Saint of Mt. Koya
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The holy man nodded his head as though he knew what I was thinking and murmured, "What was she? you ask. Listen and I will explain. As it turned out, I had learned something about the woman of that isolated house even before I actually met her. You remember that on the flooded road before I took that terrible bypass I met a peasant who told me about a doctor's house that had once stood there in a grove of trees; well, this woman was the daughter of that doctor.

"In the early days there was nothing strange or unusual in all the region of Hida, the only remarkable occurrence was the birth of this beautiful, gem-like daughter to the doctor. Her mother had fat cheeks, squinty, slanted eyes, and a flat nose. Her breasts had drooping nipples of the most disgusting sort, and everyone wondered how a child who had nursed at those breasts could have grown up to be so radiantly beautiful.

"The child was so lovely indeed that it was often rumored that she was just the sort you read about in the old fairy tales where a god will shoot a white feathered arrow into the roof of a house as a sign that he wishes the daughter to be offered up to him, or the stories about a nobleman hunting in the country who discovers a charming girl and takes her into his palace as a princess.

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