Saint of Mt. Koya
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"The old man paused for a moment to pull a dirty, sweat-stained rag from his sash and mopped his creased forehead. Once again he stepped to the horse's head. This time he took the reins in both hands, planted his feet firmly, and pulled on the reins with all his strength. What do you suppose happened?

"With a loud whinny the horse reared back on its hind legs and the old man was thrown flat on his back, raising a cloud of dust in the moonlight. The idiot boy seemed to find this hilarious. Throwing back his head, he opened his thick lips revealing an uneven row of thick, stubby teeth. He waved his arms and laughed loudly.

" 'What a nuisance,' said the woman slipping on her sandals and hurrying out of the house to help.

" 'It's not you, Miss. I've noticed from the beginning that the horse has been looking at the priest. Maybe there was some connection between them in a former life and now the horse wants the priest to pray for him.'

"I was shocked to hear the old man suggest that I might have had some connection with the horse in a former life, but the woman turned to me and asked, 'Excuse me, sir, did you meet anyone on your way up here today?' "

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