Urashimataro

I do not know where I belong anymore. My parents, my children, their children, are dead. I have seen their graves and with my own fingers I have felt their names crumbling away under the moss.

Where is my home? Not on the land. Not beneath.

I open the jeweled box that was given to me by the princess of the deep. A vapor escapes, along with all my vigor. My hands wrinkle, my bones thin and rattle. These dim eyes are seeing the last of the earth. I stumble to the brook to see myself in the clear stream. I am old, old. I call the turtle to come and take me back to the deep, but she does not hear me.

Urashimataro, in Urashimataro, Pink Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

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