Tomo-san Learns to Protect Himself
One day, after finishing his homework and chores, Tomo-san decided to go fishing. He gathered up his fishing pole, and together with his dog, Kidu, started for the pond. When he got there, he saw some boys throwing sticks and rocks into the water that upset the ducks and other creatures that lived there.
Tomo-san told the boys to stop throwing things into the water because they might hurt the animals and scare the fish away. They told him to mind his own business and to go home. Tomo-san felt very upset that they would not stop, but decided to walk away rather than have to fight with them. They started to run after him, but he was faster than they were, and soon they stopped chasing him. Feeling badly for the creatures in the pond and hoping the boys wouldn’t continue to bother them, he started back. The boys were still acting foolishly.
One of the ducks got frightened, and as it started to fly away, it began to quack loudly. The boys kept jumping around and laughing.
Tomo-san’s friend, Mokubei, the wise man, happened to be passing by and saw the whole thing. When he asked them what was happening, the boys said that Tomo-san had frightened the duck, which is why it was quacking. When they tried to stop Tomo-san, he started to chase after them. They were going to tell the local officer what they had seen. Tomo-san kept trying to tell his side of the story, but was constantly out-shouted. Kidu kept barking, but no one understood him and so he sat by his master.
Finally, Mokubei told the boys he had seen the whole thing and that is not a good idea to disturb helpless creatures and that they should never tell lies, because when they are caught, they will have to do more explaining.
They all agreed and said they would not act mean, and they all spent the rest of the afternoon fishing, laughing, and having a good time together as boys do.
Mokubei stayed and watched them having fun. When it was time for everyone to go home, the wise man and Tomo-san went one way and the boys another. Kidu wagged his tail as he walked with Tomo-san and the wise man.
When you find yourself in a situation where you can’t do anything, it is always best to walk away and try to get some help.
© SFKaufman 2011
Excerpt from Cherry Blossoms for Children – Life Lessons to Grow By
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