The Boy Who Drew Cats

by Lafcadio Hearn

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Why did the parents take the boy to the priest?

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The little boy Joji spends all his time drawing cats. This doesn't make him very useful around the family farm. His parents are exasperated by his unusual hobby. If he doesn't stop drawing cats, they think, Joji will never grow up to be a farmer (although, privately, Joji's father has already confided to his wife that Joji will never be a farmer anyway, even if he does stop drawing cats).

Joji's mother thinks that perhaps he could become a priest instead. So her husband takes Joji to the local temple, where the priest is only too happy to instruct the boy in reading and writing. But pretty soon, it's clear that Joji simply can't give up his hobby. Try as he might, the boy just can't stop drawing cats for very long. The priest comes to feel every bit as exasperated with Joji as his parents. Joji will never make a priest, says the priest, and so the boy must return home to his family.

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