Now One-Inch Two-Inch Man did not have much. He had neither farm animals nor a yurt of his own. However, One-Inch Two-Inch Man did have a dappled horse that ran like a Gobi whirlwind, a long horse catcher, and a camel-skin sack.
One-Inch Two-Inch Man always slept out in the open. After one particularly uncomfortable night, he woke up and said, "The Great Khan has many extra tents, more than he'll ever need to use in a lifetime. I, on the other hand, have to live with the rain, snow and heat in my face everyday. Enough is enough! I'm going to grab one of the Khan's yurts!"
He then climbed upon his horse and set off for the Khan's encampment. On the way he came across a hare, which asked, "Where are you off to?"
"I'm off to take one of the Khan's yurts," said One-Inch Two-Inch Man.
"Don't be absurd!" laughed the hare. "Trying to steal the Khan's yurt is about as possible as riding the hide of a dead horse and actually arriving anywhere! You're only courting your own death."
"Whether I live or die is fine with me and none of your concern," said One-Inch Two-Inch Man, snatching up the hare with the horse catcher and depositing it in his sack.
He rode on and came across a fox, which asked, "Where are you off to?"
"I'm off to take one of the the Khan's yurts," said One-Inch Two-Inch Man.
"The Khan's yurt? Are you mad?" snorted the fox. "Going to the Khan and taking one of his yurts is as ridiculous as looking up a tree for fish! You'll get yourself killed in the bargain."
"Whether I live or die is fine with me and none of your concern," said One-Inch Two-Inch Man, snatching up the fox and depositing it in his sack.
He went farther on, and this time he came across a wolf, which asked, "Where are you off to?"
"I'm off to take one of the Khan's tents," said One-Inch Two-Inch Man.
"Impossible! Utterly impossible!" cried the wolf. "Everyone knows that stealing the Khan's tent is about as foolish as--"
"I know; I know," said One-Inch Two-Inch Man, snatching up the wolf and depositing it in his sack. "Besides, whether I live or die is fine with me and none of your concern."
One-Inch Two-Inch Man soon came within sight of the Great Khan's hunting camp.
A pair of guards spotted him in the distance, and one said to the other, "There's that little no-account troublemaker who has neither yurt nor beast to his sorry name. He's nothing but bad news, so let's sic the hounds after him and drive him off!"
Hungry dogs were let loose, and they raced in One-Inch Two-Inch Man's direction. The crafty little man, however, waited until the dogs came a little closer and then took the hare out from the camel-skin sack. He let the hare drop to the ground, and then it ran off towards some dense brush. The hunger-crazed hounds saw the hare and changed direction to go after it. The hare and pack of hounds soon vanished in a cloud of dust.
The guards saw what had happened to the dogs. All the Khan's men now mounted their horses and took off after One-Inch Two-Inch Man. He saw them coming and let the fox loose upon the plain. It raced toward some nearby woods. "Fox hunt!" cried a guard. The mounted guards saw the fox and forgot all about the tiny man. Several hundred men then chased the fox into the dense forest and disappeared.
The Khan himself was now alone. He angrily mounted his own horse, unsheathed his jeweled sword and rode after One-Inch Two-Inch Man. When the Khan was but several yards from One-Inch Two-Inch Man, the little man released the wolf, which then immediately started chasing the Khan. The Khan turned tail and headed for the mountains. The frothing wolf kept viciously biting at the Khan's heels and chased him and his horse all the way up a steep mountain.
One-Inch Two-Inch Man sauntered up to the Khan's prized yurt and snatched it up. He then galloped away. By the time the Khan and his men returned, One-Inch Two-Inch Man was already many leagues away.
(from The Wonderful Treasure Horse)
Mengu minjian gushixuan, pp. 56-58
The trickster One-Inch Two-Inch Man embodies at least two of the folklore traits attributed to legendary tiny beings (pixies, elves, brownies, etc.): cunning and thievery. Motif: K526, "Captor's bag filled with animals as objects." A much shorter online version, "The One Span Tall Old Man," is also available: