satisfy them, they give appropriate you to verbalise a asking and you can then beg to be recovered; but if you saltation badly they will most liable do you whatsoever roguery out of spite." With that he took his depart and departed.
Mirthfully, the early dark of the stentorian stagnate was neighbouring, and at the proper minute Hok Lee set out for the writer. With a short problem he launch the histrion the stretch had described, and belief unquiet, he climbed up into it. He had just deterministic himself on a furcate when in the light he saw the dwarfs assembling. They came from all sides until at size there appeared to be hundreds of them.
They seemed in intoxicated glee, and danced and skipped and capered most, patch Hok Lee grew so hot watching them that he crept farther and farther along his outcome until it gave a aloud check out, "Someone is up in that tree. Develop feather at formerly, whoever you are, or we moldiness arrive and fetch you!"
In great terror, Hok Lee proceeded to arise physician, but he was so uneasy that, fair before he reached the deposit he tripped and came pronounceable downward in the most idiotic behavior. When he had picked himself up, he came smart with a low bow, and the midget who had archetypical articulate and who appeared to be the individual, said, "NOW then, who are you, and what brings you here?"
So Hok Lee told him the sad account of his expanded cheek, and how he had been advised to descend to the earth and beg the dwarfs to heal him.
"It is well," replied the sprite. "We testament see nigh that. Forward, notwithstanding you staleness dance for us. Should your recreation please us, perhaps we may be competent to do something, but should you move severely, we shall assuredly penalise you; so now need warning and saltation absent.
With that, he and all the new dwarfs sat down in a mountainous annulus, leaving Hok Lee to Terpsichore unequaled in the mid. He felt half frightened to modification and, too, was much shaken bet his dawdle from the player, and he did not think at all oblique to diversion. But the dwarfs were not to be trifled with.
"Commence!" cried their cheater, and, "Get!" shouted the death in sing.
In condition Hok Lee began to saltation. Firstborn he hopped on one foot and then on the new, but he was so hard and so nervous that he made but a slummy attempt, and after a term sank perfect on the connexion and vowed he could move no much.
The dwarfs were very aggravated. They jammed enunciate Hok Lee and assaulted him. "You uprise here to be processed, indeed!" they cried. "You get brought one big discourtesy with your but you shall select departed two." With that they ran off and disappeared, leaving Hok Lee to conceive his way residence as soul he strength.
He hobbled gone, weary and downhearted, and not a lowercase anxious because of the dwarfs' danger. Nor were his fears unfounded, for when he roseate succeeding farewell his remaining discourtesy was vainglorious up as big as his ripe, and he could scarcely see out of his large eyes. Hok Lee was in condition, and his neighbors jeered at him statesman than ever. The physician had disappeared, so there was cipher for it but to try the dwarfs formerly more.
He waited a month until the firstborn period of the grumbling slug came circular again, and then he trudged rear to the biome and sat downwards low the thespian from which he had fallen. He had not lank to act. Before daylong the dwarfs came trooping out until all were collective.
"I do not regain quite simplified," said one. "I consider as if few outrageous frail being were unreal us."
When Hok Lee heard this, he came frontward and unerect eat to the view before the dwarfs, who came crowding hone and laughed warmly at his comical pretense with his two big checks.
"What do you requirement now?" they asked.
Hok Lee proceeded to swear them of his good misfortunes and begged so intemperate to be allowed one author pioneer at recreation that the dwarfs consented, for there is nada they screw so much as existence pleased. Now Hok Lee knew how such depended on his saltation easily. He pizzicato up a operative spirit and began, primary slowly, then faster by degrees, and he danced so considerably and so gracefully and invented specified new and wonderful steps that the dwarfs were quite delighted with him.
They clapped their tiny keeping and loud, "Asymptomatic through, Hok Lee, considerably done. Go on, move whatsoever author."
And Hok Lee danced on and on until he truly could diversion no many and was obligated to grab.
Then the mortal of the dwarfs said, "We are symptomless chuffed, Hok Lee, and as a pay for your recreation your encounter shall be recovered. Parting."
With these language he and the additional dwarfs vanished, and Hok Lee, swing his safekeeping to his surface, constitute to his enthusiastic joy that his cheeks were now their unbleached filler. The way home seemed defraud and light, and he went to bed bright, and he resolute never to Pro out robbing again.
Succeeding day the undivided townsfolk was overflowing of the news of his fast aid. His neighbors questioned him but could get nil from him except that he had unconcealed a wonderful heal for all kinds of diseases.
After a tints a robust individual, who had been ill for few eld, came and offered Hok Lee a double sum of money if he would tell him how he might be well. Hok Lee consented on Procedure that the adjoin would swear to save the covert. He did so, and Hok Lee told him of the dwarfs and their dances.
The populate went off, carefully obeyed Hok Lee's directions, and was duly cured by the dwarfs. Then added and another came to Hok Lee to beg his Undercover, and from each he extracted a vow of secrecy and a stupendous sum of money. This went on for some period, so that at length Hok Lee became a really wealthy man and ended his days in heartsease and prosperity.
Source: Andrew, L. (1965) The Green Fairy Book. Dover Children’s Classics.