Many years ago in china at the foot of the south himalayan mountains there lived a horse and a deer. They were thought to be very good friends and they seemed happy.
But one day the horse said to the deer
"My friend, I have four strong legs so I can run ten miles a day and I have a powerful and strong body which is much stronger than a tiger or lion's body but I don't have wonderful antlers like you.
They are the one thing i really want. If I had antlers like yours, I would be king of all the animals, even the lions and tigers would look up to me. please give me your antlers. I promise that if I become king of the animals I will make you my top minister."
Deer did not want to give the horse his antlers but the horse was stronger and took the antlers. He put them on his head and proudly pranced around saying "Look at me, don't I look great ?
There were some farmers working nearby and they saw the horse running around with the deer's antlers on his head.
They were very puzzled. It looked like a horse but it had antlers on it's head; was it a horse or a deer.'?
It certainly was a very strange animal. The farmers wanted to have a better look so they caught it and told people about it.
Many people came to see the strange animal. There were many discussions about what it was but nobody knew. finally a decision was made,
Because it looked like a horse but it had deer antlers it was to be called 'umashika' (horsedeer).
The horse called umashika didn't become king of the animals. instead he was taken all over the country so people could see how strange he was.
When people saw him they said
"So this is the strange animal everyone is calling umashika !"
They were very unkind and for the rest of the horse's life he was taken around the country so people could see how strange he looked. soon, ordinary people who desperately wanted to become great and powerful came to be called umashika.
Umashika was too long to say so it was abbreviated to 'baka' (the japanese character for uma or horse is also 'ba' and shika or deer is also 'ka').Baka soon became a popular word and this is how it came to mean fool.
Tottsuparekkopi (The end)