Buri and the Tanuki Kids Picture

A scene out of my "Houshi Buri" story. This is where Buri meets the two tanuki, Koburi and Kita.

There was rumor about a road where monsters would appear and steal people's money. Wanting to investigate, Buri traveled that road and, sure enough, a dragon appeared and demanded all of his money.

Now, in Japanese mythology, foxes, tanuki, and cats can shapeshift. While dogs cannot change their shape, they can see through illusions like the shapeshifters can. Shapeshifters often transform by placing a leaf on their heads, chanting, and then doing a flip.

Buri could see through the illusion and got a sly idea. He offered to give up his money AND a secret if the dragon would lean his ear in closer. When the dragon did so, Buri pulled the leaf off of its head, and the dragon popped back into the shape of two tanuki kids. Koburi and his little sister, Kita, lost their home to greedy relatives when their parents died. In order to survive, they've been stealing from travelers by transforming into monsters.

Buri offers them some money, but Koburi refuses it, saying that he can take care of his little sister himself. I haven't decided how, but eventually, they join Buri on his travels.

I know that the quality of the image sucks, but that's my crappy scanner's fault. It likes to put this thick, ugly distortion line up the side of my pictures. To keep it out of this one, I had to cut off one leg and one paw of the dragon illusion. It was either that or cut off part of Buri's sando-gasa (sedge-hat).
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