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Main > Japanese folktales > Fairy tale "The Wind in the Pine Tree"

The Wind in the Pine Tree

Old and faint and worn, with feeble, tottering steps, and hand in hand they came.

“How faint I grow,” said the old man. “Ah, I am afraid! How dark it is! Hold you my hand....”

“I have it fast in mine. There, lie down, lie down, dear love; be still and listen to the wind in the Pine Tree.”

He lay on the soft brown bed beneath the Pine Tree’s boughs; and the wind sang.

She who was his love and his wife bent over him and sheltered him. And he suffered the great change.

Then he opened his eyes and looked at her. She was tall and straight and slender, in face and form most lovely, and each of them was young as the gods are young. He put out his hand and touched her. “Your long black hair ...” he said.

Once more she bade him, “Come.” Lightly they left the ground. To the sound of the wind’s music they swayed, they floated, they rose into the air. Higher they rose and higher. The branches of the Pine Tree received them, and they were no more seen.

Still, in the sweet nights of summer, the Children of the Woods come hand in hand to the Pine Tree by moonlight, slipping their slim dark feet upon the moss, and tossing back their long green hair.

The Children of the Water come by moonlight, all drenching wet their sleeves, and the bright drops fall from their finger-tips. The Children of the Air rest in the Pine Tree’s branches, and make murmuring music all the live-long night. The Children of the Sea Foam creep up the yellow sands; and from the confines of Yomi come the Mysteries, the Sounds and the Scents of the Dark—with faces veiled and thin grey forms, they come, and they hang upon the air about the place where the Pine Tree is, so that the place is holy and haunted.

Lovers wandering upon the beach at Takasaga hear the great company of Spirits singing together.

“Joy of my heart,” they say to one another, “do you hear the wind in the Pine Tree?”

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