‘The Ten Ox-Herding Songs’

2. Seeing the Footprints of the Ox: By studying the teachings of the sutras, the boy begins to understand the meaning of the first signs he encounters—the footprints of the ox—and he resolutely sets out on his journey.

Verse: By the water, and under the trees,
there are numerous traces.
Fragrant grasses grow thickly,
but did you see the ox?
Even in the depths
of the distant mountain forest,
How could the upturned nostrils
of the ox be concealed?
—Trans. Gen Sakamoto

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