broadsideblog

How Do You Say Rabid in Japanese?

In culture on September 2, 2009 at 8:39 pm
Ursus americanus

Image via Wikipedia

Wildlife, it seems, is getting a little wilder.

A black bear broke through the locked French doors of an Aspen home recently and attacked a woman within. With only one Department of Wildlife officer in the town, residents are being told to be more careful if and when they encounter a bear. Since July 1, reports The Wall Street Journal, 460 people have placed calls reporting bears wandering through that town.

On my walk today I saw a woman staring in wonder — at 5:00 on a sunny suburban afternoon — as a fat, furry raccoon crossed the path in front of her and waddled into the woods. A couple who had passed her saw me walking in that direction and wondered, as I did, why she didn’t avoid the animal

“Raccoons aren’t supposed to be out in daylight. You’d better warn her,” they said. I walked fast and caught up to her, but, carrying a book in Japanese, she was quite likely one of the many foreign students at our local residential language school. I wasn’t sure that saying “That animal might be rabid. Best to move along quickly” would be clearly understood. A neighbor across the street recently told me she had to stand between her dog and a coyote to protect her pet. This, on a New York road only 25 miles north of Manhattan.

As I began my walk, a deer stood in the middle of the concrete path, unconcerned that two women were walking towards it from opposite directions. It very slowly meandered about six feet away up a hill and stared at us calmly. It’s lovely to be so close to nature, really, but between Lyme disease-carrying ticks, food-seeking bears, curious coyotes and insomniac racooons, something’s gotta give.

I overheard a confident young woman in a trendy cafe in Toronto recently, explaining calmly and reasonably — which seemed somehow a very Canadian conversation — how she would react if she ever ran into a bear. “A bear wouldn’t attack me,” she said, “because I wouldn’t do anything to annoy it.” I hope she’s right.

  1. Just for your edification, raccoons frequently go out during the day. If you saw a FAT raccoon waddling around, it was no way shape or form sick. Mothers are frequently out during the daylight with their kits. Raccoons do not become nocturnal until they are a year old but that doesn’t mean they don’t come out during the day. That is a stereotype that is wrong. The Japanese lady probably knew that as oriental people have great respect for raccoons [as should all cultures].

    Yes something’s gotta give. We need to quit encroaching on Mother Nature’s habitats so the wildlife are not forced to live among us so closely.

    Please don’t feel the wildlife either. That’s why they are so comfortable around hoomans now. Too bad people can’t adapt to living with other species like the wild ones do.

    Raccoon Orphanage

    http://doryandtheorphans.com

  2. sorry typo — please do not FEED the wildlife [attempting to feel them is way out of the question -- that'll get you hurt]

  3. I can see the signs posted across all the Crown Lands now: “Stay safe — don’t annoy bears. Do not mock or imitate them in visual range.”

  4. I have a friend who actually once shot and killed a bear, much to her dismay; she was a cook for tree-planters in B.C. and all alone. It’s funny until it’s not.

    • Saying, “I just won’t annoy the bears” is funny. Fighting for your life and killing a bruin in self defense is a totally different thing.

      Alone and with food — that could be a bad set up in bear country. I assume your friend was cooking at the time? What kind of bear? Did it actually attack her, or did it come for the food, get aggressive, and she had to make a quick decision for her safety?

  5. My friend, who is part native and felt very distressed at what it meant in her culture to even kill a bear, was alone and working as a cook in an isolated spot — as you might imagine a tree-planters’ campsite would be. I know her as a gentle, calm person so I imagine her decision was based on the very real fear for her life. We didn’t talk a lot about the details as it upset her so much, as much, or more, the killing as her fear of being hurt or killed. If I were alone in that situation, I can’t quite imagine what choices you’d have…?

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