On a hot summer day, two men headed for their vegetable field when they saw a car...
| They remembered it was really hot that year. Two men carried wooden boxes which contained seeds and young plants, walking on the country road under the blazing sun. When they reached the riverside they stopped walking and took a rest for a moment. Both men dripped sweat from their face and felt almost faint due to a heatwave when they saw a shiny white pickup truck driving slowly toward them. The pickup truck pulled in beside the two men.
“It’s muggier than ever today, isn’t it?” a driver said.
“Yes, it is. Can you give us a ride to our vegetable field?” one of the two men said.
“Sorry, Kenta. I’m going to buy vegetable seeds until this evening,” the driver said and left.
Kenta turned red with rage and said to the man next to him:
“I never knew he was so heartless.”
“I’ve already known it, Kenta,” the man, who was Kenta’s brother named Kaito, said. “Hurry up, or we’ll have no time to sow our seeds.”
They carried the boxes again and began to walk.
That afternoon, Kaori was trotting across the country road which led to their vegetable field. She held a straw basket and a water bottle in her arms. That was a light meal for her brothers: Kenta and Kaito. When she arrived at their vegetable field, she called her brothers and they sat between pine trees.
“Our field is dried up in spite of the rainy season,” Kaori said.
“If it will not rain until tomorrow, we must water the field one more time,” Kaito said and sighed.
“We won’t help Hiroshi whatever happens,” Kenta said all of a sudden and told Kaori what had happened that morning. “Hiroshi was very proud of his new pickup truck, but he won’t use it for the sake of his neighbors.”
After a day’s work that evening, they walked along the country road to go home. They heard frogs croaking in unison at the riverside, and saw the evening star between dark clouds. They turned right at the corner and went up a slope when they heard a car crash sound.
On the hilltop, Hiroshi’s car had collided with a brown station wagon, and two drivers were disputing who was responsible for a car crash. There were hundreds of seeds, which Hiroshi had bought that day, spilled over the ground. When Kaori started to dash for Hiroshi, Kenta stopped her from going.
“Stay away from them,” Kenta said to his sister. On their way home, they felt embarrassed and fell silent.
The next day, Kenta and Kaito carried a water hose and farm tools, headed for their vegetable field, and came across Hiroshi again. This time Hiroshi pulled an empty cart, and three men didn’t exchange a single word. When they reached a dusty crossroad, Hiroshi turned left and went in the direction of a city market. Kenta and Kaito were watching him for a moment, and then they turned right to go to their field.
That weekend, village people spread a rumor that Hiroshi was taken ill, and weeds run wild in his field. However, nobody dared to help him unless told to do so because they were afraid of being left alone in their village.
Having finished preparing dinner, Kaori was looking for her family photo album and found it from the bottom shelf of a bookcase. She showed it to her brothers. A photo, which was taken by Kaito, caught their attention. Hiroshi and Kenta played on a seesaw and Kaori stood by them in the rain. They stared at it without saying nothing for a while, and then Kenta stood up, calling Hiroshi.
The following day, Kenta and Kaito went to Hiroshi’s vegetable field to sow their seeds while Kaori paid a visit to Hiroshi to look after him.
Kenta said to Kaito:
“We danced in the rain that July.”