With my eyes toward the forest, I walk on in silence. My progress is slow, as the path meanders this way and that. After a while I come to a fork. I stop just short of it and rest.
"There should be a stone marker," the young one says.
There is. A square stone column stands at the fork, waist high and twenty centimeters on a side. Written on its surface is 'left to Higakubo' and 'right to Hottahara.' It's dark, but the red lettering is clearly visible. It's a brilliant red, like the underside of a fire-belly newt.
"We'd best go left," the young one directs me. As I look to the left, I see the forest, casting a dark shadow over our heads from high above. I hesitate for a moment.
"You needn't be afraid," the young one tells me. Seeing no better alternative, I set out toward the forest.
As I follow the single path to the base of the trees, I'm pondering in my mind how a blind one can know so much. "Being blind is the worst of disabilities," I hear from behind.
"You'll be fine if I carry you."
"It's good of you to carry me, but it's terrible how folks despise me. How even a parent would despise me."
I'm feeling ill at ease. I quicken my pace toward the forest, to rid myself of this burden.
"I little further and you'll know. -- It was a night just like this." The voice from behind is talking more to itself than to me.
"Know what?" I ask in a voice that betrays my unease.
"But you know already, don't you?" The child replies as though mocking me. Then I begin to think that I do know something. However, it's still unclear. I think that it was indeed a night like this. I think that the answer awaits me just ahead. I dread what it might be. I must lose this burden and flee from this place. I quicken my pace still more.