Once upon a Home upon a Home

Columbus 21 Course 3 (Heisei 24) pg. 88-95

Grandpa lives alone in a curious house that peeks up out of the sea.
For years and years, the sea level here has been rising.


The sea rises and rises, and before long, a house ends up underwater.
The fish move in, while the people have to build a new house on top of the old one.
To stay above the sea, the houses must grow higher and higher, stacked like toy building blocks.


Each morning, Grandpa opens the hatch in the floor, baits his fishing hook, and waits until he's caught his breakfast.
Up on the roof, he keeps a chicken that gives him eggs.

Grandpa's children all live in distant places, but they often send him letters.
His wife passed away three years ago.


One winter morning, Grandpa awoke and found that the floor of his house was now a big puddle.
"Well... I guess it's time to build another new house."
He set to work up on the roof, building new walls.

Most of the neighbors have given up on their houses and moved away, but he's decided to stay.


The next morning, Grandpa stumbled and dropped his tools. The hatch in the floor was open, and his hammers, trowel and saw fell into the water.
"Darn... I'll have to go get them."
He put on his diving suit and swam down into the house below.
Suddenly he could see his wife, with their children and grandchildren all gathered around.
This was the room where his wife passed away.


He decided to dive deeper, down into the house below, and then the house below that.
In each one he met with his past.

"Our first child was born here..."
The deeper Grandpa dove down, the younger he and his wife became in the swirl of memories.


At last, he came to the bottom.
Once upon a time, before the sea began to rise, Grandpa and his wife were just kids.
They grew up here together, got married, and made this first house their home.
As the sea rose higher, they moved up and up, and yet Grandpa was still right here, where he knew he belonged, in his home.


Spring has come, and Grandpa's new house is complete.
He looks out the window and notices a dandelion blooming there on the ledge.
Grandpa's glad to have company.
Already, he feels at home.

See also