He-y, Come On Ou-t!

by Shinichi Hoshi

Start Free Trial

Why does the scientist want to fill in the hole in "He-y, Come On Ou-t"?

The scientist wants to fill the mysterious hole in "He-y, Come On Ou-t" simply because he can think of nothing else to do with it.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the short story "He-y, Come On Ou-t," some villagers happen upon a mysterious hole near the mountains. The hole appears after a violent storm and is "about a meter in diameter." The villagers look into the hole but can see nothing but bottomless, uniform darkness. They have the impression that the hole is extremely deep.

When a scientist arrives to investigate the hole, he uses a "high-powered bull horn" to "check out the echo from the hole's bottom," and in this way, he hopes to discover exactly how deep the echo is. Much to his astonishment, however, he finds that the hole has no echo and that the sound of the bull horn is "calmly swallowed up" by the hole. The implication is that the hole has no bottom, or no end.

After this, the scientist is "at a loss." Despite arriving with "an all-knowing expression on his face," he does not know what the hole means or what to do about it. Unable to think of any other solution, the scientist orders the hole to be filled in. His reasoning is that is is "safer to get rid of something one [doesn't] understand." This sentiment encapsulates rather neatly the moral of the story, which is that we should not ignore problems simply because we have no immediate or obvious solutions for them.

This rather disappointing solution that the scientist comes up with seems quite hasty and not especially scientific. The fact that the scientist is so quick to suggest simply filling the hole in does not reflect at all well on the scientific community he represents. Nonetheless, the villagers seem to make the most of the bottomless hole by selling the space to companies wishing to dispose of "such things as ... nuclear reactors."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team