Misplaced compassion

Translated from Nihon no Yurei

My great-grandmother was born and raised in Uneme-cho (present-day East Ginza, fifth ward), and lived there until she died at age eighty-five in the tenth year of the Taisho era.  Many were the stories that we heard from her.  This is one of them.

 A certain monk was walking by and saw a chicken that was due to be slaughtered.  Pulling some money from his pocket, the monk bought the chicken and thus saved its life.  However that night, the chicken stood before the monk as if in a dream and cursed the monk:

“If I had died today as was my destiny, I could have been reborn as a human! Instead of that, because you saved my life, my dearest hope has been lost and I am doomed to go back into the re-birth cycle all over again!”

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