It was not only once or twice that she met such hard experiences. But she was not a dog to be crushed down by this kind of hardship. She would hunt around for food with calm composure, with the appearance of saying: “This is my own territory.” Boldly she stepped into the new kitchen of the rent house, or went up to the veranda with her dirty feet.
Washed things of the aunts
She bit off the laces from the garden slippers, and played with the washed things of the aunts, smearing them with mud and dust. She had no regard for the human children. This family had a girl named Ko chan, who liked to come out to play in the yard, in big wooden clogs trailing on the ground. She chased this girl for fun. Sometimes, Ko chan would bring out a piece of tasty-looking cake and show it to her.
“Look here! Look here, Pup!”
Instantly she jumped at Ko chan.
“Oh, Pup is wicked, mamma!”
This was always Ko chan’s cry for help. Then the aunt came hastily and called Ko chan.
“Run away, Ko chan!—quick! Why do you wear such big clogs?” By this time poor Ko chan had nothing left. She had taken the cake from the crying Ko chan, thus securing the sweets which are eaten by man. At such time, she usually licked the top of her nose with her red tongue.
Nevertheless, there was no intention of good or evil in her actions. These words she heard from the uncles and aunts of the estate, but nothing about them was known to her. She had no understanding of the etiquette and civility created by man. She was only a dog. Whether her action was impolite or not, that was not a question. She was only a poor animal, acting according to its nature.
The cold, scanty, miserable winter passed while she suffered this “better go away” treatment. It was a wonder that she did not die from hunger. The begging priest who used to come to Okubo every morning said that even he did not get much. As to the humble woman who took a child with her, she was refused mostly by “no business’” or “nothing doing.” Even human beings were in a sad state. How, then, could they spare to this ignorant and useless animal, this embarrassing dog, a bowlful of their cold rice? She roamed on the snow in the far-off places, and ate everything, even the skins of the orange.