Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/47

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OSHIDORI


There was a falconer and hunter, named Sonjō, who lived in the district called Tamura-no-Gō, of the province of Mutsu. One day he went out hunting, and could not find any game. But on his way home, at a place called Akanuma, he perceived a pair of oshidori[1] (mandarin-ducks), swimming together in a river that he was about to cross. To kill oshidori is not good; but Sonjō happened to be very hungry, and he shot at the pair. His arrow pierced the male: the female escaped into the rushes

  1. From ancient time, in the Far East, these birds have been regarded as emblems of conjugal affection.

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