Sero Hiki no Goshu
(Gauche the Cellist)
|Synopsis - Page 2|
Although annoyed at being advised by a cat, Goshu bows to feline smugness. He locks up the house and turns off the lights. Although alarmed by this turn of events, it appears the cat will be hearing some soothing music tonight. Unfortunately for him, Goshu turns to a page marked “Indian Tiger-Hunt”. As the harsh, raucous scratchings put a tingle up his whiskers, the cat desperately searches for a way out of the house, but the hypnotic tones mesmerise him until he is barely able to control his actions. Although the cat ties to disguise his physical ordeal, the final straw comes when Goshu, under the pretence of checking the cat’s health, strikes a match on his rough tongue. He flees into the night, creating a rustling amidst the fields.
The next day, we see Goshu tending his garden before leaving with his cello for town. Surrounded by the green trees and fields, it seems all is once again contentedness. But there is another side to the town - the smoking automobiles that slowly make their way down the main street (albeit too slow to even keep up with a young child bowling a hoop), and the high-energy excitement of the modern picture theatre. Tonight’s action cartoon is supplemented by the appearance of a real-life rat on the theatre floor. While the hubbub of the chase in the theatre mirrors the on-screen cat-and-mouse antics, the conductor doesn’t miss a beat - and neither does the orchestra. It is a wonderful example of their dedication and concentration.
Later that night, we return to Goshu's cello practice at home, when once again he is interrupted by a tapping. But this time, it is not the cat - it is a cuckoo, who asks to be taught music. Although Goshu feels that two simple notes are enough for any cuckoo, the bird wishes to be taught a scale before he travels overseas. Worn down by the bird’s continual pleas (and secretly flattered at being called "sensei"), he agrees to play a scale three times for the bird. But it not at all what the bird was expecting. To a cuckoo, everything sounds like two simple notes. As he demonstrates, Goshu repeats it for him, and the bird repeats the notes back - again and again. Although driven to distraction by the repetitive warbling, Goshu agrees that the bird might indeed hear something different and decides to play on. Suddenly, he hears in those two notes an echo of the Beethoven he has been struggling to master, and becomes lost in the cuckoo’s call. A vision of Beethoven calling "Cuckoo!" brings him back to earth, and indeed the bird as well, puzzled by the cessation of the music. He tells Goshu that even the weakest bird would sing until his throat was raw. Humbled by this challenge to his fortitude, Goshu orders the bird out - but finds he has to break the window, as the bird was about to dash himself against the transparent glass.