Saint of Mt. Koya
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"I cannot tell you how frightened I was. I am cowardly by nature, and I was not at all well-versed in the austere practices of religious training, so venturing into such a dark and dismal place as this, I was relieved to be able to rely on my simple prayers for support. Indeed, I even felt refreshed after the heat of the open road. The weariness went out of my legs and I proceeded briskly. Soon I had gone more than halfway through the forest, when suddenly I felt something heavy fall from a branch overhead and land with a plop on my hat. It was something heavy and sodden, so I supposed it was an overripe fruit of some sort, but when I shook my head to get rid of the thing, it continued to cling to my hat. Without thinking I reached up and plucked at it with my hand only to find that it was cold and slimy.

"Nevertheless, I picked the thing off and looked at it. It was a strange creature resembling a sea slug, having neither eyes nor ears, but it was definitely alive. I was repelled by the horrid creature, yet when I tried to throw it away, it clung to the tips of my fingers and just dangled there. When at last I cast it off, beautiful, bright, red blood dripped from the finger to which it had clung. Startled, I held the finger up before my eyes to examine it. As I did so, I noticed that a similar creature had attached itself to the inside of my elbow. It looked like an enormous slug about half an inch wide and three inches long.

"Even as I gazed at the thing in stupefied amazement, I could see it swelling ever larger as it sucked the living blood from my arm. It was a soft, black thing with brown stripes covered with spines like a cucumber. At last I recognized it to be a blood-sucking leech.

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