On the nose monk Dzenti in Ikenoo knew everyone. This nose was five or six sung long and hung over his lip below the chin, and its thickness is that at the bottom of that tip was exactly the same. And he dangled his face in the midst of a sort of long contraption, like a sausage.

Monk was in his fifties, and all life, for a long time and vows to the present day, has awarded high rank naydodzёgubu [1], he bitterly lamented the soul because of his nose. Of course, even now he pretended this thing bothers him very little. And it was not just that worry about the nose, he thought inappropriate for a priest, who was to give all his thoughts coming to the existence of near Amida [2]. Much more worried about it, how would anyone have guessed how much it annoys own nose. During everyday conversations, he was most afraid that the conversation will go about noses.

The hardships of the monk with his nose for two reasons.

Firstly, a long nose everyday inconvenience caused. For example, the monk could not make their own food. If he ate without assistance, the tip of the nose plunged into a cup with food. Therefore, during meals monk had put himself at a table in front of one of the students, so that the nose is supported by a special plank width and length sung two shaku. Eat so food has always been a difficult task for both student and teacher. Once the student instead of the nose kept boy-novice. In the middle of the meal, he sneezed, his hand trembled with the plaque, and the nose dropped into rice pudding. Hearing about the incident came in due time to the capital itself ... Yet this was not the main reason why the monk was grieved because of the nose. Truly he was suffering from wounded pride.

Residents Ikenoo said if Dzenti monk with his nose lucky he monk and not a layman, because, in their opinion, it is unlikely there would be a woman who would agree to marry him. Knockers Some even claimed that he had his hair cut something out of the nose. However, to a monk it is not at all that it belongs to the spiritual estate in any way mitigates the suffering caused by his nose. His vanity was deeply wounded by the impact of such considerations as the issue of marriage. So he tried to heal the wounds of pride both active and passive means.

At first, the monk was looking for a way how to make the nose appear shorter than it actually is. When one was not around, he was beaten out of breath, his face looking at all angles. No matter how he changed the turn of the head, he did not become calmer, and he stared hard at his reflection, then propped her cheek with his hand, then putting his fingers to his chin. But he never once saw his nose is so short that it's any consolation at least of himself. And what became bitter in his heart, the longer seemed his nose. Then the monk cleaned the mirror box, sighed heavier than usual and reluctantly returned to their original location to the music stand to read a sutra "Kannon-kyo" [3].

Monk has always cared very noses of other people. Ikenoo Temple was one of those churches, where initiation ceremonies are often held, preached, and so on. The entire interior of the church was densely built monastic cells, in the temple every day baths heated water. Visitors - monks and laymen - were unusually large. The monk tirelessly examined the faces of these people. He had hoped to find at least one person with the same nose, as he does, then it would be easier. Therefore, his eyes did not notice any blue jackets or white kimono, and brown hat and gray clothes lay clergy become familiar to him so that they do not care for it that it was not. The monk did not see the people he saw only their noses noses ... but, at best, been hooked, the same noses like his, he had never seen. And every day the monk lost heart more and more. Talking to someone, he unknowingly caught the tip of his fingers dangling nose, whenever this blushing, just like a child caught in mischief, what circumstance entirely arising from this evil of his mental state.

Finally, to in any way be comforted, the monk sought out the characters with the same noses, like him, in the Buddhist and secular books. However, none of the sacred books is not to say that Mandgalayana or Shariputra [4] had long noses. Nagarjuna [5] and Asvaghosha [6] too, of course, turned out to be saints, with the most common noses. Once, in a conversation about China monk heard, if at shuhanskogo Prince Liu Syuande [7] have long ears, and he thought he felt less lonely as he himself, if we were talking about the nose.

Needless to say that the monk, puzzling over passive means, tried also active methods of influence on his nose. Then he, too, did almost everything possible. He tried to drink the infusion of burnt pumpkin. He tried to rub his nose in mouse urine. But whatever he undertook, his nose is still hanging on the lips pyativershkovoy sausage.

But one day in the autumn of one of the disciples of the monk, who had gone on his behalf in the capital learned it from a friend, a physician way to shorten long noses. This doctor once visited China and on his return became a priest in the temple Tёraku.

Monk, as expected, made it look as if the question of the noses him completely indifferent, or even hint on how to immediately try out said method. On the other hand, he casually remarked that he was extremely unpleasant to disturb the student whenever you need to eat. Deep down, he expected that the student will somehow persuade him to try this method. And the disciple perfectly understood cunning monk. And no matter how hated student this trick, it is much more worked, exciting his compassion, the feelings that forced it to resort to the monk. As expected a monk, a disciple began struggling to persuade him to try this method. As expected student monk in the end succumbed to his ardent persuasion.

As a method, it was extremely simple: the nose had to boil in hot water and a good ottoptat feet.

Water is heated in the temple baths every day. The student went and brought a large jar of boiling water, such hot that it was impossible to put a finger. Straight nose dipped into the jar it was dangerous, the steam from the boiling water would cause burns to the face. Therefore, it was decided to provertet hole in a wooden dish, cover them jar and stick your nose in boiling water through the hole. When the nose plunged into boiling water, it did not hurt. Some time passed, and the student said:

- Now it boil enough.

The monk smiled bitterly. He thought that if someone had overheard this phrase in his head would not come, that it was a nose. The nose is, scalded with boiling water, itched, as if he were biting fleas.

Monk pulled the nose of the holes in the plate. Apprentice perched on the nose, which is still steaming, with both feet and began to stomp hard. Monk was lying sprawled on his nose plank floor, and before his eyes moved up and down the disciples' feet. From time to time a disciple looked with pity on his bald head monk then asked:

- Do not you hurt? The doctor warned to stomp hard. It hurts you?

Monk wanted to shake his head to show that he was not hurt. But his nose were the disciples' feet, and his head did not move. Then he looked up and stared at the cold cracked heels student replied angrily:

- No, it does not hurt.

Indeed, marking itchy nose caused by a monk is not so much the pain as pleasant.

After some time on the nose finally began to get out some balls like millet grain. It is as when plucked chicken fry. Noticing this, the student got off the nose and said to himself:

- Was ordered to remove these pieces of hair tongs.

Monk complained pouting silently obeyed. Not that he did not understand the feelings of good student. No, he knew it, but he did not like it that with the nose of his treated like a foreign object. And it is with a view of the patient, which makes the operation unworthy of trust doctor watched with disgust as a disciple of tweezers remove the fat from his nose. Slices of bacon were in the form of feathers Stalks of approximately four bu.

When at last the procedure has been completed, the student said with relief:

- And now the boil once more.

The monk with the same unhappy expression on his face did as he was told. And when the second cooked nose was removed from the jar, it was found that he had become shorter than ever. Now he was no different from the ordinary rather hooked nose. Stroking the shortened nose, a monk with awe and a sense of unease looked in the mirror, which brought him a disciple.

The nose, the same nose that had once hung up to his chin, and now incredibly shrank modestly satisfied with a place on the upper lip. Here and there it stood red spots, probably traces left by the disciples' feet. Already now, probably, nobody will laugh ... The person in the mirror and looked at the monk's satisfaction pomargivalo.

However, the monk was afraid that a day or two to make a long nose again. At every opportunity, whether by reading the scriptures aloud, or during a meal, and then he raised his hand and furtively fingered the tip of the nose. However, the nose is very decently kept above the lip, and, in all probability, was not particularly situated down below.

Early in the morning the next day, waking from sleep, first of all, the monk walked his fingers in the nose. His nose was still short. And then the monk felt a great relief, like a long-term work concluded by correspondence "Sutra of the lotus».

But in less than two or three days, the monk made an unexpected discovery. Samurai, who visited the temple at the time Ikenoo for some of their affairs, kept his eyes on his nose, with him not zagovarivaya and kind of having an extremely sarcastic. Moreover, the boy-novice, the same man who once dropped his nose in rice porridge, passing him around the room, where the sermons and teachings, at first looked down, apparently trying to overcome a laugh, and then did not resist and giggled . Several times, giving orders to the monks workers, he noticed that they kept a respectful front of his face, as if he turn away, they immediately received a giggle.

At first, the monk took it down to the fact that he changed his face. However, by itself, this explanation probably does not explain ... Of course, monks and novice workers laughed just for this reason. However, while they laughed at all still laughing this is now something different from the time when the nose was long. Perhaps unusually short nose looked funnier than the usual long nose. But it seems, and something else.

- Never before had they so blatantly laughing - sometimes monk muttered, looking up from his reading of the holy book, and cocked his bald head. At the same time, our handsome, absently staring at the image Vishvabhadry [8] hanging around, thought about what a long nose was with him a few days ago, and sadly thought: "Today is like I had fallen into poverty man behind former prosperity ... "Unfortunately, the monk lacked the insight to understand what was going on.

... In the human heart there are two contradictory feelings. There is not a man who would not have compassion for misfortune of others. But this fellow is somehow better, as it is already causing a feeling that something was missing. Slightly exaggerated, even allowed to say that there is a desire to plunge once more this passing into the same trouble. Immediately appears, though passive, but still hostile to the neighbor ... The monk did not understand what was happening, but nevertheless felt a certain sadness - no doubt because vaguely suspected in relation to themselves laymen and monks Ikenoo egoism party observers.

And the mood spoiled monk every day. He angrily berated anyone who caught his eye. The matter eventually reached the point that even his disciple, the one who treated him in the nose, quietly began to talk as if he were a monk, sin indifference to religion. Monk particularly angered trick shalopaya-novice. One day, he heard the dog squealing outside, he went to see what was happening, and saw the novice, swinging a stick two feet long, rides around the yard skinny, shaggy mutt. And if he just drove! No, he drove while excitedly yelled:

 - But I love you in the nose! But I love you in the nose!

Monk snatched the boy's stick and violently hit him in the face. The stick was the old plaque for supporting the nose.

Monk more sorry that so recklessly shortened his nose.

And then came one night. Shortly after sunset the wind blew, and the sound of bells under the roof of the pagoda cloyingly climbed into his ears. Additionally pretty cold, so the old monk, although he wanted to sleep, could not sleep. He lay there with open eyes and suddenly felt his nose itched terribly. He touched his fingers - his nose swollen, as if struck by dropsy. It seems to have become even hot.

- Poor man unjustly shortened, so he was ill, - muttered the monk, respectfully holding his nose as sacrificial take flowers to lay on the altar in front of a Buddha.

The next morning he woke up as usual early. Looking out the window, he saw that ginkgo [9] and the Buckeyes in the courtyard of the temple for the night crumbled, and the courtyard was shining like lined with gold. Roofs were covered with frost. In a still weak light of dawn shone brightly decorating the pagoda. Monk Dzenti standing at the open window, took a deep breath.

And at this moment to him again returned some almost forgotten sensation.

He excitedly grabbed the nose. Something touched his hand, it was not yesterday's short nose. It was his long nose the previous five or six Tursunov long, hanging over the lip below the chin. Monk realized that last night of his nose once again returned to its previous state. And then I came back to him from somewhere in the sense of joyous relief, exactly the same as what he experienced when his nose became shorter.

- It is now something to laugh at me no longer, - the monk whispered, putting his long nose autumn wind.

[1] Naydodzёgubu - ordained monk, who served in the palace chapel.
[2] The Buddha Amida (Skt. Amitabha) - one of the most revered Buddha in Japan.
[3] Sutra "Katyunya-kyo" - one of the sections of "Sutra of the lotus" (Skt. "Sadharmapundarika"), dedicated to the bodhisattva Kashyun.
[4] Mandgalayana Shariputra - disciples of the Buddha (Gautama).
[5] Nagarjuna - Buddhist scholar, one of the founders of the nN Mahayana, the main directions of Buddhism.
[6] Asvaghosha - Buddhist preacher, author of "The Life of the Buddha».
[7] Shuhan - one of the three parts of ancient China, the Han empire. Liu Syuande (160-213) - the son of the emperor, an outstanding military leader.
[8] Vishvabhadra - bodhisattva, who accompanied the Buddha. Usually depicted seated on an elephant.
[9] Ginkgo - a huge tree with a small fan-shaped leaves. In Europe, it is grown as an ornamental.

© Ryunoske Akutagawa

(translation A.Strugatskogo)



See also

New and interesting