In the good old days of the daimios, there lived an old couple whose only pet was a little dog. Having no children, they loved it as though it were a baby. The old dame made it a cushion of blue crape, and at mealtime Muko—for that was its name—would sit on it as snug as any cat. The kind people fed the pet with tidbits of fish from their own chopsticks, and all the boiled rice it wanted. Thus treated, the dumb creature loved its protectors like a being with a soul.
The old man, being a rice farmer, went daily with hoe or spade into the fields, working hard from morning until O Tento Sama (as the sun is called) had gone down behind the hills. Every day the dog followed him to work, never once harming the white heron that walked in the footsteps of the old man to pick up the worms. For the old fellow was patient and kind to everything that had life, and often turned up a sod on purpose to give food to the birds.
The plot revolves around an old, childless couple who lived during the daimios era in Japan. The author refers to this time as the 'good old days' since it was Japan's critical period. The first and second Industrial Revolutions occurred, resulting in increased production and profit during this period. The good old couple's only pet was a little dog named Muko. Since the couple didn't have children, they treated their beloved dog like a child. The elderly woman prepared an excellent blue crape-based cushion for her beloved dog to sit comfortably like a cat, especially during winter. They fed it with fish from their chopsticks and gave rice that they had prepared.
Muko loved its master's family as they treated it like their kid with love and kindness.
The good old couple
The old man was a hardworking rice farmer. From morning till sunset, he continued on his field, working with his spade and hoe. 'O Tento Sama' refers to 'sun'. 'Sama' is also a title of respect.
Muko always accompanied the old man to the field every day. Also, the dog was as kind and thoughtful as its master, for it never harmed the white heron that walked in man's footsteps to pick up the worms.
Since the farmer was kind and patient to all the living creatures, he purposely turned up the surface of the ground for the birds to eat their food. He always helped the animals which were in need.
Kind good old man
Meaning of difficult words:
|Daimios||Refers to wealthy landholding magnates of 19th century Japan|
|Snug||Warm and comfortable|
|Blue crape||A thin material made of cotton and silk|
|Dumb||Unable to speak|
|Tidbit||A small and nice piece of food|
|Chopstick||A pair of thin sticks used for eating, especially in Asian countries|
|Hoe||A garden tool used for turning up surface of the ground, with the grass growing on it|
|Sod||Surface of the ground|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Honeycomb. The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom (pp. 55-63). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.