The Aged Mother

The Aged Mother

BY: Ⓐ Parker ▒ Life Lessons ▒ LOVE

Story by: Matsuo Basho

This is a sample short comic strip representation of “The Aged Mother” story by Matsuo Basho. Character’s name were fictional, and not use the real character’s name based on the story.

Narrator:

This is a story of a poor farmer named Melchor, and his elderly widowed mother named Anita. They were peacefully living at the bottom of the mountain and owned a piece of land that basically supplies them food for every day.

They were under the town of Himalayas, which is ruled by a powerful ruler named Theodore. He is a powerful ruler but his one great fear is to get old and weak and losing his strength. As a result of this, he used his powers as a ruler of the town to create an order.

King Theodore:

In this town, I don’t want to see old people. I want to put all elderly to death and that’s an order. If anyone will disobeyed the rule, he/she will face the consequences.

Narrator:

That’s the big issue of the town, but there’s no choice and they must obey the rule. Others just simply abandoned their old family members until they die, but the poor farmer, Melchor was very upset. He loves his mother very much but he never dare to disobey the wicked ruler.

Melchor:

He is heartless. He can watch old people dying just because of his weakness. What kind of ruler is he?

Anita:

That’s the order, my dear son. We need to obey it for you to live your life without in danger. Just let me here, go on with your life, son. I’ll be okay.

Melchor:

It hurts a lot to just abandon you, my dear mother. Just for sake of the rule, I will do what I think of the kindest way for you to be at your peaceful rest, without just abandoning you here.

Narrator:

After a day working in the farm, Melchor took some rice and he cooked and prepare for his mother, and tie it up with a square cloth. He carry it in a bundle over his shoulder along a pitcher filed with cool water, next he lifted his mother on to his back.

Melchor:

My dear mom, we will go to the mountain of Obatsuya. There, you can lay own and have some peaceful rest. Sorry if I have to do this, I love you very much.

Anita:

Trailing up there would be dangerous, since it was long road and steep. Do you know where the path through it?

Melchor:

No mom, but I will find a way.

Narrator:

Finally, they got into the mountain, Melchor was very tired but he was also heartbroken thinking of abandoning his mother, but he has no choice. He prepared a comfortable place for his mom. He made a soft bed out of fallen pines and gently placed his mother upon it, and wrapped with padded coat on shoulders. Then in tears, he say goodbye to his beloved mother.

Melchor:

It’s hard for me, my mom. I’m sorry and forgive me if I have to do it.

Anita:

Don’t be sorry son. It was the wicked ruler’s fault. I appreciate what you’ve done for me. I am just worrying about you going back down the mountain. Look carefully and follow the path with twigs on it. They will guide you back home.

Narrator:

Melchor looked over the path and surprised of what his mother did. He saw her hands dirty because of twigs she get off. He was so touched and more heartbreaking if he abandoned her alone.

Melchor:

My mom, your love breaks my heart. I will not leave you. Together we will follow the twigs, and together we will face the consequences by the ruler.

Narrator:

Melchor bring her mother again on his back, and set off the mountain to home. He is worried but ready to face the king if he found out about what he did. Until they reached home and he placed his mother down the hidden basement on their kitchen and secure what she needs.

Few days after, the ruler sent another unreasonable order that the whole town makes in more fear.

King Theodore:

I want all of you, or one of you to give me gift of rope, made of ashes of the old. And this must be as soon as possible.

Narrator:

Everyone is in fear. Melchor told his mother what was the new order from the king, and his mother has an idea.

Anita:

My son, make a rope of twisted straws. Then stretch it upon a row of flat stones and burn it on a windless night.

Narrator:

Melchor called his co-villager to talk about his mother’s idea. And one windless night, they burned out twisted ropes on the flat stones, and result of perfectly shaped rope, made of ashes. And the ruler came down to see what the villagers did.

King Theodore:

Who leads this? and where does the idea came from?

Melchor:

Your highness, that’s my mother’s idea, to be honest. She is already old and I can’t leave her abandoned. Forgive me, your highness. I will ready to accept the consequences for my action and disobeyed your rule. But, my mother is important to me.

Narrator:

King Theodore listened to the farmer, and it touches his heart. Melchor and the town opened their sides with the king. And the king realizes everything.

King Theodore:

The town needs more than strength and youth. I forgot the old saying; “the crown of snow there comes wisdom”.

Narrator:

After that night, the king dismissed the rule. And the town back to normal again. Melchor and his mother and the whole town lives happier and the legend remains.

LESSON:

As the King Theodore, if you are afraid of something, try to face it and learn from it. In life, sometimes those weaknesses can be the strength in future. Make it as your inspiration and not destruction. Go on with our lives. Be positive.

Love your parents unconditionally.

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