English 11 Notes for English Notes

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The Loving Mother

A Story from the Island of Hokkaido, Japan

Mr. Shoji Sakota was a pharmacist in the city of Sappora on Hokkaido island in northern Japan. He used to have his own drug store in the same building, where he used to live. He used to live alone in the rear part of the building because his wife had died several years earlier.
One stormy winter night in 1964, he was working in his room at about midnight. As it was the end of the fiscal/financial year, he was very busy with the profit, loss and the accounts of the whole year. At that time, there was a knock at his door. At first, he avoided it. But the knocking persisted or repeated. At last, he opened the door thinking that somebody might have come for some very important medicine. It was a woman who wanted an ame (Japanese candy used for pacifying young children) on a stick for her baby. Mr. Sakota was quite surprised at it because the lady was buying sweet at that time of night. He was very much moved or surprised by the appearance of the lady. She was so strange that her hair was disheveled/messy/uncombed/untidy and her eyes were quite strange.

In short, she looked at a lady from another world. The lady went from there but somehow or other Mr. Sakota could not forget her appearance and at last he left working and went to the bed. On the next night, the same woman came and both the times she asked for an ame. Mr. Sakota was all the more worried. He had a friend with whom he shared his worries. The friend was a photographer. So, they planned to snap the lady if she came the next time or next night.

The next night also, the lady came at the same time and with the same demand. The photographer friend was hiding in the shop and he snapped the lady from different angles. But, when the photographs came, they were quite surprised to find that all articles were present in the photograph but not the lady. Then the two friends decided to follow her the next time if she came.

The next night also, the lady arrived at the same time and asked for an ame. When she left the shop, the two friends followed her quietly.

Finally, they reached a room in an old building. In the room, they found a baby sucking or licking an ame and the woman appeared to be sleeping there in the bed. When they tried to wake up the lady, they realized that she was dead and they felt that she had been dead for several days.

The conclusion is that after her death the lady’s soul was worried about the child. She not only wanted to arrange for food for her child but she also wanted someone to come and know that she had been dead and her child was in a helpless situation. She had selected Mr. Sakota for this.

Important Question

Describe the woman who visited Mr. Sakota’s pharmacy at night.

As Mr. Sakota was working with his accounts at about midnight, there was a knock at his door. He peeped out and found a lady standing there. Unwillingly, he let her in. She was standing with her head bent down. She was excessively thin and her skin was abnormally light. Her long black hair was disheveled and she was wearing a tattered/ragged Kimono (long Japanese gown). The most mysterious and strange were her eyes. It seemed as if she was not looking at him rather she was looking through him. In short, the mysterious-looking woman seemed to be from another world.

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