The Royal County Arbiter

05 February 2006

My Treasure

A few years ago I taught English at a Senior High School in Japan. A common class assignment was to write a few sentences in English about your most treasured posession. Naturally, almost all of the kids chose to write about the most mundane objects possible, in the most simple English possible. "My treasure is my soccer ball. I play soccer. I kick the ball. I want to win!!!" and "My treasure is my camera. May I take a picture? I love pictures!! My camera is very nice! My dream is to be a photographer. I will fight!" are two traditional arrangements.

In amongst a pile of students' past essays on the subject, I found a submission which immediately became my treasure.

My Treasure: Japanese student essay

Here's the text for you high-screen-resolution nuts:

"My treasure is a picture of my dog.
The dog's name is Taro.
I had had him since I was four years old.
But he had died of old age when I was in the ninth grade.
There are only two pictures of Taro for those eleven years.
So I think that I will take care of them."
Writing in a difficult foreign language can condense emotion and thought into a pure and unfiltered form. The results are often blunt and amusingly to-the-point ("Oh! You are very very thin!"), but on occasion they can break your heart.

Deep down, I think I'm a sentimental sap.


Blogger Spider-Sam:

You're a silly old sentimental sausage , T.L.

And that's why we love you

6:06 pm  
Anonymous Old Guy:

Sentimental, yes.

Sap, no. (At least, no more than I'd call myself a sap. Hmmm, ASAP?)

I felt the lad's pain. Losing a dog at that age is like losing your best friend. After all, who else would listen to him attentively as he expressed himself during to Taro during his formative years? Mom, certainly. Dad, perhaps. But Taro---for SURE!

Our dog yellow Lab, "Cookie", is now 9 and my 19-year-old son is wondering how much longer we can expect her to live. Cookie has been a wonderful "runner" since she was a pup. She still likes to show off her skill. But she's slowing down and I'm afraid we will have her only a couple more years, at best.

I feel sorry for my sons when the day comes that she has to be put down. She's been a great listener, even for me...

8:49 pm  

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