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Little Rin

By Princess_Kanako

Adventure / Children

Little Rin

A little girl in a ragged kimono sat under a tree on the edge of a wood. The sun was near to setting , and up in a tree, two birds were talking.

Said the first bird, "Who is that pretty little beggar girl?"

Said the second bird, "That is Rin, but she is no beggar girl. These woods belong to her, and all the land for miles around belong to her, the grand mansion yonder belongs to her; the very tree we sit in belongs to her."

Said the first, "Then why does she wear such a ragged kimono and why does she look so sad?"

Said the second, "Because she has no father and no mother; only the cruel wind-witch for a stepmother, who hates her and wishes her dead."

Said the first, "Why should anyone hate such a pretty little girl and wish her dead?"

Said the second, "Because, if Rin were dead, all her riches would belong to her stepmother."

Said the first, "If I were a big, strong eagle, I would peck out the wind-witches' eyes!"

Said the second, "But you are not a big, strong eagle, and neither am I. We are only little fellows and must leave the world to work in its own way."

Then, both birds flew away.

Now, the sun set and little Rin got up to go back to her grand mansion. She wiped away some tears with the sleeve of her ragged kimono and began to sing:

Ho-day, poor me, O!
Poor me, Little Rin, O!
They call me beggar, beggar,
They call me Little Rin, O!

She was singing that song all the way home. The stepmother was standing at the gate of the grand mansion. She heard Rin singing, and she screamed with rage.

"You idle, little slut! Didn't I tell you to go into the woods and gather a bundle of sticks for the kitchen fire? Now the fire has gone out and you come home dawdling empty-handed! You'll get no supper until you bring those sticks. And see there's plenty," she shrieked, "or you'll feel my wind blades across your shoulders!"

So Rin turned back into the woods. And as she was going, she was singing her sad little song:

Ho-day, poor me, O!
Poor me, Little Rin, O!
They call me beggar, beggar,
They call me Little Rin, O!

The sound of her voice dwindled away into the distance. But the trees and bushes whispered her song to themselves and the stepmother had sharp ears.

"Rin, Rin," she muttered, "May all the devils of the underworld fly away with you, Rin! Beggar you live, and beggar you shall die!"

And she opened her book of spells and called up a devil in the shape of a huge, white dog.

"Sesshoumaru is your name; and tigerish your nature," said she to the dog, "Follow after Rin! Follow after that bad girl and tear her to pieces! I will give you a bag of gold. Yes, and I will be your partner when the Lord of the Underworld calls us to dance the night away on his lofty mountain."

"You must sign me a contract for that first," said the huge, white dog, "For your ways are as slippery as ice and there's no trusting you."

So the stepmother wrote a contract, handing over Rin to the devil, and Sesshoumaru, that huge, white dog, took the contract and swallowed it. Then he ran off into the woods after Rin.


Now it was growing dark. Rin could scarcely see to gather her sticks. She heard rushing and panting and growling among the bushes. She looked around and saw two blazing eyes.

Oh no, one of her stepmother's devil's was coming after her!

Rin climbed up a tree, and crouched there, waiting. Sesshoumaru came to stand under the tree. He looked up; he could see Rin quite clearly with his blazing eyes. She looked so small, so pitiful, that even his heart of ice was touched.

"Rin, Rin," he called, "Come down, come down! Your stepmother has handed you over to me by contract. If you come down and follow me, I will do you no harm. But, if you don't come down, I will pull up this tree by its roots and tear you to pieces!"

Rin came down presently, and followed Sesshoumaru through the dark wood. And as she was going, she was singing her sad little song:

Ho-day, poor me, O!
Poor me, Little Rin, O!
They call me beggar, beggar,
They call me Little Rin, O!

Sesshoumaru turned around, and Rin could see his eyes blazing.

"Stop that song!" He growled, "I don't like it!"

So Rin stopped singing for a while. Then she began to sing again, but in a very soft whisper. And so, she followed Sesshoumaru, ever deeper into the wood.


Meanwhile, back at Rin's grand mansion, the stepmother-which was gloating.

"Rin is dead!" she was muttering to herself, "By this time, Sesshomaru has torn her to pieces!"

And she opened her big book of spells.

"Let there be a funeral pyre here," she said, "And let there be a replica of Rin lying in it."

As she said, so it was: there was the pyre, and there was an exact replica of Rin lying on it, all stiff and cold. Then the stepmother put on mourning clothes and tangled her hair, and called the people together, and had the pyre set alight.

She was screaming and sobbing, and the people said, "See how the good stepmother mourns for poor little Rin!"

Amongst the funeral guests were two demon-slayers called Sango and Kohaku. And as they stood by the grave, Kohaku whispered to Sango, "Sister, there is something wrong here! As we came through the wood just now, I heard Rin singing. How could she be singing in the wood, and at the same time, be lying on her pyre? Let us go back now, and seek out this mystery."

So they slipped away silently and entered the woods, carrying their weapons. They walked softly, softly. And, sure enough, in the very depths of the wood, they heard that sad, whispered little song:

Ho-day, poor me, O!
Poor me, Little Rin, O!
They call me beggar, beggar,
They call me Little Rin, O!

"Brother," whispered Sango, "Either that is Rin singing or it is her ghost. But, ghost or no, let us follow where it leads."

So they went on. For a time, they heard the song, and then, they didn't hear it any more. But, they then saw the faint flickering of a fire. They went towards the flickering and came to a clearing. They peeped in, and saw a great fire burning merrily, they saw Rin sitting on a heap of stones, crying, and the huge, white dog, lying fast asleep, with his head on Rin's lap.

"Rin," whispered Kohaku, "Rin!"

Rin looked up. She saw Sango, she saw Kohaku. Very, very softly, she reached for a log of wood, slipped the log of wood under Sesshoumaru's head and went to stand by Kohaku. Then Sango picked up her Hiraikotsu and took aim at Sesshoumaru.

With a smash, Sesshoumaru's body was sliced in two, and with a yell that echoed around the clearing, a small, green imp leapt out of Sesshoumaru's body and fled from the clearing. The trees of the wood crashed together, and a great wind roared.

The imp rode on the wind, and came to the place where the stepmother, weeping false tears, was feasting among the guests she had invited to the false funeral. The imp pounced on the stepmother, and whirled her away to the Underworld.

Hand in hand with Sango and Kohaku, Rin went back to her grand mansion, where she lived henceforth in happiness. Sango and Kohaku became her dearest friends, and saw that no harm came to her. And often, they heard Rin singing:

Happy, glad me, O!
Glad me, Little Rin, O!
They call me lady, lady,
They call me Lady Rin, O!

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