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」


昔昔、或る所に一人の若い馬子が住んでおりました。この馬子は馬を引きながらとても好い声で歌を歌うと評判で、その歌声を聴きたいが為だけにわざわざ馬に乗る客も多い程でした。

或る晩の事です。馬子の住む小屋の戸をトントンと叩く者がおりました。はて、こんな夜更けに客か?と思い、戸を開けてみるとそこにはそれはそれは美しい娘が雨に濡れて立っているではありませんか。

「こんな晩くにどうかしましたか?」
「里へ行く途中、道に迷ってしまいました。気が付けば日も暮れて、雨まで降り出す始末で、もう歩く事が出来ません。どうか今夜一晩、泊めては頂けないでしょうか?」

娘の疲れた顔に同情しつつ馬子は言いました。
「それは御困りでしょう。しかし、私は見ての通りの独り者です。男一人では大した夕餉を御出しする事も出来ません」
「それなら私が御礼に夕餉の支度を致しましょう。泊めて頂けるなら、馬小屋でも構いません。どうか御願い致します」

心底困り果てた様子にこれ以上断る事も出来ず、頼みを聞き入れると、娘は大層喜んで、てきぱきと支度を始めました。娘の作った夕餉は大層な美味で、長らく独りで暮らしてきた馬子にとってはその夜は思い掛けず久しぶりの楽しいひと時となったのでした。

やがて朝になり、娘を里まで送り届けようと馬を引いて来た馬子は、この別れに言い知れぬ寂しさを感じておりました。すると娘は「貴方様の優しい心に、私は心打たれました。
私には身寄りも御座いません。もしよろしけれ、このまま夫婦になってはくれませんか?」と言うではありませんか。馬子は驚きながらもそれならば是非にと向かい入れ、めでたく夫婦となった二人は慎ましく幸せに暮らしていました。

或る朝、馬子がいつもの様に秣を刈りに出掛けると、草の陰に美しい月見草が咲いているのを見付けました。嫁に見せてやろうとその可憐な花を摘んで小屋に帰ると、どこにも嫁の姿が見当たりません。慌てて探すと、土間で倒れてるのを見付け、馬子は慌てて駆け寄りました。

「一体どうしたのだ!どこか具合でも悪いのか?」
「私は、以前から貴方様の歌声を聴き、この方の嫁になりたいと願っておりました。そしてあの晩、身も弁えず姿を変え、思い切って訪ねて参ったのです。しかしもう、御傍にはいられません。私は、貴方様が手折った、花の精で御座います」

そう言い終えると嫁の姿は消え失せ、代わりに馬子の手には一輪の月見草が残されていました。それからと言うもの、馬子が歌を歌う事は無くなりました。唯、月夜の晩にだけ亡き妻を想う歌をひっそりと口ずさむのです。

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