Japan Folktales The Tale of Lady Aya & Peony Flowers
Aya, sweet maid, was the only child of a daimyo of the Province of Omi. Mother had she none, and her father was a noble lord and a warrior. He was at the Court of the Shogun, or he had weighty affairs at the capital, or he went here and there with armies and overcame his enemies. Aya saw little of him.
It was a Deity from High Heaven that planted the Pine Tree. So long ago that the crane cannot remember it, and the tortoise knows it only by hearsay from his great-grandmother, the heavenly deity descended. Lightly, lightly he came by way of the Floating Bridge, bearing the tree in his right hand. Lightly, lightly his feet…
Long years she dwelt with her nurse and her maidens within the walls of her father’s castle. High walls were they and well-guarded, and at their foot was a deep moat which was rosy with lotus flowers all the seventh month.
When the Lady Aya was some sixteen years old her father the daimyo came home victorious from a foray, and she went with her maidens to meet him in the gate. She was dressed in her bravest, and as became her rank………….
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