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Gathering Flowers

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Miya walked along, grinning. He was wearing sunglasses, and a three-year-old Tora was settled on his shoulders. His son was also wearing sunglasses, and they looked too cool for school. Everyone they passed smiled at them.

“Hey, Miya!” Asanao called out.

Miya stopped and waited for his friend to catch up to him. “Hey, Asanao. What's up?”

“You've got a strange growth coming out of your shoulders,” the other man said, looking up at Tora. Then he turned and shouted behind him. “Hey Tatsurou! Come here!”

The nurse came jogging up to them. “What's up?” he asked curiously.

Asanao pointed at Tora, whom Miya could feel was giggling. “Have you ever seen something like that growing out of a pair of shoulders before?”

Tatsurou squinted. “I haven't. Miya, have you been feeling okay lately? Any fever? Aches or pains?”

“It's me!” Tora yelled, his sunglasses having been whipped off and fallen to the ground.

“Ohhhh!” Asanao and Tatsurou said in unison.

“Tora, I didn't recognize you with those sunglasses on!” Asanao exclaimed, bending over to pick up the shades.

“Daddy, daddy, we fooled him!” Tora exclaimed.

“We sure did!” Miya answered. “Then again, Asanao is a little old, so...”

“Thanks,” Asanao huffed as he passed the sunglasses back to Tora.

“What are you two up to?” Tatsurou asked.

“We're picking flowers!” The three-year-old exclaimed.

“Wonderful!” Asanao exclaimed. “We'll leave you to it. That's a very important job!”

Miya smiled and he and his passenger continued walking.



In the meadow, they picked bunches and bunches of flowers. Tora ran through the field, and Miya knew his son would be sleeping well tonight after burning off all this excessive energy. They had a beautiful bouquet, and father and son were proud.

“Do you think he'll like these?” Tora asked uncertainly.

“Absolutely,” Miya replied firmly. “You should be very proud of yourself.”



Back at the cabin, they found Masa at the stove, making tea. He was delighted at the sight of the flowers.

“Tora, they're beautiful!” he exclaimed, giving his son a big kiss. “I love them! Did you pick them all by yourself?”

Tora nodded proudly, standing tall. “Daddy helped a little.”

Masa smirked up at Miya, who rolled his eyes. “Did he help enough for a kiss too?”


“Thank you, son.” Miya grinned.

“You're welcome,” Tora answered before running off to play with his toys.

Miya felt a warm hand on his back, and turned in time to meet Masa's lips.

“Thank you, my big oaf,” Masa murmured, before turning to place the flowers into a vase.

“You're welcome.” Miya kissed him again, then they settled at the table with tea to watch their son play.