89. Leftover Sweet Sake
It happened that Oyasama’s hand would not bring Her chopsticks up to Her mouth, although She tried hard, if someone had secretly tasted the food She was served.
A vendor of sweet sake from Tambaichi usually came around at the time when people were waking up from their midday naps. One day, in 1881, the vendor was passing by the Residence. Tamae, then five years old, found the vendor and said to Iye Murata who was with her, “Let’s buy some for my grandma.” Iye then bought some and served it to Oyasama. Oyasama was very delighted with Her granddaughter’s affectionate thought, and took the cup of sweet sake into Her hands.
Astonishingly, however, when Oyasama lifted the cup to Her mouth, it continued upward, and She could not drink the sweet sake after all. Seeing this, Iye said to Tamae, “Dear, we should not have served it to Oyasama,” and humbly withdrew the cup.
This happened because on that day the vendor had been to various places and by the time he came around to the Residence the sweet sake had become like leftovers.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 75