Under the Sacred Tree
It's been raining all day, now. It certainly won't stop the next hour. The clouds paint
angry faces on the sky and water is dropping from every leaf of the Sacred Tree.
This tree is the centre of the small village a little girl called Fumiko lives in.
Fumiko is about 10 years old and right now she is crying sitting on a root of the Sacred
Tree. Her father hit her for breaking the bowl of her dead mother.
Fumiko is crying too intensely to notice the young man squatting right in front of her.
"Why are you sobbing under the tree, little one?"
Fumiko gasps and looks up while a tear rolles down her cheek. The face in front of her
makes her laugh the next moment. His long, slit eyes are more diagonal than horizontal
and his eye brows are very small and formed like drops. The mouth looks strange and the
lips are too slender to be actually called 'lips'. The face of a fox!
"Don't mind me! Just leave."
Fumiko sniffed while turning away from him.
"Fumiko, tell me why you are sniveling."
The man bends his head to the right to try to see her face.
"Why do you know my name?"
She says with a trembling voice.
"Your mother told me, she is worried. Her beloved daughter sitting in the rain..."
"LIAR!!! My mother died one year ago! How would she be able to tell you?!"
The man stands up combing a stroke of his long, black hair with his slender fingers.
Fumiko is now crying louder and her tears could take on with the downpour.
"Your mother died, indeed. She died in the forest. She went there together with your
"However, only your father returned."
She nods and digs her nose between her knees. The man then takes a little hazel twig with a
hazel-nut at one end out of his sleeve.
"Look here, Fumichan."
Fumiko looks up tear-bathed. He bends down, takes her right hand gives her the twig.
Sniffing she holds it like a fishing rod. The man holds his hands around it, now.
"Your mother is worried because you are with your father whom she fears."
"Why? She always loved my father. We were a happy family together"
"Your mother wanders around in the forest..."
Suddenly light starts to flow from within his hands like fireflies, only a little larger.
"Believe me, your mother wants you to come, to go with her to somewhere safe."
She stares at the light. The hazel-nut glows white but warm and is somehow becoming widening.
Her clear eyes catch the whole beauty of what is happening.
In front of her eyes the hazel-nut and twig turn into a nut-shaped lantern glowing with
the warm light of her mothers love and care. When looking up at the man stands next to her.
He changed completely while Fumiko wasn't looking. His hair way longer and dry, his
clothes are more colourful and wider. In one hand he holds a mask of a fox, the other
one leads a kiseru to his mouth. His fox ears are bend forward and nine large tails surround
"You are a fox, Oniisan?"
"My name is Kawakasaya, I am indeed a fox. I promised your mother to guide you. This lantern
will shine you the direct way to your mother, she's waiting. So don't lose the Fortune Lantern and get going it will protect you from all kinds
of danger. When you are frightened, call my name."
And in a blink of an eye a mere fox ran down the way...