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  • "The Aged Mother" by Matsuo Basho 
  • Theme: They are not useless, they can help people out. 
  • so she stretched forth her hands and snapping the twigs from brushes s they passed, she quickly dropped a handful every few steps of the way so that as they climbed. 
  • Weary and heart sick, the youth gently released his burden and silently prepared a place of comfort as his last duty to the loved one. 
  • The son's surprised eyes looked back at the path, then at the poor old,shriveled hands all scratched and soiled by their work of love. His heart broke and he cried aloud "oh, Honorable mother your kindness breaks my heart! I will not leave you. Together we will follow the path of twigs, and together we will die!"
  • Let not thine eyes be blinded, my son. The mountain road is full of dangers. LOOK carefully and follow the path which hold piles of twigs. They will guide you to the familiar father path.
  • He called the people together and did as she said and when the blaze died down, there upon the stones, with every twist and fiber showing perfectly, lay a rope of ashes.  
  • The entire province trembled with dread. The order must be obeyed yet who in all Shining could make a rope of ashes? One night, in great distress, the son whispered the news to his hidden mother. 
  • "Wait! she said. "I will think. I will think" On the second day she told him what to do. "Make a rope of twisted straw," she said.  "Then stretch it upon a row of flat stones and burn it on a windless night. 
  • The governor was pleased at the wit of the youth and praised greatly, but he demanded to know where he had obtained his wisdom. 
  • "Alas! Alas!" cried the farmer, "the truth must be told!" and with deep bows he related his story.
  • The governor listened and then meditated in silence. Finally he lifted his head. "Shining needs more than strength of youth," he cried gravely. "Ah, that I should Have Forgotten the well-known saying, "with the crown of snow, there cometh wisdom!" That very hour the cruel law was abolished, and custom drifted into as far a past that only legends remain.
  • This boxes show how theme is developed, and the theme is that old people are not useless and that they can be helpful. These boxes show how the farmers mo is helpful and how she helped him and how when he found out what she done for him, he was surprised and said he would not leave her and that they'd die together. The third box shows how the old woman is not useless and how she thought of an idea and told her son. This shows how old people can help, and the last box shows how the governor listened to the farmer and that every hour the cruel law was abolished, and custom drifted into as far a past the only legends remain. 
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