I’m busy and tired today (and tired of being busy. Ba-dum-bum!), so instead of exerting any kind of creative effort, I’ll just regurgitate a few morsels of unlikely interest for you.

You may remember a few months ago when I offered a horrific excerpt one of my school’s English textbooks. Well in order to balance out the unfavorable impression I may have given due to the downer tale of the little girl and her surrogate son dying slowly in the nuclear aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, I offer the following sweet tale at the end of the 3rd year textbook… which tells of Freddie the Leaf coming to terms with his mortality before falling off his tree and dying on the cold snow.

Honestly, I’m starting to understand why suicide rates in Japan are so far above the international average. Everyone is too depressed to live by the time they graduate into the real world.

In all seriousness, this one is actually quite a nicely done little story and I’ve become fond of it (at least in lieu of the other stories in these texts). So in the interests of intercultural insight, I might as well share it with you, right?

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, New Horizon English Course, Book 3

Spring came. Freddie, the leaf, was born on a branch of a tall tree.

Hundreds of leaves were born on the tree. They were all friends. Together they danced in the breeze and played in the sun.

Daniel was the largest leaf and Freddie’s best friend. He knew many things. He explained that they were part of a tree in a park. He also explained about the birds, the sun, and the moon.

Freddie loved being a leaf. Summer was especially nice. Many people came to the park.

“Let’s get together and give them some shade,” said Daniel. “Giving shade is part of our purpose in life. Making people happy is a good reason for living.”

Old people sat under the tree and talked of old times. Children ran around and laughed. It was fun to watch them.

Summer passed and fall came. Soon the leaves changed their colors. Some turned red and others turned yellow. Freddie turned purple. They were all very beautiful.

One day a strange thing happened. Some of the leaves were blown off by a strong cold wind. The leaves became frightened. “What’s happening?” they said.

“It’s the time for leaves to change their home,” Daniel said. “Some people call it dying.”

“Will we all die?” Freddie asked.

“Yes,” Daniel answered. “Everything dies.”

“I won’t die!” said Freddie.

But his friends started to fall one after another. Soon the tree was almost bare.

“I’m afraid of dying,” Freddie told Daniel.

“We’re all afraid of things we don’t know,” Daniel said. “But you were not afraid when spring became summer, or when summer became fall. Changes are natural.”

“Will we return in spring? Freddie asked.

“I don’t know, but Life will. Life lasts forever and we’re part of it,” answered Daniel.

“We only fall and die. Why are we here?” Freddie asked again.

Daniel said, “For the friends, the sun and the shade. Remember the breeze, the people, and the colors in fall. Isn’t that enough?”

That afternoon, Daniel fell with a smile. Freddie was the only leaf left on his branch.

The first snow fell the next morning.

The wind came and took Freddie from his branch. It didn’t hurt at all.

As he fell, he saw the whole tree for the first time. He remembered Daniel’s words, “Life lasts forever.”

Freddie landed on the soft snow. he closed his eyes and went to sleep.

He did not know this. But, in the tree and the ground, there were already plans for new leaves in spring.

And then there’s this.

Amusing YIM Exchange of the Week:

skottie_p (23:34:38PM): whoa, this is cool!

Nicole (23:35:46PM): You’re weird.

skottie_p (23:36:24PM): seriously, i’ve noticed that about myself tho, like i always notice whenever my head goes left in a kiss I’m like, “Hmmmm, this isn’t very comfortab….mmmmmmmmmmm.”

Nicole (23:36:39PM): You’re weird

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