ネブラスカ便り

Collaborative Haiku Poem – アライグマ

birds are gone
a new face in the feeding area
raccoon

(Yoko Kelley)
小鳥去り餌場に新顔アライグマ
ことりさり えさば に しんがお アライグマ

As weather gets warm, feeding areas, which were packed with birds during Winter, are now almost empty. But, I fill up a feeder, just in case, when the return of a cold morning is forecast. One morning, I noticed a feeder was empty. Apparently, some nocturnal creature came to eat, and judging from the cleanness around the feeding areas, the creature seemed to have dextrous paws. Last night, a quick look through the curtains revealed that the culprit was a raccoon. Raccoons originated from North America and are well-liked. Because of their high adaptability to various environments, they spread all over the world and cause some damage in native animals and agricultural products. Araiguma, Japanese name for raccoon, consists of two words: arai and guma. Arai refers to the act of washing, and guma is the same as kuma or bear. Araiguma has poor eyesight and searches for food in water by stirring movements of the hands. The behavior looks like washing (Wikipedia-Japanese).

 春の訪れと共に、厳冬期には小鳥で賑わっていた餌場も今や時たま1、2羽飛んでくる程度になりました。それでも次の日に寒さが予想されるときは、念の為と餌を補充しています。ある朝、その餌箱が空になっているのに気がつきました。夜行性生物がやって来たことが明らかです。そして、餌箱とその周辺が整然としていることから、手先(前足)の器用なことが伺えます。昨真夜中近く、そうっとカーテンの隙間からのぞいて見て、犯人はアライグマとわかりました。アライグマは北米原産ですが今や世界中に広がり、在来種の保存や農作物への被害が問題となっています。アライグマの名の由来はWikipediaによると、「視覚があまり良くないため、前足を水中に突っ込んで探す様が洗っているように見えることから」とあります。

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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