ネブラスカ便り

Collaborative Haiku Poem – 烏合

each junco
eats bird food alone in a feeder
never in group

(Yoko Kelley)
ユキヒメドリ一羽で食す烏合せず
ユキヒメドリ いちわ で しょくす うごう せず

In kanji, u of ugou means bird and gou means gathering. The Kojien dictionary defines ugou as gathering without rules like that of birds. We often see a bunch of sparrows gather in one feeder. But, juncos (yukihimedori) do not behave like sparrows. A Junco in a feeder is always alone, never in two or more. The expression of ugou first appears in a book written in the late Han period, indicating that the expressions has been used nearly two thousand years. As juncos are originated in the northern Europe, they obviously were not seen in inland China. I did not notice this habit of junco before. I look forward to seeing juncos again the next winter.

 烏合(うごう)とは、広辞苑によると、鳥が集まるように規則もなく統一もなく集まることととあります。この鳥(う)の字は雀の場合には当てはまりますが、雪鳥と呼ばれるユキヒメドリには当てはまらないことに気がつきました。複数の雀が一つの餌箱に集まる様子はよく目にしますが、餌箱にいるユキヒメドリは常に一羽です。烏合の字が最初に記されたのが後漢書の一つとのことですから、烏合の衆などにこの表現は2千年近く使われていることになります。ユキヒメドリは北欧原産故に、中国内陸では見られなかったのでしょう。迂闊なことに、毎年、裏庭にやってくるユキヒメドリのこの習性を知ったのは今年が初めてです。来年の冬、ユキヒメドリが戻ってくるのが楽しみです。

Collaborative Haiku Poem
– Yoko Kelley
– Illustration by Norman Kelley
Omaha, Nebraska ネブラスカ州オマハ市

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