Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/178

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One gōshi said:—

" Indeed, you saw strange things. We also saw something strange while you were napping. A little yellow butterfly was fluttering over your face for a moment or two; and we watched it. Then it alighted on the ground beside you, close to the tree; and almost as soon as it alighted there, a big, big ant came out of a hole, and seized it and pulled it down into the hole. Just before you woke up, we saw that very butterfly come out of the hole again, and flutter over your face as before. And then it suddenly disappeared: we do not know where it went."

" Perhaps it was Akinosuké's soul," the other gōshi said;—" certainly I thought I saw it fly into his mouth. … But, even if that butterfly was Akinosuké's soul, the fact would not explain his dream."

" The ants might explain it,", returned the first speaker. " Ants are queer beings—possibly goblins. … Anyhow, there is a big ant's nest under that cedar-tree." …

" Let us look! " cried Akinosuké, greatly moved by this suggestion. And he went for a spade.

The ground about and beneath the cedar-tree proved to have been excavated, in a