The Six Rows of Pompons !

Toshio Mori When little Nephew Tatsuo came to live with us he liked to do everything the adults were doing on the nursery, and although his little mind did not know it, everything did the opposite of adult conduct, unknowingly destructive and disturbing.

le Hiroshi after witnessing several weeks of rampage said, “This has got to stop, this sawing the side of a barn and nailing the doors to see if it would open. But we must not whip him. We must not crush his curiosity by any means And when Nephew Tatsuo, who was seven and in high second grade, got used to the place and began coming out into the fields and pestering us with difficult questions as”What are the plants here for? What is water? Why are the bugs made for? What are the birds and why do the birds sing?” and so on. I said to Uncle Hiroshi, “We must do something about this. We cannot answer questions all the time and we cannot be correct all the time and so we will do harm. But something must be done about this beyond a doubt.” “Let us take him in our hands,” Uncle Hiroshi said.

So Uncle Hiroshi took little Nephew Tatsuo aside, and brought him out in the fields and showed him the many rows of pompons’ growing. “Do you know what these are?” Uncle Hiroshi said. “These things here?” “Yes. Very valuable,” Nephew Tatsuo said. “Plants.” “Do you know when these plants grow up and flower, we eat?” Uncle Hiroshi said Nephew Tatsuo nodded.

“Yes,” he said, “I knew that.” “All right. Uncle Hiroshi will give you six rows of pompons,” Uncle Hiroshi said, “You own these six rows. You take care of them. Make them grow and flower like your uncle’s”Gee!” Nephew Tatsuo said Do you want to do it?” Uncle Hiroshi said”Sure!” he said, “But first, let me”Then jump right in and start working,” Uncle Hiroshi said. tell you something. You cannot quit once you start. You must not let it die, you must make it grow and flower like your uncles.” “All right,” little Nephew Tatsuo said, “I will”

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