The story of Bunbuku Chagama is fairly well known, but for those that are unaware, it featured a display of shape-shifting powers that was hugely popular in early Japanese folklore.
A man with barely anything to his name finds a tanuki animal that has been caught in a trap. The tanuki is a small mix between a raccoon and a dog and, with what we can only imagine was a cute face, is helped by the poor man. Despite having little to give to the animal, he frees it from its newfound prison.
Having been saved, the tanuki is extremely thankful and ends up showing off its shapeshifting powers as it turns into a teapot. The tanuki forces its new owner to sell the teapot in the hopes that it might bring them some extra money to live from.
While he does successfully sell the teapot to a monk, the trade is short-lived. The monk attempts to boil water using his new teapot, but the tanuki sprouts legs and jumps away, running back to the man that had saved him.
They end up hatching a plan together that consists of setting up a circus attraction, with him being the star of the show. He tells the man to charge admission fees for people to come and watch the tanuki walk across a tightrope, while still being shifted into a teapot.
The plan ended up working and, despite it starting with so many errors, viewers came to watch the teapot traversing the tightrope and paid good money to see it. The man that helped the tanuki ended up becoming richer and found himself no longer in poverty.
While the monetary gain over such a feat was excellent, he also ended up becoming friends with the teapot, who then lives with him in his new home.