Many thanks to Nicole for making me put on the soundtrack of The Little Shop of Horrorsit’s cheering me up already! Her mini challenge:

I want you to feed me, and this will be so much more fun than feeding that plant. I don’t eat flies or people but I just eat up passages on food in books! So over the next few hours let me know if you happen across any passages of food in your reading or you can also flip through some of the books in your Read-A-Thon stack(s) and find me a passage where the characters describe what they are eating or when they are actually eating – write up a post with the book, author, your selected passage and a picture of one the dishes

Photograph by Kimubert

Photograph by kimubert

I immediately thought about something funny that happened to the main character of my book, the nameless cat, when he found a leftover mochi from his master’s New Year’s breakfast soup (ozoni). I can’t write all of the story down here — that would take me way too long — but here’s part of it!

I feel as if someone were hotly urging me on, someone whispering, “Eat it, quickly!” I looked into the bowl and prayed that someone would appear. But no one did. I shall have to eat the rice-cake after all. In the end, lowering the entire weight of my body into the bottom of the [soup] bowl, I bit about an inch deep into a corner of the rice-cake.
Most things I bite that hard come clean off in my mouth. But what a surprise! For I found when I tried to reopen my jaw that it would not budge. I try once again to bite my way free, but find I’m stuck. Too late I realize that the rice-cake is a fiend. When a man who has fallen into a marsh struggles to escape, the more he trashes about trying to extract his legs, the deeper he sinks. Just so, the harder I clamp my jaws, the more my mouth grows heavy and my teeth immobilized. [..] It looked to me that, however much I continued biting, nothing could ever result: the process could go on and on eternally like the division of ten by three. In the middle of this anguish I found my second truth: that all animals can tell by instinct what is or is not good for them. Although I now have discovered two great truths, I remain unhappy by reason of the adherent rice-cake. My teeth are being sucked into its body, and are becoming excrutiatingly painful. [..] In an extremity of anguish, I lashed about with my tail, but to no effect. I made my ears stand up and then lie flat, but this didn’t help either. Come to think of it, my ears and tail have nothing to do with the rice-cake. In short, I had indulged in a waste of wagging, a waste of ear-erection, and a waste of ear-flattening.

What follows is the cat ‘dancing’, but you’ll have to read about that yourself!

From: I Am a Cat (page 30-31), by Natsume Soseki (1905), translated by Aiko Ito & Graeme Wilson.

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