Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Onmyōza Hyakumonogatari Story XXII "The Moon and the Flower"

(Gekka begins at 02:10)

A long long time ago there lived a pack-horse driver. He was famous for his excellent singing voice and many people bought a ride on his horse just to hear him sing as he led the horse.

One evening, someone knocked on the door of the shack where he lived. Wondering who could want a ride so late, he opened the door and saw a most beautiful girl standing there drenched by the rain.

"Is something the matter?"
"I was on my way to the village when I got lost. Before I knew it it grew dark, and it even started raining. I am too exhausted to walk any more. Could it be possible for me to stay the night here?"

The girl's tired face made the pack-horse driver feel pity and he said:
"That must be awful. But as you can see, I live here alone. I cannot even offer you much of a supper.
"In that case I shall cook you supper as a token of my gratitude. If you will just let me stay, I don't mind if I have to sleep in the stable. Please, I ask you."

Unable to turn down the sincerely troubled girl, he accepted her offer, which made the girl look absolutely delighted and she then briskly began to get the supper ready. The supper she made was incredibly delicious, and that night was the most fun the lonely pack-horse driver had experienced in a long time.

When the morning came, while the pack-horse driver was readying his horse to take the girl to her village, he felt indescribable sadness at their parting. The girl then said:
"I was touched by your gentle heart. I do not have any relatives. If you only accept, I would like to live here as your wife." The surprised pack-horse driver gladly accepted her hand, and the two lived frugally but happily.

One morning, when the pack-horse driver was out gathering fodder for his horse as usual, he noticed a beautiful evening primrose blooming in the grass. He plucked the lovely flower to show it to his wife, but when he returned to his shack, his wife was nowhere to be found. Hastily he looked for her, finding her lying on the earth floor. The pack-horse driver quickly ran to her.

"What's the matter!? Do you not feel well?"
"When I heard your singing voice, I prayed that I could become your wife. Then came that evening when I shamelessly changed my shape and dared to visit you. But now I can no longer remain at your side. For I am the spirit of that flower you plucked."

After she had finished her sentence, she faded away and all that was left was the single evening primrose in the pack-horse driver's hand. Since then, the pack-horse driver has stopped singing. Only on moonlit nights he softly hums a song while thinking of his dead wife.

陰陽座百物語 第廿弐話「月花」










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