2. Left Foot

At dusk in early winter.
Oka-san let me go out already from the bird cage today, though it is usually after Oto-san comes home from work.

The outside seems frightening when it slowly grows dark, but I can fly in peace around the two rooms connected as wide as a large hall with the electric light on.
First of all, I start a warming-up flight from the Western-style room facing the courtyard to the living room with a stereo amplifier, and I can get down lightly to the top of the oil painting hung on the wall.
It is my usual route.

------
I heard about this picture from Oka-san like the following.

Around fifteen years ago, this family was living in the United States of America. A town in the Connecticut State near New York City. That was because Oto-san began to work for the New York Office.

On a holiday in the fall, the whole family drove to New York City and walked around the busy streets of Greenich Village.
The open-air market was crowded.
Oji-san, a middle-aged man, seemingly an Italian gentleman, was selling pictures probably painted by himself, displaying several of them and putting about ten against a stone wall.
Oto-san talks to him.

"Are these your works?"
Oji-san: "Sure! You see? Florence is my name. Buy one. How about this one! "

Both gentlemen are cheerful.
Oto-san has a bad habit of impulse buying when he gets along with anybody.
This is the case. Oto-san gladly bought the recommended picture, 120cm wide, turning a blind eye to Oka-san's sour face.
Oto-san says even now, "This is a real find."

Therefore on the way back from New York to their home in Connecticut State, the picture "The Sea and the Yachts" was tied on their heads inside of the used Oldsmobile.

Funny, it is Oka-san that is the most interested in the picture now, saying, "This sea view looks very much like the seashore town where we lived for three years."

------
Oka-san seems to be in the kitchen screened off with an accordion curtain. She has just begun food preparation. I can hear her singing "Message to Johnny."

I wonder what dish will be tonight. I cannot help being interested in it, because Oto-san gives me a bite of each delicious dish (a big dinner for me).

I hear the sound of a cutting board over the curtain.
"Ton ton ton, ..... ton ton ton"
Then the sound of oil coming to a boil.
"Bochi bochi, .....juru juru,....."
Yes, it's a deep-fried oyster!

Oto-san has requested it for the past couple of days.
He loves a deep-fried oyster more than anything else. He wants it all year round.

Oka-san's recipe is: Two oysters each coated with flour are deep-fried to light brown.
Oto-san puts rich mustard sauce on them and eats them with his mouth wide open. Imagine Oto-san's face at the time! It is the picture of satisfaction.

"Juru juru, ....., sah--, juru juru, ....., sah--."
This is the sound of deep-frying onions and oysters. Delicious smelling! I am dying to have them. I wish Oto-san would come home immediately.

Why?! The accordion curtain is now a little open! Oka-san must have forgotten. It doesn't matter. This moment is a chance!

I flew straight to the kitchen, passing over the table, slipping through the gap of the accordion curtain, and went down on the shelf near the stove.

As I expected, the oil pan is like a quiet pond and deep-fried oysters look well to eat now.
Oka-san does not seem to notice that I am here. Perhaps she is thinking of some other things. This is my best chance!

I spread the wings, fly to the pan, and descend to the round small pond slowly ----.

My left foot now has no fingers with only my ankle. This is the terrible result of what happened then. Never say "Deep-fried something."
All of my four fingers disappeared in the oil pond.

Oka-san with a deadly-pale face took me to the doctor right away. But alas! The accident had already been over.
I was even not awake of the awful pain. I was just shivering with cold.

Reading Part 2 (7:31): on
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