Untitled Japanese Folk Tales - Original

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This is inspired by the "Kami", the spirits or phenomena that are worshipped in the religion of "Shinto".


 


Once upon a time, there was a little boy. He had hair as dark as night and his eyes were deepest brown. One day he got permission from his parents to go down to the river not far from their home, so long as he stayed in sight. He knelt on the riverbank and leaned over to watch the fish swimming downstream. He noticed a particularly brightly coloured fish, with scales of vibrant gold and red. He leaned over further to catch a better look at it but his hand that he was using to support himself slipped from the rock and he fell headfirst into the river. He was not a good swimmer and the current of the river was strong. He legs and arms began flailing against the force of the water and he screamed out desperately. His mother and father heard his shouts and came running outside; his mother fell to her knees while his father ran alongside the river, shouting to the boy to grab hold of an overhanging branch that was a little further downstream. The boy grabbed for it but he could not reach it. Up ahead was a waterfall; quite short, but nonetheless perilous for the jagged rocks lying at the bottom of it. In desperation the boy’s father ran, following the curve of the river, to the head of the waterfall and leaned on his front over the riverbank, holding out his arms and hoping to catch the boy before he was swept away. He seemed to be waiting for an eternity, and feared that he was too late. Suddenly he heard a rustling of grass behind him. He got up and standing there was his son. He hugged him tightly before examining him; miraculously he was dry with no visible cuts or bruises. On his face was a wide-eyed expression of wonder.



“Father,” he said breathlessly. “My Kami saved me.”
“Your Kami?”
“Yes! I fell over the waterfall and he caught me. It was really weird. It was like he was made of light, and he was really warm. I couldn't see him but I knew he smiled at me as he caught me.”



The boy’s father stared at him, and then shook his head. There had not been any reports of Kami presence here before. The father picked up his son and carried him home. His mother burst into tears of relief when she saw them both approaching and held on to her son for most of that evening. When she was tucking him into bed that night he told her the same story he had told his father. She simply smiled at him and told him that if he had seen his Kami, he was very lucky indeed. 

Created: Apr 07, 2014

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