This is a story about a scarecrow and a farm helper.
The scarecrow was hand crafted by a farmer couple living in a village surrounded by rice paddies. They carefully created her with the late summer hay, natural dyed clothes, straw plaited hair, bamboo knitted hat and brown marble eyes. She was as beautiful as a china doll.
The love the farmer couple poured into her made her the most precious scarecrow in the land. In return, she faithfully watched over the rice paddies throughout the seasons. She also watched the farmer couple tilling their land, planting and harvesting crops together. She saw them sharing teas, meals and sweets under the shady dancing willow. Oh how she wished she could understand their smile and the way they looked at each other. She felt empty and sad because of her hollow heart.
In harvest seasons, the farmer couple hired a farm helper, an orphan boy from a village upstream. He had a good name on the land for hardworking, respectful and honest. Harvest was coming in a week. The helper returned to help preparing for the tools, clearing the barns and storehouse.
The helper knew the scarecrow very well. They spent meal time, rest breaks and any free time the helper had together. The helper shared his daily happening with the scarecrow. Sometimes he told her his longing to know his parents and his sadness of being alone. The helper also played the harmonica especially at sunset to the scarecrow. The nostalgia sound of the harmonica saddened the scarecrow but she was without speech so she could not express her feelings to him.
Every time the helper left the farm after the harvest season, he grew silent and gloomy because he missed the scarecrow terribly. He went on to work on other farms helping with building, feeding and minding cattle, training farm dogs or anything would make him a living. He read and played his harmonica in his spare time to help ease the pain of missing the scarecrow. He would also pass by the farmer couple’s property regularly to see if they had any small jobs for him to do so he could be with the scarecrow besides the spring and autumn harvests.
One day the farmer offered the helper a cook position because his wife had fallen ill of a female problem which caused her to be weak and lethargic. The helper gladly accepted the offer and became the cook of the house. He not only performed diligently as the cook but also managed the housekeeping of the farm. He spent his free time to help the farmer in the fields. Whenever he stopped to wipe off his sweat, he would look up at the scarecrow with a big grin brighter than the morning sun. The farmers and the helper became great friends beyond the master and helper relationship.
Every Spring and Autumn, the helper lovingly strengthened and repaired the scarecrow using new hays. He made her different straw hats that matched the new outfits he sewed her. The scarecrow always looked the best and remained the most victorious against all the birds to protect the farmers’ rice crop.
The helper and the scarecrow faithfully served their duties for the farm and the land. They lived simply and adored each other in every way they could make happen. If not for the scarecrow, the helper would had been a lone farmhand. If it were not for the helper, the scarecrow would have been sadly watched over a land, eventually weather worn and devoured by birds.