Saint of Mt. Koya
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"Believing the leeches had come from the branch under which I had been standing, I now paused to look back at it and saw that the whole surface of the tree was a squirming mass of leeches. I shouted out in terror as I saw the ravenous, black, slimy things dropping down from the tree like rain.

"Looking down, I saw that they had completely covered the top of my foot. So thick were they I could not even see my toes. The whole living mass was throbbing and pulsing as they sucked blood from my foot. Just the sight of it made me feel faint and queasy. In that moment an extraordinary fantasy came to me.

"It occurred to me that these frightful leeches had been here since the beginning of time waiting for travellers to come along. How much blood, I wondered, had they sucked from travellers over the long years of time? It seemed to me that once they had reached their fill, the leeches would vomit up their store of human blood in such vast quantities that the whole earth would be turned to mud; whole mountains would sink beneath an enormous swamp of mud and blood. Here in this dark, dank, and dismal place where the sun never penetrated, even the trees would topple over and be transformed into leeches. Such was the terrible vision that came to me in my distraught condition."

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