Translated by Toshiya Kamei
A mother saw her small son die with a terrible shudder, which destroyed the city of Appa, but couldn’t accept his death and begged the gods to give him back to her. The gods, feeling pity, didn’t let the boy’s soul enter the Other World and returned it to his body. But you know how the gods are: his body remained dead, his many wounds didn’t heal, and the mother’s heart experienced the joy of having her son back, of not having lost him, then the horror of seeing the poor creature suffer, imprisoned in his damaged flesh. And then came disgust, yes, disgust as the boy began to rot, and worms devoured him, and he shouted, invoking death, but, as I have said, he was already dead. The mother, out of her mind, stabbed him once, twice, three times, more; then she threw stones at him, poisoned him, strangled him . . . But the boy only cried, only suffered. Finally she took him in her arms, his skin torn, his bones broken, his blood black, and threw him into the flames of a bonfire. And the poor devil burned, and turned into smoke and ash, and the wind scattered him and mixed him with the air, and then the mother found comfort, for good or ill. But she shouldn’t have done it because in those imperceptible remains there was still his hurting soul, and this soul is still in the world today, scattered but alive, as all those who breathe, open their mouths, and suddenly feel sadness know.