Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Woman up a tree

Our neighbour, who is quite young for the village as she is possibly not yet seventy, was up a tree on the steep bank above the houses. No harness, and no-one on a rope to ensure the trunk didn't kick back as it fell. Did she need help? No, no, no, not at all, she was perfectly all right, thank you. Was she sure? It wouldn't be a problem, be glad to. No, no, no, anyway she couldn't allow it, it was too dangerous. Really? Her saw looked a little small for the job. Yes, it was a bit small, but she was fine. She was just cutting the Kaki tree to make it shorter - it was too big now. How long had she been at it? Oh, only about four hours. Please don't stay, it is dangerous for you. Lower down, the marks from where she had tried to fell the whole thing were apparent.

I returned with the two bigger hand saws that are in our house. Would she like to use one? Oh yes, that is much better. Oh-ho, it's sharp isn't it? Ho, ho! Amazing! She was clearly tired by now, resolute though she was, so after the requisite number of further refusals, and reassurance that it wasn't the first time I had been up a tree, she allowed me to take over. With a wrenching crack the heavy trunk eventually gave way. It fell onto the footpath, blocking it. It was going to be a big job for her to clear on her own, so I fetched my obliging mate Shigemura-san, and we set to. With much laughing and more thanks she began collecting the hundreds of  Kaki that, attached to the smaller twigs, glowed orange on the ground.

The following morning I could hear her talking and laughing in the entrance to our house. Sure enough, there were some of her Kaki spread out in the hall - she had so many, there were plenty to spare. They were the small kind, not as sweet. People don't eat them fresh so much these days. She was going to dry the others, we could have some when they were ready. No, she didn't need any help with that, ha ha, no, no! No, she couldn't ask for help with anything in the future, it was too dangerous for us, but as for her, it didn't matter, ha ha!


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