4 – At Fern-Print Rock

“The following morning, we set off to Shinobu in search of the Fern-print Rock. We found it half
buried in the soil of a remote hamlet over- shadowed by a mountain. Some village children came
up and told us that, in the old days, the stone had stood on top of the mountain. But the people
who went up there to rub the cloth on the stone with ferns had torn off leaves of barley too. The
farmers had become so annoyed, they had pushed the stone down into the valley – which was
why it was now lying upside down. The story was not impossible.”