Oleander Branch – Prose Tanka – February 19, 2016

Green Leaves

Some of the young people walk down the street pushing each other in good humour.  A little apart there is a pair of young couples holding hands and exchanging kisses.  Some kids are still in an early morning stupor, just not quite awake yet. The youthful vitality overflows every morning on this street throughout the week with the cacophonic babbling of students waiting to go to school.  An oleander bush stands near the bus stop.  One of the boys rips off a branch and pretends to be a “mage” chasing his companions shouting: “Fire Ball!!”.  As the bus comes into sight, he throws away his wand.

thrown on the dust heap
oleander branch
picked by the careless hand
of a wayward mage

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem #920 Hunger (Empathy)

Human beings are odd creatures.  They have ideas and ideals that no other creature in nature has and this can be positive of negative I suppose.  In either case we believe ourselves to be superior beings, above the plants and animals of course, who have no sense of good or bad, who can’t really get into understanding what life is.  We know how the “other” feels, because we have what’s called empathy, being able to slip into the reality of another being, this is one of the reasons we are special. But our empathy is imperfect, as is our sense of right and wrong.  Or perhaps there’s more than meets the eye.

The Prints in the Snow – Ligo Haibun


The Prints in the Snow

Kitsune, as you all know children, can take pn any form she chooses!  Once not so long ago, during a dark snowy evening, Kitsune decided to visit England because she was very worried about one her dearest friends, who’d had trouble with hunters and dogs.

“Ah, you can’t really blame the dogs you know.  They’re such silly creatures and do whatever man tells them to do.”  Said Youko.
“Well then what do you suggest!  We can’t keep having these dogs out chasing innocent foxes now can we!” said Kitsune.

They put their heads together for ever so long a time…and finally decided to play a little trick on the local Lord, near where Youko lived, who was very dedicated to hunting foxes.

The lord had a young son, whom he was very attached, so Youko and Kitsune transformed themselves into human children.  When the boy went out to play in the snow, they began to talk to him about the problems of the foxes because of the hunters and their dogs.

The boy was very surprised as he’d never even begun to think that fox were anything more than vermin!  Kitsune asked the boy if he’d like to visit a fox’s home and the boy readily agreed!   Kitsune transformed him into a fox and they  turned back into their natural forms and off they went to visit a local family of vixen.

The boy had a lot of fun playing with the two fox cubs and they became fast friends.

His father was not so happy, as it had by now become very late and it was snowing heavily.

So he called his dog as put on his coat grabbing a torch,  he went out the door and began calling his son.  He saw his son’s tracks in the snow…but then suddenly they disappeared being replaced by fox prints! The dog began to bark and put his nose to the tracks.

“Fox!” was all the dog could think though he was not a little surprised that they also smelt like his young master! He began to follow the tracks barking and yowling as he went along.

His master wanted him to look for his son, not fox, but he couldn’t control the dog and could only run behind it!  Finally the dog came to the foxes den where the Lord’s son was playing with his new friends.

The dog began to dig and growled.  Althouth the Lord tried to pull him back, but  he was able to grab a fox cub by the tail.  The cub was actually the Lord’s son.  Kitsune, who’d been a little “distracted” jumped up and immediately transformed the young boy back into his natural form!

The dog was shocked when  he found himself hanging onto the seat of his young masters britches, who was by the way very upset and was crying! The Lord, for his part, almost dropped his torch and stood sputtering as he looked at his adored son, wondering at what he’d just seen!

“Heh Dad!  Why do you go around hunting my friends with your dogs!  This is such a terrible thing to do.  Boxer would have killed me if Kitsune hadn’t turned me back into a human!”

Father and son had a long conversation and soon the Lord promised he’d never go hunting again.  The son insisted that they had to work to stop this cruel practice, which he finally agreed to, and in the future created a great anti-hunting foundation.

In the meantime Kitsune and Youku admonished the dog who, already was so abashed by what had just happened to him, listened carefully and promised never to hound foxes again!

our blind cruelty
could be changed by empathy
so says Kitsune

This was written for Ligo Haibun