The dogs were the first to meet them in the village. Bunsa noticed it before: his wife was terrified of dogs. Her family didn't have any mangy curs slinking about their yards, but when she ventured into her village, she always kept a stout cane with her and ran into a shop at the first sight of a dog. The canines here were bolder and more vicious. In no time at all, Bunsa and Moriko were surrounded by a circle of barking and snarling beasts. Bunsa abandoned the cart that he was pushing and leapt to his wife's defense. A few well placed blows at least slowed down the attack and gave time for the villagers to come to their guests' aid. Soon the dogs were dispersed and Bunsa and Moriko welcomed into the town.The couple was installed in a house where they were going to rent a room for the next few weeks. The room was tiny; it was originally supposed to house only one person. Moriko didn't mind. She wiped the dust and put a few possessions that they brought with them in their proper places. The owner of the house was an old man. He, obviously, was rich because in all the time that they spent there, they didn't see him do anything in a way of usual work. All day long, he read old texts and wrote. He also took long walks in the woods outside the village. He liked Moriko right from the first and plied her with tea and mochi.
Bunsa went to work the next morning. Moriko made breakfast for the old man and cleaned the house. That left a lot of time for her to wonder, what she was going to do with herself, while Bunsa was working. She didn't want to go outside for the fear of the dogs. A few of them hung by the old man's house, waiting for her to come out. Moriko looked out the window, moved around the living room, im'a, running her fingers through the multitude of the manuscripts lying on every surface. She already missed Bunsa. The old man came in, saw her listless figure. "A body of dust
lighter than dust...little butterfly", he thought. He asked, what was the matter. He told her to get ready to go outside, took a heavy stick waiting in the corner by the door, and they walked out into the street. At the sound of the old man's voice, and encouraged by the weight of the stick on their hides, the terrified dogs scattered. The old man took Moriko right to the building site, where Bunsa worked. He left the stick for Moriko and went home.
So, that was how it went for the next few weeks. In the early afternoon, the old man would see Moriko to the street, to give her courage to brave the streets alone. She then made her way to the building site. Sometimes, Bunsa didn't notice, when she came. He would lift his head from whatever he was doing and see her, sitting on a log, hugging knees to her chest. The look on her face was enough to make him smile.