The Ashes that Made Trees Bloom Summary CBSE Class 7 NCERT English
The Childless Couple’s Beloved Dog, Muko
In 19th-century Japan, there resided an elderly couple who, sadly, had no children of their own. Nevertheless, they cherished their pet dog, Muko, as if it were their own flesh and blood. The elderly gentleman worked as a rice farmer, toiling in the fields from sunrise to sunset with his trusty hoe or spade in hand. Muko faithfully accompanied his master, displaying kindness and patience, always ready to lend a helping paw to any creature in need.
The Discovery of Gold
One fateful day, Muko led his master to a specific location and began frantically scratching at the ground. Intrigued yet sceptical, the old man decided to dig and was astonished to uncover a magnificent pile of gold before his very eyes. The elderly couple suddenly found themselves wealthy beyond measure. They purchased a piece of land, generously shared their newfound wealth with impoverished neighbours, and hosted a grand feast for their friends. Unfortunately, within the same village dwelled a wicked elderly couple.
These malicious individuals had always shown callous disregard for dogs and other creatures. However, upon hearing of the good couple’s fortune, they beckoned Muko into their garden and offered him food. Fear gripped the poor dog so intensely that it refused to budge from its spot. Undeterred, the malicious couple forcibly removed Muko from their premises. As fate would have it, Muko began scratching the ground near a pine tree in their garden. Intrigued, the wicked couple eagerly started digging and discovered a lifeless kitten emitting a putrid odor. Filled with rage, they cruelly killed the dog and buried it at that very spot.
The Mortar and the Mill
Upon learning of the tragic incident, the kind old man visited the pine tree at night to mourn the loss of his cherished companion, Muko, who had been like a child to him. He arranged bamboo tubes on the ground and placed food and water within them. In a dream, the spirit of the dog appeared and beseeched the old man to fell the pine tree and fashion a mortar for rice pastry and a mill for bean sauce from its wood. The old man faithfully followed Muko’s instructions.
During the New Year, the old couple decided to prepare rice pastry. They placed the boiled rice into the mortar, and the old man began crushing it with a hammer to create dough. To their astonishment, the mass transformed into a heap of gold coins. With every turn of the hand-mill, while grinding the bean sauce, gold coins rained down like drops of liquid gold. Witnessing this spectacle, the wicked neighbours peeped through their window and observed everything. The following day, they borrowed the mortar and the magical mill from the kind old couple. However, for them, the boiled rice and the beans turned into repugnant clumps infested with worms. Enraged, the wicked couple destroyed the mill, intending to use it as firewood.
The Revitalized Cherry Tree
Once again, the spirit of Muko visited the kind old man in a dream and advised him to sprinkle the mill’s ashes on withered trees to restore their vitality. The old man journeyed to the wicked couple’s home, collected the ashes, and sprinkled them over a barren cherry tree. Lo and behold, the tree blossomed with pink fruits, filling the air with its enchanting fragrance.
Word reached the kind old man that his lord, the daimyo, would pass through the nearby village on the highway. Eager to catch a glimpse of his esteemed lord, the old man brought along the basket of ashes and climbed upon a withered cherry tree. As was customary, everyone knelt in reverence as the daimio’s procession approached. Unfortunately, the old man was overlooked by the daimyo’s retinue due to his advanced age. Undeterred, as the procession passed by, the old man sprinkled a pinch of ash onto the cherry tree. In an instant, the withered tree burst into a magnificent display of blossoms.
The daimyo, astounded by this wondrous sight, ordered his entourage to halt, stepping out himself to witness the extraordinary phenomenon. Impressed by the old man’s seemingly magical abilities, the daimyo rewarded him with numerous valuable gifts, expressing his admiration and gratitude. Meanwhile, upon hearing the tale, the wicked couple decided to replicate the old man’s actions. However, when they attempted to sprinkle the ashes on their own cherry tree, the wind blew the ashes away, causing turmoil for the daimyo and his wife. Enraged by the failure and the trouble it caused, the wicked couple violently pulled the old man down from the tree, beating him to his tragic demise.
In contrast, the kind old couple continued to live a joyful and prosperous life, their benevolence and the blessings bestowed upon them ensuring their happiness. Muko’s memory lingered in their hearts, forever grateful for the dog who had brought them not only wealth but also moments of wonder and transformation. Their story serves as a reminder of the rewards that kindness, compassion, and a genuine connection with nature can bring, even in the face of adversity.