Some of these stood in spots where the tilt of the land would have seemed to have precluded even the thought of such cultivation. For a paddyfield must be perfectly level, that it may be kept under water at certain seasons of the year. On a slope, therefore, a thing a paddyfield never hesitates to scale, they rise in terraces, skyward.
A daimyo's castle, wont of old to wield Across the checkerboard of paddyfield A rook-like power from its vantage square On pawns of hamlets; now a ruin, there, Its triple battlements gaze grimly down Upon a new-begotten bustling town, Only to see self-mirrored in their moat An ivied image where the lotus float.
Here the drop was so great that the terraces made bastions that towered proudly on the very knife-edge of decision between the seaweed and the cliffs. A runnel tamed to a bamboo duct did them Ganymede service. For a paddyfield is perpetually thirsty. It was the season of repairing of dykes and ditches in rice chronology, a much more complicated annal than might be thought.
The uncommended sight was a neighboring paddyfield, in which a company of frogs, caught trespassing, stood impaled on sticks a foot high, as awful warnings to their kind. Beyond this the way passed through a string of clay cuttings following the coast, and in good time rolled us into the midst of a collection of barnlike buildings which it seemed was Wakura.
And then in the gloaming to trudge homeward, feeling that you have done a meritorious deed after all! When I come to my second childhood, I mean to turn paddyfield farmer myself. Though the fields took to the slopes so kindly, they had a preference for plains. In the deltas, formed by the bigger streams, they expanded till they made chesswork of the whole.