Share and share alike kiddies, according to this Japanese legend. Hundreds of years ago, an aging woodcutter and his wife lived in the hills.
One day, his wife saw a peach bobbing along in the river and took it home to give to her husband. But when she offered hubbie dearest the fruit, it split in two, and a baby was born. Deciding to raise the child as their own, they called him Momotaro, or Little Peachling.
Growing to be strong and stalwart, Momotaro decided to go on a quest to the ogres’ island to steal their riches. His parents made him some dumplings and bid him a good journey (as you do).
On the way, Momotaro first met a monkey, who asked him for a dumpling. In exchange the monkey would help him in his quest. Momotaro agreed, and the monkey joined him.
Then he met a pheasant, who bid him the same. Then a dog. Momotaro gave them both a dumpling and they walked by his side on the quest. When finally they arrived at the ogres' castle, the foursome worked together to conquer the ogres and drove them from their home.
Momotaro returned home with his riches, filling his foster parents with joy.
We love a good battle scene, and the bit where the armour-wearing Momotaro, monkey, pheasant and dog lay seige to the castle would be fittingly extravagant. Sort of like the end of
except with a bit more bloodshed and a few less rocks.