“Adios, Cordera!” by Leopoldo Alas. One of those nasty sentimental tales of the kind I used to hate as a kid, about the death of an animal (here as a metaphor for loss of innocence), that always made me feel as if I were being manipulated into crying. The introduction calls it “consistently charming and thoroughly Spanish”, whatever that means.
Here end the Spanish short stories and we jump back in time and all the way to China.
“The Story of Ming-Y” by Anonymous. Originally from Marvellous Tales, Ancient and Modern (Kin-Kou-Ki-Kuan). A charming and romantic little ghost story. Recommended. (This is the same translation, except the first paragraph, which gives away an important plot element, so avoid reading it if you can. The link will open a pdf-file).
“A Fickle Widow” by anonymous. Originally from Marvellous Tales, Ancient and Modern (Kin-Kou-Ki-Kuan). Yet another of those horrid stories where people feel obliged to test the fidelity of a spouse. Admittedly, this one is more entertaining and sophisticated than most.
“The Virtuous Daughter-in-Law”, edited by P’u Sung-Ling. Originally from the Strange Stories. A rather confusing tale of a shrewish mother-in-law, her two sons and daughters-in-law, the reward of virtue and the punishment for greed. (This is the same translation, except the first paragraph, which gives away an important plot element, so avoid reading it if you can. The link will open a pdf-file).
Here end the Chinese stories the Japanese ones begin.
“The Forty-seven Ronin” by anonymous . A bloody tale of honour and vengeance among Japanese samurai, based on a true story that took place in the 18th century. Reminds me of the Icelandic Sagas, except for the hara-kiri part. Recommended.