[The Magic Of Words] The Loving Mother [Questions & Answers]



UNDERSTANDING
A.  Questions on context
1. In which part of Japan did Shoji Sakota live? 
Ans. Shoji Sakota lived in the city of Sapporo on Hokkaido Island in the Nothern part of Japan.

2. Where was the apartment in which he lived?
Ans. The apartment was located behind the drugstore.

3. How long ago did this story take place?
Ans. The story takes place in the year 1964 which is around 55 years ago.

4. Why was he working late?
Ans. He was working late because it was close to the end of the year and it was time for him to prepare his annual business report.

5. Why didn't Mr. Sakota go to the door when he heard the knock for the first time?
Ans. When Sakota heard the door knock for the first time, he didn't bother to go to the door because it was very late in the night and it was pretty unusual for someone to be there at that hour. So he assumed it is the wind as it was also windy that night.

6. Why didn't he want to open the door when he saw the woman through the window of the door?
Ans. He didn't want to open the door when he saw the woman through the window of the door because it was late night and he thought that she was there to loot him and his shop.

7. Why did he finally let her in?
Ans. He finally let her in as it was a pretty cold and windy night for which he felt sympathetic and it must have been some emergency as there were no other pharmacies also close by.

8. What did the woman ask for? Why did this request surprise the pharmacist?
Ans. The woman had asked for ame for her little child. This request surprised the pharmacist because it was close to midnight and he thought she was here for medicines but instead had asked for ame.

9. Why did Mr. Sakota decide to quit working for the night a few minutes after the woman left the store?
Ans. Mr. Sakota decided to quit working for the night a few minutes after the woman left the store because he was confused about what was happening as it was late night and all the lady had come to his pharmacy was for ame.

10. How many more times did she come before he had asked his friend to take pictures of her?
Ans. The lady came for another three more times before he asked his friend to take pictures of her.

11. Why did Mr. Sakota want the pictures to be taken?
Ans. He wanted the pictures of her to be taken so that he could study her appearance.

12. What did the film show when it was developed?
Ans. The film showed everything which was present at the pharmacy that night but had not even a single sign of the lady! The camera captured everything present at the pharmacy but couldn't capture the lady.

13. How many people did Sakota and his photographer friend tell about this?
Ans. They both said about this to none and kept it among themselves.

14. What did they do the next time she came?
Ans. They decided to follow her and see where she would actually go the next time she came.

15. What did the woman do when she noticed that Mr. Sakota and his friends were following her?
Ans. The woman, in reality, didn't care much about them following her, in fact she wanted made them follow her to where she was going.

16. Where did she lead them?
Ans. She leads them a few blocks away down a narrow side street and up to three flights of stairs in an old apartment building before disappearing through the door at the end of a dark, narrow hallway. At last, it turned out that she had to lead them to her baby who was alone licking ame.

17. Whom did the men find in the woman's small apartment?
Ans. The men's found a small eight or nine-month-old baby licking ame on the bed.

18. How sick was the baby?
Ans. The baby wasn't sick as it seemed to be happy and licking the ame.

19. What did they think at first when they saw the woman in the bed?
Ans. They thought that the woman was acting that she was sleeping in the bed.

20. How long did the pharmacist think she had been dead?
Ans. The pharmacist thinks that she has been dead for a number of days.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS/WRITING PRACTICE
A. Answer the following questions.
1. If you had been Mr. Sakota, do you think you would have been afraid to let this woman in at midnight?
Ans. If I had been Mr. Sakota, then I would surely have been afraid to let this woman in at midnight because it is already midnight and is unusual for anyone to knock the door at that time because either it may be an emergency or it may be a plan rob me.

2. If Mr. Sakota had asked the woman why she came at midnight, what do you think she would have answered?
Ans. I think that the woman would have just simply ignored his questions and proceed to what she had come for as she was a spirit and she only wanted to buy ame for her child.

3. What do you think Mr. Sakota meant when he said the woman's eyes looked like they belonged to someone from another world?
Ans. Dakota meant that the woman was kind of weird in appearance and her eyes made it look like she was a spirit.

4. Do you think taking a picture of the woman was a good idea? Explain.
Ans. Yes, for me the taking a picture of the woman was a good idea because the woman wasn't much interested to answer his questions and also she looked kind of weird in appearance to which only taking a picture of the woman and studying would answer all of his questions.

5. What would you have thought if you had taken the pictures of this woman and she did not appear on them when the film was developed?
Ans. At first, I would have assumed that there was some mistake in developing the film but more precisely I would have thought that the woman was a spirit as cameras don't capture spirits.

6. Do you think something like this could really happen? Explain.
Ans. From the science point of view, it would be No. As science does not believe in ghosts. But more precisely it is also possible for it to happen as each of us consists of a soul which becomes a spirit after death and according to beliefs, a spirit stays behind even after death if it has certain tasks left to do. In this case, the dead woman's child was hungry and her spirit chose to stay back to buy ame to feed her alive child. 

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