18 Chickens and an Egg Basket

One night in November 1950, Kim Il Sung was staying in a humble farmhouse in Rimsonggol, Kosanjin.

His host, wanting to roast a few chickens for Kim Il Sung, went to the chicken coop. Hearing the flapping of the startled chickens, Kim Il Sung asked his aide: “Who is killing chickens?”

“Well, it is the old man of this house. He says he needs his chickens badly.”

“But why should he want to kill chickens at this time of night? You asked our host to do so, didn’t you? If he really needs chickens, let him take the chickens in the kitchen, which we bought, and leave his chickens as they are.”

The old man, however, insisted on catching a few chickens and leaving them with the aide as a treat for Kim Il Sung. He added that more chickens, if need be, might be served to him.

Several days later, the old man was surprised to see that the chickens which he had given to the aide were still strutting around the coop.

Thinking this strange, he counted the chickens, and found that he still had all of his original 18 chickens.

Not long after, Kim Il Sung handed to his aide a warm egg which he had just picked out of the coop, and said, “It is better to get the chickens to lay eggs than to eat them, isn’t it? Take this egg to the host before it gets cold.”

Some days later, Kim Il Sung left Kosanjin. The aide returned to the host all the 18 chickens as well as a basket full of eggs.

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