雨の今朝は友人から譲り受けたばかりの厚手のパーカーを着て中学の読み聞かせに出かけました。滋賀県野洲郡の民話「めおとヅル」。生徒たちは熱心に聞いてくれ、まずはホッとしました。帰り道、多賀大社東口に近づくにつれそこはかとなくいい香り。入り口の両側の狛犬が見事なので見ていると左右同じでないことに初めて気が付きました。右は口を開けて角なし、左は口は閉じて角あり。後で調べると右は獅子で左は狛犬。中国から来たらしく本来は「獅子・狛犬」というそうです。当初は天皇を守る守護獣で宮中にあったものがやがて神社にも置かれるようになったとのこと。境内に入って数本の金木犀を発見。いい香りの源でした。参拝を済ませて社務所で懐かしい延寿おこしを買いました。２００円とは今時にない安さです。雨に濡れて光る玉砂利は歩くたびにジャリジャリ。その音を楽しみながらゆっくりうちへ帰りました。On this rainy chilly morning, I went to the local Junior High School for storytelling wearing a thick parker which I received just yesterday from my friend in Tokyo. This time, I chose the folktale "A couple crane" from Yasu, Shiga prefecture. I am glad that students concentrated on listening to me . On the way back home, when I was approaching the east entrance of Taga shrine, there was a nice smell in the air which made me wonder from where it came. There were two guardian dogs in the rain at the entrance and I was amazed by them, then I noticed for the first time that two of them were different. The right one has his mouth open and no horns, the left one has his mouth closed but has horns. According to web info which I checked later, the right one is a lion and the left one is a guardian dog and they are originally from China. They were initially placed in imperial court for protecting the Emperor, but after that they were also placed in the shrine. After I entered the shrine, I found a couple of fragrant olive trees which were the source of the good scent. I worshipped at the shrine and bought "Enjyu Okoshi (long life brittle)" at the shrine office which I have known since I was a child. It cost only 200 yen and I think it was an incredibly low price! When I walked on the gravel which was wet with rain and shining, it sounded nice. Enjoying the sound, I walked and went home.