Meanwhile, the spring has come. And at the time when the frost began to melt she seemed to be quite grown up. All the dogs, from Kin san’s Pochi to Kuro of the bathing house, Aka of the timber-dealer’s, and the fearful big dog which was kept at the neighboring planter’s, gathered around her. Wherever she goes, she is followed by two or three dogs. So a comfortable place like that shade of Mokusei was overflowing with deep groans of dogs that sounded as if they wished to whisper or to flatter.

An aunt who came to the well-side with a hand-pail in her hand, saw this sight.

“My! ’’she said. “Pup was a female dog! I never noticed that!”

And the aunt of the new rent house, who happened to be there, also said:

“Neither did I!”

And the two aunts laughed, greatly amused.

According to the point of view

She ought to be banished. Such was the argument which was raised in the estate of Kin san. Among the members of the four families, however, the arguments raged between two parties, the uncles and the aunts. According to the point of view which was insisted upon by the aunts, it was now different. She was not in the condition she was formerly, and it would be too pitiful if she were to have a baby. As is expected of those with experience, the aunts were sympathetic, comparing her with themselves. That may be so, but how awful it would be if she gave birth to children! This was the opinion held by the uncles. Indeed, there was nobody who was not anxious about her future.

She did not know anything about this.

Another day, a carriage stopped at the door of Kin san. There was something like a lidless box on this carriage, which was covered with a dirty straw mat. Her quick nose smelt out what was in the carriage.

Following after a policeman in uniform came a dubious looking man, who entered the house. But she was not roaming in such a dangerous place. Pochi, Kuro and the other dogs began to cry all at once. Now, uncles, aunts, and all people of the village came out.

“Dog hunter, mamma!”

Ko chan hid herself behind her mother.

People ran around the garden. Kin san’s daughter, whose daily duty it was to water the flowers, ran out to the street with a dipper in her hand. A middle-school boy, who was painting a water-color picture, followed them, flinging away his tripod.

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