THE LOST DOLL
ENGLISH | THE MAGIC OF WORDS
A Story from the Island of Hokkaido, Japan
‘The Loving Mother’ is a story that reveals the everlasting love of a mother to her baby even after her death. It particularly gives central focus round the mysterious arrival of a woman at a pharmacist’s usually at midnight. Shoji Sakota, the protagonist of this story undergoes an unseen fear when he received the frequent visit in the same time almost every night. Sakota was a Japanese pharmacist who lived a lonely life since his wife had died many years before. One stormy winter night, when he was preparing the annualbusiness report, someone knocked at the door. At first he didn’t pay much attention towards the knock thinking that whoever came there would see the drugstore closed and return back. Second time also he heard the knock at the door and thought that the wind was making the sound. The frequency of knock grew that compelled him to think whether he might have some urgent house call. He looked outside from the window quietly and saw there a woman standing and speaking in a trembling voice. He suspected her and thought whether it might be her trick to rob him. But her continuous pleads made him open the door. The woman looked not like a normal woman. She was wearing a torn out gown and her hair was not arranged. She asked Sakota for an ame on a stick stick. Sakota was surprised when he knew about her request because he thought that she would ask for the medicine.
The woman came to the shop in the following nights regularly with same request at the same time. With a view to have detail study about a woman, he called his friend who was a photographer by profession. They managed to take photos of that woman secretly. But, when the film was developed, there was no sign of the woman except the things in the drugstore. The mystery remained so intense that ultimately forced them to follow her up to her bedroom. They followed on her way back to her home and they became able to find the same woman lying beside her child who was enjoying the ame on a stick, which she brought from Shoji Sakota. When Mr. Sakota saw her sleeping instantly, he thought it was merely a kind of pretension. The moment he touched her with his fingers he became sure that she had been dead for many days.
In this story, the spirit of a loving mother visited Mr. Sakota’s pharmacy in order to buy ame on a stick mostly preferred by her child. Though the mother is dead, her spirit shows an infinite love to her child who is reported to have been sick for many days. Her death was quite unknown to others. Moreover, there was nobody to look after her.
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