There was a falconer and hunter, named Sonjo, who lived in the district called Tamura-no-Go, of the
That night he dreamed a dreary dream. It seemed to him that a beautiful woman came into his room, and stood by his pillow, and began to weep. So bitterly did she weep that Sonjo felt as if his heart were being torn out while he listened. And the woman cried to him: "Why,--oh! why did you kill him?--of what wrong was he guilty?... At Akanuma we were so happy together,--and you killed him!... What harm did he ever do you? Do you even know what you have done?--oh! do you know what a cruel, what a wicked thing you have done?... Me too you have killed,--for I will not live without my husband!... Only to tell you this I came."... Then again she wept aloud,--so bitterly that the voice of her crying pierced into the marrow of the listener's bones;--and she sobbed out the words of this poem:--Hi kurureba Sasoeshi mono wo--Akanuma no Makomo no
When Sonjo awoke in the morning, this dream remained so vivid in his mind that he was greatly troubled. He remembered the words:--"But to-morrow, when you go to Akanuma, you will see,--you will see." And he resolved to go there at once, that he might learn whether his dream was anything more than a dream.
So he went to Akanuma; and there, when he came to the river-bank, he saw the female oshidori swimming alone. In the same moment the bird perceived Sonjo; but, instead of trying to escape, she swam straight towards him, looking at him the while in a strange fixed way. Then, with her beak, she suddenly tore open her own body, and died before the hunter's eyes...
Sonjo shaved his head, and became a priest.