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Mr. Bamboo and the Honorable Little God A Christmas Story   By: (1863-1941)

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This eBook was produced by David Garcia and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Kentuckiana Digital Library).

Mr. Bamboo and the Honorable Little God

A Christmas Story

Fannie C. Macaulay Author of "The Lady of The Decoration"

By Courtesy of The Century Publishing Company to Louisville Kindergarten Alumnae Club


During sundry long and lonely evenings in a Japanese mission school, a young native teacher sought to while away the hours for a homesick exile. She was girlish and fair, with the soft voice and gentle, indescribable charm characteristic of the women of her race. Her tales were of the kindergarten, happenings in her life and the lives of others, and I have sought to set them down as she told them to me in her quaint, broken English. But they miss the earnest eyes and dramatic gestures of the little story teller as she sat in the glow of the hibachi fire, with a background of paper doors, with shadow pictures of pine trees and bamboo etched by the moonlight, the far off song of a nightingale, and the air sweet with incense from nearby shrines.

He wear name of Tãke Nishimura, which in English say' Mr. Bamboo of the West Village. He most funny little boy in my kindergarten class. But he have such sweet heart. It all time speaking out nice thoughtfuls through his big round eyes, which no seem like Japanese eyes of long and narrow.

His so much slim of body make him look like baby. But his mama say' he been here four years. She nice lady and loving mother. One more thing why that child's most funny small enfant. He have papa who is great general of war, with big spirit. Tãke Chan fixed idea in his head he's just same kind big warrior man. He use same walk and the same command of speak.

This time I relate you about was most Christmas time. I tell story to children of long time ago, when big star say to all worlds Christ baby lay in manger, and I say soon we celebrate joyful day in kindergarten. That little Tãke Chan never hear 'bout it before, and he get look in his face same as John boy in picture what always have crooked stick in his hand, and he speak this word: "A new God? Will He be our guest on feast day?"

We learn song 'bout star and cradle and 'gain he speak his thought. He say: "What is cradle, Sensei? I know 'bout star. Every night at my honorable home I open shoji to see old priest strike bell and make him sing. Then I see big star hang out light over topmost of mountain." One more time he say, like thinking to himself: "Cradle. Maybe him shrine for new God of foreign country."

I know English for long time, but Japanese childs never know cradle. It have not come to this land.

Christmas story was telled many times, for children like to hear about it. When I say this time, on that day we get pine tree and dress him up with many gifts, Tãke Chan clap his hands and say: "Banzai! We make offering of tree to new God."

Sometimes many troubles press my mind how I make childs know much difference of real God, which he never see, and those wooden stones we see all time with burning of lights before them and leaves of bamboo and pine.

We work very hard all days before morning of Christmas tree, but not one child in whole class could make things such fast as Tãke Chan. His hands so small they look 'most like bird foots hopping round quick in flower garden when he construct ornaments of bright color. Sometimes he have look of tired in his face, and bad coughs take his throat. For which, if I did not know 'bout Christmas story and all other many things like that, I would have a thought that fox spirit was industrious to enter his body... Continue reading book >>

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