Haikus and the Shiba Inu Adventure

Submitted into Contest #191 in response to: Make Japan (or Japanese culture) an element of your story.... view prompt


Bedtime Adventure East Asian

This adventure here

Is told in Haiku poems 

Our story begins…

The mountains sat quiet

Inside the temple, he sat

The Shiba Inu

Breathe in and breathe out 

It was meditation hour

It had been since dawn

Nash was his real name 

He was a trained and skilled dog

His master was Kai

“Meditation done”

“Time now to follow the ball”

Kai threw Nash the ball

Nash caught it mid-air

He rolled it back panting hard

“Remember your breath”

“Tai Chi begins there”

“You must respond not react”

“We must be aware”

The ball squeaked loudly

Nash fought the urge to chase it

“Watch it roll down hill”

“Detach from the ball”

“The ball does not define you”

“You are more than that”

GONG went the doorbell

They bowed to one another

Kai answered the door

“Kai, this is for Nash”

The police officer said

Kai took his red note

It was marked "URGENT"

“I’d better come in to talk”

“I’ll put on some tea”

“No, there is no time”

Nash listened with his ear cocked 

“You have a mission”

He told the story 

“Nash only you can save us”

“It’s about ramen”

Nash then licked his lips

“Our famous restaurant is doomed”

“Tonki has been robbed”

“It’s the recipe”

“Tonki is known for ramen”

“It has been stolen”

“It’s what makes Tonki!”

“The owner has promised this”

He opened the note

Nash sniffled the inside

Thin, green pieces of paper

It could mean one thing 

It’s nori paper

A delicious seaweed snack 

Nash’s favorite snack 

“What do you say, Nash?”

“Will you help us save Tokyo?”

Nash woofed in reply

That meant, yes, he would

“Great, here, we have our first lead”

“This was left behind”

It was a barrette

It featured Hello Kitty 

There was hair in it

Nash booped it slowly

He gave it a few more sniffs

Nash woofed, it was time

The officer led

He drove a motorcycle 

Nash rode the sidecar

The traffic was thick

They zoomed the Rainbow Bridge sides

Perks of a siren

“Nice headband you have!”

Nash wore a hachimaki 

It was for missions

The motorbike stalled 

They waited by a street sign

Suddenly Nash wooded

He pointed his snout 

It was at a city sign

“To Takeshita!”

Through Shabuya Cross

They dodged thousands of people

Nash gave him a glare

“What? We have a job”

Nash glared at him with dismay 

“Sorry, it’s your job!”

“Here’s Takeshita”

Nash hopped out and kindly bowed

The cop bowed right back

“Shibuya Station”

“I will pick you up at noon”

Nash headed through the crowd

He followed his scent 

There were cartoon themed cafes

Clothes shops and toy stores

He tried a toy store

Inside were lots of plush toys

But the crowd was grand

A shopper bumped him

He fell deep into a crate

He was surrounded 

All he felt was plush

He was knocked into the toys!

He was trapped inside 

There was Pikachu

Jigglypuff and Charmander

There was no way out

“Mommy!” I want that

Suddenly Nash was pulled out

A child squeezed him

Respond don’t react

Nash thought calmly in his mind

He licked the child

The child dropped him

He quietly ran away

The scent drifted now

Inside a cafe

Nash went and took loads of sniffs 

“Is someone hungry?”

The worker giggled

She saw his hachimaki 

“You must be THE Nash”

With respect, they bowed

She offered him boba tea

He shook his head no

He was on duty

It smelled like milk and honey

Just one taste he thought

But the scent was near

He stopped at the register

The worker noticed

“A keychain was left”

“I don’t know who left it though”

“Want to take a look?”

“It’s Hello Kitty”

She held it out in her palm 

Nash booped it slowly

The scent was not new

It was from the hair barrette 

This was a new clue 

Two Hello Kitties

One a barrette, now keychain

The suspect liked tea

He showed his backpack 

She slipped it inside for him

He woofed a “thank you”

His nose was on it

Scent from the hair and keychain

Traced him to the gardens

A short hop and a skip 

Nash was at the park gardens

Through the bamboo doors

Koi ponds and lilies 

Pagoda Pillars and trees

Nash searched through the grounds

The flowers smelled rich

Nash had trouble with the scent

His nose was confused

He sat on a bridge

He watched the koi fish swimming

The scent was now gone

Time to give up now

He pouted into a sploot

He was not enough

The koi fish swam on 

Yet one swam to the surface 

It had long whiskers 

It resembled Kai

“Nash you must never give up”

Said the Kai-like fish 

“You must let thoughts go”

“Remember meditation”

“Let all your thoughts go”

“Be present and calm”

“The answers will come to us”

“We must let go first”

Nash closed his eyes shut

He breathed deeply and calmly 

He let his thoughts go

Peonies, roses

Tulips, cherry blossom trees

Allow the scents in

Do not dwell on them 

Thank them then let the scents go

You are more than this 

All of a sudden

Nash could smell the scent again

It was close to him

Past the blossom trees 

Through the infinity door 

He went to a bench

A black notebook sat

He booped the cover open

Inside he could read

“Property of Cho”

“Sakura High School for Girls”

“Hello Kitty Rules!”

Nash saw there was more

A magazine article 

Was taped on the page

Tokyo Meal Contest

Winner gets a big, grand prize

Endless shopping spree

Nash took the notebook

In his mouth he carried it

He stopped a woman

He set the book down

And showed her his backpack 

She slipped it inside

He woofed a “thank you”

They both respectfully bowed

Now to the high school

Shibuya Station

Nash waited by Hachiko

It was past noon now

“Daddy! Look, the dog!”

Photos started flashing Nash

Tourists appeared 

They were mistaken 

It was Nash, not Hachiko!

“WOOF!” Nash barked warning

The crowd got bigger

There was no escape for him 

A siren went off

The cop had returned 

“Hop in the side Nash, let’s go!”

Nash hopped in the seat

Away they scooted 

Nash poked him with his backpack 

“Let me take a look”

“We have the barrette”

“A Hello Kitty keychain?”

Nash nodded further

“A notebook from school?”

He read the contents inside

“Hold on to your seat”

“Sakura High School”

“That is where our culprit is”

“Time to take, Cho, down”

They arrived shortly 

Nash stopped the cop entering

Nash gave him a look

“I understand, Nash”

“If I go in, Cho will know”

“Go undercover”

Nash entered the school 

The cop informed the office

The workers helped Nash 

They gave him a badge

“Emotional Support Dog”

Nash woofed a “thank you”

He sniffled down the halls

Students were in their classes

The scent got stronger

He passed the Lunch Room

But then back tracked and walked inside

Mouthwatering scents

Sushi and udon

Japanese chicken curry

Nash couldn’t resist

“You have to pay, Sir”

The worker said from her desk

Nash froze in a mid-sprint 

Respond don’t react

He went back to the hallways 

The scent was clear now

The Gymnasium 

Students were playing tennis

Nash was almost there

He went through some doors 

And found a Hello Kitty 

It was a backpack 

“Who let a dog in,”

A girl said with her girlfriends 

“Our girls lockerroom?”

All the girls giggled 

The main girl’s shirt said “L. Cho”

This was the culprit 

“What do you want, Dog?”

“Cho, make him our new mascot!”

“Name him Ramen Dog”

Cho and Nash locked eyes

Cho knew why Nash was in here

“Boba him down girls”

The girls knew now too

They fired boba through their straws

“Tapioca balls!”

Nash used his Tai Chi

Paws, ears, and tail to deflect

Nash was too skilled now

“Looking for this, Dog?”

Cho held the recipe card

“Try to come at me”

It must be a trap

She held it out in her hand

Her other hand squeaked 

Not a tennis ball

He couldn’t resist the squeak

“Go on, Boy, get it!”

She through it past him

He watched it bounce outside the door

Respond don’t react

Nash then leaped forward 

He took the recipe card

In his mouth, he jumped

The open window

He flew carrying the card

Parkoured each jump 

He got to the roof

The cop waited down below

He leaped on the seat

“Nash!” You saved us all

“Time to get your reward”

They zoomed from the school

Back at the temple 

Nash munched his seaweed reward

He had well earned it

Master Kai nodded

“You have great skill and balance”

“I proud of you, Nash”

Nash smiled at him 

He rolled on his back for rubs 

Kai rubbed his belly 

GONG went the doorbell

Kair went to answer the door

“Hi Master Kai, Nash”

Nash got up off the ground 

They all respectively bowed 

“I know I just left”

The cop held a note

“This new mission just came in”

“This one is different” 

Kai ushered him in

They all sat in the tea room

The cop opened it

“This mission is grand”

“A partner is required”

“You will be set up”

“He is just as skilled”

“You may already know him”

“He is a dog too”

“You two are alike”

“He is also a Shiba”

“They all call him, Doge”

March 28, 2023 02:45

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John K Adams
17:21 Apr 06, 2023

I am in awe at this ambitious telling of Nash's adventure. Who could conceive of this? And you make it look so effortless. You must study tai chi in addition to classical haiku. I am impressed!


Douglas W. Carr
18:07 Apr 10, 2023

Indeed. Something I couldn't have pulled off.


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Geir Westrul
17:28 Apr 02, 2023

THAT was FANTASTIC! I'm so impressed. You carried it off perfectly from one haiku to the next, with the adventures of Nash (and heroic Kai ... and evil Cho) keeping me reading one after the next. That was very well done. I especially loved the repeated "Respond don’t react" — I could feel Nash gathering himself, controlling his dog-instincts. Perfect!


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