THE LUST OF THE WHITE SERPENT (Jasei no in)399
Once upon a time, though it matters not exactly when, 400 in the province of Kii, by the cape of Miwa, 401 there lived a fisherman named Ōya402 no Takesuke. He was rich in the luck of the sea 403 and took care of many other fishermen who caught all sorts of things, broad of fin and narrow of fin, thus enabling his house to prosper. Takesuke had two sons and one daughter. His first son, Tarō, was a simple but hard-working man, and his second child, a girl, had married someone from the province of Yamato, where she now lived. The third child, named Toyoo, grew to be a gentle young lad, especially fond of polite accomplishments but with little practical sense.
'If I gave him his share of the inheritance,' the father lamented, 'it would soon pass into other hands. Even should another family adopt him to continue their line, I would eventually grow ill from hearing uncomplimentary reports. The best thing to do would be to let him develop in his own way and become a scholar 404 or a priest, if he pleases, and for the rest of his life Tarō could look after his needs.' From then on he made no effort to restrain his son.
Toyoo had a teacher who was a priest at the Shingfi Shrine. 405 His name was Abe no Yumimaro, and Toyoo visited him regularly. On one of these trips, around the end of the Ninth Month, 406 when the sea was especially calm, clouds suddenly arose from the southeast, 407 and a light drizzle began to fall. 408 Therefore, as he set out from his master's home Toyoo borrowed a large umbrella, but by the time he came in