I took the Little Monster to see a Bunraku puppet show of Momotaro, a Japanese fable I remember from my multi-cultural childhood in Hawaii. Momotaro is a magic baby from the heavens, delivered in a giant peach to a childless couple. The Oni Demons had terrorized their village in Northeastern Japan for eons, but, without a son, they could not protect themselves and were left destitute after the monsters’ frequent pillaging. Momotaro grows up fast and strong to avenge his parents against the monsters. He returns their riches to them, including his mother’s peach-pit hair comb.
As I watched, I couldn’t help but think about another childless couple and their magical son. (And of course I also thought of the recent hardship in Japan.) I often wonder what kinds of connections the Little Monster makes between his story and others. I thought perhaps he might see a bit of himself in Momotaro, and perhaps he might like a new nickname (though he still adores being Mama’s Little Monster), so I asked him afterwards if he thought he might be a magic peach boy from the heavens.
“No!” he said, simply and emphatically, although usually he is much more long-winded.
“Why’s that?” I asked, curious.
“Because I don’t smell like a peach!” he answered. The “Duh, Mom,” was heavily implied.
I laughed and laughed. Too true! Silly me.
I asked him to tell the story of Momotaro to his Dad when we got home.
Later on, I asked the Man I Married how LM had explained the plot to him. MIM answered, “He said it was all about monsters and treasure and battles and a sword.”
Which simply means that the Little Monster is at heart just a boy like any other.
And that’s a seed of truth that I treasure!
I guess for now he’ll stay my Little Monster, my own mini Oni. Which, let’s face it, is more interesting than a peach pit.