Study Guide

If on a winter's night a traveler Chapter 16

By Italo Calvino

Chapter 16

On the carpet of leaves illuminated by the moon 

  • The narrator of this new book introduces himself as a young man living with a family named the Okedas, presumably in Japan.
  • He's also begun to notice the youngest Okeda daughter, Makiko. Because you know, what's a story without a guy going after a girl?
  • According to Calvino, it seems, not all that much. In addition, the narrator remarks on the icy relationship between Makiko's mother, Madame Miyagi, and the patriarch of the family, Mr. Okeda.
  • A scene unfolds in which the narrator reaches for a flower in a pond while walking with the Okedas.
  • Both Makiko and her mother bend down beside him to reach out and graze him with their breasts, sending him into sensual frenzy.
  • The moment ends as quickly as it began.The narrator is a student of Mr. Okeda, but he knows he needs to start working with other teachers if he wants to assure his prospects for the future.
  • He meets Makiko one day and arranges to meet her under the moon, but his obvious arousal frightens her and she runs into the house.
  • While running after her, the narrator bumps into Madame Miyagi, who is on her knees tending to plants.
  • She takes hold of his erection. Yowza.Makiko comes back looking for him, changed into a dress that suggests her sexual interest.
  • But the mother grabs the narrator and pulls him into a sexual position, locking her legs around him.
  • The narrator sees Mr. Okeda standing behind Makiko, and screams out Makiko's name…