Strawberries Don't Have Thorns


A mission? We weren't on a mission. We were supposed to be, but instead…instead, we went on a picnic.

Don't give me that look, obaa-chan, it was a good day for a picnic. The sun was shining. We picked berries… strawberries. Sakura loves strawberries, and we found lots of them, all along the road. So we picked berries in the sunshine, and had a picnic.

Wounds? No, no, those are scratches from the thorns.

Why would there be shuriken? We were on a picnic, obaa-chan. I was picking strawberries. Strawberries, and there were lots of thorns, and the sun was shining brightly. Sakura scolded me when I got all these scratches. But I didn't care—I knew she'd heal them later.

We didn't bring any back, because I fell on them and crushed them. Sakura was mad at me, because she loves strawberries. They were squashed flat, and there was juice everywhere. Juice mixed up with all the mud—it was funny that there was mud, because the sun was shining, wasn't it? In all that mud, I slipped and crushed them.

My jacket's ruined; the thorns tore it up, I guess, and the juice stained it red. Strawberry red. Red was all over my hands, and in the mud. It was on Sakura, too, on her dress and on her hands, but it didn't matter, because her dress was red, anyway. She looked funny, obaa-chan, because there was juice all down her chin—Sakura loves strawberries.

I should have been laughing, but I wasn't.

It must have been raining after all, because I gave her my jacket. I wrapped it around her, but it just got wet, and the stains were red--bright, strawberry red. It must have been raining, because there was rain on my face.


Why would I cry, obaa-chan? It was just a picnic. It was a picnic—but it was strange, because it must have been raining, and the strawberries were all in the mud and tasted bitter and their juice was all over.

She wouldn't talk to me after that, obaa-chan. She wouldn't say anything—just stared and wouldn't look at me. I guess she was still mad about the berries—even though they were bitter. She just sat there, and wouldn't come, so I left—but I left her my jacket, because she was cold, and it was raining.

But she won't stay mad—she never does. She won't stay cold in the rain. She'll come back and hit me for leaving her and then she'll heal my scratches like always. It was raining—why did I think there was sunshine?—so I fell in the mud. It was raining, so juice spilled down and everything was bright, strawberry red. It was raining, and that's why Sakura was cold. That's why she didn't come back with me. It was raining.


Maybe it wasn't such a good day for a picnic.