We’ve probably all seen the hit k-drama “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” by now. The drama is also known to be Kim Soo Hyun’s first project since his discharge from the military. The cast was perfectly selected, especially Oh Jung Se who played Moon Sang Tae, which I believe made the show even better. But that’s not what this post is about. Today, we’re here for Ko Moon Young’s fairy tales.
Ko Moon Young is a very specific type of person, I must say. She’s definitely had a tough childhood and we can see that through the stories in her fairy tales. In “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” she whites 5 stories in total. Here is how they are presented in the show:
“The Boy Who Fed On Nightmares”
The boy woke up from another awful nightmare. Bad memories from the past that he wanted to forget were replayed in his dreams every night and haunted him nonstop.
The boy was terrified of falling asleep. So one day, he went to the witch and begged. “Please get rid of all my bad memories so that I won’t have a nightmare again. Then I will do everything you ask.”
Years went by, and the boy became an adult. He no longer had nightmares. But for some strange reason, he wasn’t happy at all.
One night, a blood moon filled the night sky, and the witch finally showed up again to take what he had promised in return for granting his wish. And he shouted at her with so much resentment. “All my bad memories are gone. But why… Why can’t I become happy?”
Then the witch took his soul, as they had promised, and told him this. “Hurtful, painful memories. Memories of deep regrets. Memories of hurting others and being hurt. Memories of being abandoned. Only those with such memories buried in their hearts can become stringer, more passionate, and emotionally flexible. And only those can attain happiness. So don’t forget any of it. Remember it all and overcome it. If you don’t overcome it, you’ll always be a kid whose soul never grows.”
A baby boy was born in a small village. He had pale skin and large eyes. While raising the boy, his mother naturally came to the realization that he had no feelings whatsoever.
All he had was the desire to eat, like a zombie. So his mother locked him up in the basement so that the villagers wouldn’t see him. And every night, she stole livestock from her neighbors to feed him. That’s how she raised him in secret.
One night, she’d steal a chicken. The next day, she’d steal a pig. A number of years passed like that. Then one day, an epidemic broke out. If left the remaining animals dead, and it also killed many people.
Those who survived the epidemic left the village. But the mother couldn’t leave her son all alone. And to appease her son crying of hunger, she cut off one leg of hers and gave it to him. After that, it was her arm. She gave him all her limbs. When she was left with nothing but her torso, she embraced her son for the last time to let him devour what was left of her.
With his both arms, the boy tightly held his mother’s torso and spoke for the first time in his life. “Mom, you’re so warm.”
“The Cheerful Dog”
Once upon a time, there lived a dog that was very good at hiding his emotions. The dog was tied beneath a shade tree. He always wagged his tail and acted cute. So he got the name, “The Cheerful Dog,” because as cheerful as springtime.
The dog always had lots of fun with the village kids during the day. But every night, he’d moan and whine when no one was around. That’s because he wanted to cut off the leash and freely run around out in the spring field. However, he couldn’t. And that’s why he cried every night. Every single night.
One day, a voice inside him asked the Cheerful Dog. “Hey, why don’t you just cut off the leash and run away?”
And this is what the Cheerful Dog said. “I’ve been tied up for way too long. So I forgot how to cut myself free.”
“The Hand, The Monkfish”
Once upon a time, a beautiful baby girl was born into a wealthy family. She was as beautiful and flawless as magnolias. Her mother loved her so much that she pledged she’d do anything for her baby. She said she would even present to her the sun and the moon.
When the baby started eating solid foods, her mother was thrilled. “My sweet child, I will feed you everything you want to eat. Open your mouth wide. Like this, ahhh.”
When the baby started walking, her mother ran hurriedly to where she was. “My sweet child, I will carry you. Come on, hop on my back.”
After raising the baby by always providing her with everything she needed, the mother said this. “My beloved child, I need some rest now. Can you get me some food?”
Then the child spoke. “Mom, I have no hands. I never used them, so, they’ve vanished.”
“Then my sweet child, can you carry me on your back? My legs hurt.”
Then the child said this. “Mom, I have no feet. You always carried me on your back, so I’ve never even stepped on the ground. But instead, I have a huge mouth.” And she opened her humongous mouth.
Then the mother shouted in anger. “You weren’t my perfect baby after all. You’re like a useless monkfish. All you can do is eat what I feed you. You can’t do anything on your own. You’re an utter failure.”
Then the mother threw the baby into the faraway sea. Ever since that day, it’s been said that fishermen can hear a baby’s cry on spooky, windy days out on the sea.
“Mom. Mom. What did I do wrong? Please come and get me. Please come back and get me.”
“Finding the Real Face”
Once upon a time in a castle in the deep forest, there lived three people who had their real faces stolen by the Shadow Witch.
The Box Man spoke. “If we want to stop fighting and find happiness, we must retrieve our stolen faces.”
So they hopped in their camping car and began their journey to find their faces. Then one day, they ran into a mother fox who was bawling, curled up on the snow.
The Masked Boy asked the mother fox. “Ma’am, why do you keep crying?”
“Oh, I came out here to find some food but dropped my baby whom I was carrying on my back somewhere in the snow.” The mother fox’s tears had run dry. She wailed while beating her chest.
When the Masked Boy saw that, warm tears started gushing from his eyes. Then the snow began to melt quickly, and the baby fox, who was frozen under the snow, soon appeared.
The three of them resumed their journey. Soon, they ran into a clown who was dancing naked in a field of thorny flowers. The Emotionless Princess asked, “Why are you dancing with all your might, knowing you’ll be pricked by the thorns?”
“I feel like this is the only way to make people look at me. But it hurts, and no one’s looking at me,” he answered. Then the Emotionless Princess walked into the field of thorny flowers and started dancing with the clown. “I’m an empty can, so I won’t be hurt even if I get pricked by the thorns.”
When she began hopping and dancing, loud clanking noises echoed from her empty torso. And upon hearing those sounds, people began to flock to where they were. The crowd watched their dance and applauded them.
They began a new journey to find their stolen faces, and the evil Shadow Witch appeared in front of them once again. She kidnapped the Masked Boy who shed tears on behalf of the mother fox, as well as the Emotionless Princes who danced with the clown. “The two of you will never be able to find your happy faces.”
After putting such a curse on them, she locked them in a deep, dark mole tunnel. The Box Man found the mole tunnel a few days later, but the entrance was so narrow that he couldn’t go in. “What do I do? I need to take this box off my head in order to go into the tunnel.”
That moment, the Masked Boy’s voice reached him from inside the tunnel. “Mister, don’t worry about us. Just run far away. The Shadow Witch will return soon.”
However, the Box Man mustered up the courage to take the box off his head. Then he went inside the tunnel and saved the Masked Boy and the Emotionless Princess.
Upon getting out of the dark tunnel, the two of them saw then man’s face covered with dirt and grime instead of the box and burst out laughing. They laughed and giggled. While laughing uncontrollably, the Masked Boy’s mask suddenly fell off. The can surrounding the Emotionless Princess’ torso also fell off and made a clanking noise.
The Box Man, now out of his box, said this when he saw the two of them finding their true faces while laughing. “I’m happy.”
What the Shadow Witch had stolen from them was not their true faces but their courage to find happiness.
We fell in love with Ko Moon Young’s fairy tales, so we just had to share them with you. If you’re a fairy tales lover as well, you’re sure to love them. Do you have a favorite, we’d be happy to hear?
You can watch “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” on Netflix, if you still haven’t already, of course.