Animal Illogical—The Tiger Skin

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I am a hunter. I hunt tigers for their beautiful skin. I hunt alone. I don’t trust anyone else. I have a rifle. I can shoot from 500 meters on my jeep.  It is good to have a partner, but I don’t have such a trustworthy friend. Even if there was, they would not hunt tiger like me. Unless they were mating or bringing up a child, the tigers always appeared alone. I am also a lonely man. When I meet a tiger, it was a one-to-one fight, no one took advantage. But I have a rifle with a range of 500 meters. Is it fair? It has claws and teeth, I have a rifle. But I will shoot it in the dark, because I am afraid of it. Forget it, I am a hunter, not a hero. If I was, I will use a knife to kill it, face to face.

I believed that always until one day….

I was unlucky. I didn’t find its footprints or shits all the morning. The woods were very clean, the autumn was a bit cool, and the leaves began to turn yellow. I felt a little hungry. I just wanted to sit down and eat.

I suddenly heard the rustling. I immediately took the rifle, saw that it was a deer, a male, a newborn, pulling its neck and eating the leaves on the tree.

All right, don’t waste a bullet!

Sitting down, the deer suddenly ran, I stood up and saw a tiger rushing after it!

I quickly took my rifle, it was too late, I jumped on the jeep and chased them.

The jeep was bumping in the woods, how could it be faster than the animals that were in life and death.  Out of the woods, and I had already lost them. I stopped, lifted the rifle, lightly pressed the trigger.

Because it is a single-shot, I have to be very careful, and I must hit it at once. Otherwise, I will be finished.

I watched and waited. There was no movement for a long time, and it was boundless in the wilderness. Why could they disappear? Suddenly there was a shadow behind a big tree, a tiger. I immediately raised the rifle, but it was strange that this tiger was small and dull. It stupidly climbed up to catch the leaves on the tree. I have never seen this tedious thing that a tiger did.

Don’t bother! Raise the rifle, aim and shoot it.

But suddenly jumped out of another tiger. This one was not the same, although it was young, it has grown substantially. It was just the one who chased the deer before.

As soon as it appeared, it roared at me. It was far away from me, exceeded 500 meters. I hesitated, because it has already known my existence. If it attacked me, it would only take it a moment to come, but I definitely could have not enough time to backup and drive.

Could I shoot that small one? But it seems won’t work. It is not a luck to meet two tigers at the same time.

Finally, I decided to give up.

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After a few days, I came to this field again, with a mentality of waiting for the tiger to be appeared again, I laughed. In recent years, many friends changed to farming. They often urged me to do so, said that the farming is good and stable. But I don’t love farming, I love hunting.

I came to the tree where I found two tigers on that day. I saw that there was no more tiger today. Nothing was there. Only this big tree was left. It couldn’t move. Its roots were so deep. If it was hit by a thunder, it fell and dried here. Then, thousands of years passed, it would be still here.

At noon, the ground was hot and steaming. I climbed up to the tree and sat on a trunk. I could only see my tattered jeep. I knew that if I couldn’t hunt a tiger today, I might have to sell my jeep.

Tigers are getting fewer and fewer. This kind of animal is called an endangered animal. They needed to be protected. It is necessary to ban hunting, that is why worthy for a piece of tiger skin. One is enough for me to spend a year. Don’t hunt, how can I live? To protect, why not protect me first? There are only a few tiger hunters like me remains.

While I was thinking, the two tigers came under my feet. I knew them. I remembered all the tigers I have seen. They all have their own character, and their fur, their eyes were different. Seeing them, I didn’t take action right away. I was on the high place. They didn’t know me here. I was not so nervous. I rather watched first.

They also looked quite comfortable. They were just fed perhaps. They were lying in the shade of the tree. The big one embraced the small one and kept licking its face. The little one was shy as a big girl. I looked at it and felt funny, so I forgot to hunt them.

Suddenly, I heard someone talked, I was shocked. I looked up, but there was on one above. I was sitting high up on the tree. I could see far away in the wild. There were only two young tigers under my feet, who was the one talking? I was Just wondered, the voice said: “I am not a tiger! Don’t do this again!”

“You are not a tiger, what are you?”

“I am… a deer.”

“What?” I shouted as the same time with the tiger.

My goodness! Am I crazy, how could I hear the tiger talking? And speaking like people? I have been hunting tigers for a lifetime, knowing their habits of eating and drinking. I have seen them exposed in the nature and do that shameful things. I have seen the tigers producing tiger babies. I have seen the male tigers fighting for the reign and the females. But, I have never heard them speaking like people.

“You are a deer?”

“Yes, I am the deer you chased that day.”

“How come you become a tiger?”

They talked again. I heard it clearly. I calmed down first, because I was also curious. I really wanted to know why this deer would become a tiger ultimately.

The deer said: “On that day, I was chased by you to nowhere, I fell into a wolf hole. When I fell in, I fell on a tiger skin, and the tiger skin immediately wrapped me up. I was so scared so that I climbed back to the ground desperately. I didn’t know that my appearance had changed. I saw you wasn’t there, I was just eating the leaves under the tree as usual, until you reappeared, and roared, to scare away the hunter who thought I was a tiger…”

After the tiger listened, he just said: “That is how it turned out to be like this.”  Then he did not speak any more.

But I knew what it was thinking. This young tiger has not yet fully grown up, and he has to hunt alone. Its mother must be dead, and its brothers must be also dissipated, so, when it saw the deer wrapped in tiger skin. He Just thought that it was his own kind. He protected it and wanted to be nice to it.

That is normal for the tigers! Although the tigers are ferocious, they still care and love for their own kind. Particularly this tiger, has lost its mother since childhood…

While I was thinking about that, the young tiger dashed to the deer, but did not intent to hurt it. It just licked its face. The deer pushed it away and said irately: “I have told you that I am not a tiger. Why are you still doing this?”

The tiger stopped and stunned: “I don’t care what is you under your skin, I will still see you as a tiger.”

“No! I can’t live a life like you. I can’t watch you killing my kind, and eating them in front of me. One day, you will also eat me.” The deer affirmed.

I know very well that the things the deer was worrying about would indeed happen one day. When the young tiger grown up one day, it would forget all the childhood memories. This is the tiger. If it was not, it could not survive.

The tiger said: “You can go! But if you still worn a tiger skin, how can you go back to your deer society? You looked like a tiger, but you don’t know how to hunt, you are a deer, you can’t live without a society, how could you live in the future?”

Although the tiger is young, it makes much sense. The deer is indeed in a dilemma. I couldn’t make up my mind either for a while.

The deer insisted: “I must have a way to get rid of this tiger skin. You don’t have to worry about me.” So, it left.

The young tiger watched it leaving silently. His eyes were looked sad to me.

It turned out that only one tiger was real, the other was just covered with a tiger skin. I was encouraged. I immediately raised the rifle and pointed at the real tiger under the tree, but I couldn’t press the trigger. I was hesitant, am I dreaming? Does it make sense? How would I understand the dialogue between a tiger and a deer? I must be daydreaming. How could I take such a nonsense seriously?

I closed my eyes to test. When I reopened them, looked down from the tree, it was nothing there anymore. Ah! it was really a dream. Hence, I went back as if nothing was happened.

However, soon after I went home, I was ill badly. I must have been spelled. I went to the temple to ask for the god tea. I drank it and laid on bed for a month. By that time, the fall had passed and the first snow of winter fell for the village.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another day, I took a rifle and went up the mountain. I was walking to the woods. The jeep has been sold. If I did not hunt a tiger before the winter, I have to beg for food next year.

The snow has been falling in the mountains for several days. Thus, all the traces left by the tigers were buried. Even the smell was dispersed. I was afraid that I would be going back empty hand again, but the hunters were optimistic, and I always believed that there should be unexpected surprise.  Animals were about the same as people. They would hide when it was cold. I walked into the woods. Although the leaves have fallen, it was still shaded than the plains, and the wind was not too strong here.

There was no trace of the tiger, but I saw a group of deer digging grasses from snow. They were very focused and have not noticed me. Perhaps, they have already knew that I was a tiger hunter. I was not interested in them!

Suddenly, a leading deer raised its neck and ears. It was a watch deer in the group. It was sensitive and clever. It could hear sounds that even our hunters could not hear. I brought up the rifle and got nervous. It must have found the terrible predator, the king in this forest, their natural enemy.

It must be a tiger, I pulled the trigger and waited. Certainly, the tiger appeared. It jumped out from the bush and rushed to the group of deer.

How could a tiger be reckless like this? This was not the correct way of hunting deer. It should have squatted on the snow, and extremely patient, step by step getting closer to the deer. So that it would not be discovered too early. This tiger was senseless and foolish. The deer have long been alert. They ran away before they have seen its shadow.

This tiger was not big. It was a young tiger and was not far away from me that within five hundred meters. When it saw the deer hovering away, it stopped. It seemed overlooked my existent at all. That was a great opportunity. I did not hesitate to press the trigger and shot my first fire of this winter.

I hit it and it fell.

I was inexplicably excited. My hand that hold the rifle was a little shaky.

I went up and then walked closer. I saw that it fell to the ground and dying. Blood was gushing from its chest. It looked at me mournfully. I raised the rifle, pointed at it, waited quietly, until it died, slowly.

Finally, it closed its eyes and unmoved. I dared not to put down my rifle until I was sure that it was dead, then I took out my hunting knife to peel off its skin.

Its fur was very fluffy, soft and bright. It was an excellent tiger skin. Although it was a little small, it should still be able to sell at a good price. When I was peeling, I was thinking about these things.

However, when I pulled the skin from behind its ears, I was stupefied. How could there be a pair of horns sticking out? How could a tiger have horns? I didn’t believe my eyes. I immediately peeled the skin down with one snap, God! This tiger was under covered with a deer!

I fell back, found that a deer hiding under a tiger’s skin. It was a male, a newborn, eyes closed and dead. I was suddenly awakened that what I have seen a month ago was true. Or, my dream has not been awakening?

I looked at my bloody hands which still holding the knife. I didn’t know if it was the blood of the tiger, or the blood of the deer. Anyway, I killed it.

I have been killing tigers for a lifetime, but I have never been so scared.

Unexpectedly, I heard a roar. I instinctively picked up my rifle from the ground, instantly pulled the trigger, turned around and looked. It was a tiger, a just grown up tiger. It looked so dignified and imposing. It stared at me intensively.

Within 500 meters, but I could only silently look back.

~~~~~~The End~~~~~~

 

 

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動物也瘋狂—虎皮

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我是一個獵人,我打老虎的,為了它們美麗的皮。我是獨行俠,打老虎已不再是爲民除害,實在不好意思稱自己為俠。我只是一個人行動,有拍檔固然好,但我沒有這樣信得過的朋友,就算有,他們也不會像我一樣打老虎。除非是交配或帶小孩,老虎從來都是單獨出現,我也孤家寡人,遇到了老虎,就是單對單,誰也別佔誰的便宜。可是我有一支來復槍,射程在五百米内。這算不算公平呢?它有爪有牙,我有槍。但我會在暗中背後射它,因爲我害怕它。算了,我是個獵人,不是英雄,我若是,就拿刀子跟它面對面拚了。

今天運氣不好,整個早上都沒找到它的足印或糞便。樹林裏乾净的很,初秋有點清涼,葉子開始變黃。我覺得有點餓了,正想坐下吃東西,忽聼得葉子沙沙作響,我馬上提槍,一看,原來是一隻鹿,是公的,初生頭角,拉着脖子吃樹上的葉片。

還是,別浪費一顆子彈。

正坐下來,鹿忽然發足奔馳,我站起一看,眼前一晃,猛追着它的正是老虎啊!

我連忙提槍,已經太遲了,便跳上吉普車,追着它們去。

吉普車在樹林裏顛簸,怎比那在生死逃亡中的動物快,出了樹林,已經丟了它們的蹤影。我停車,提槍,輕扣板機。因爲是單發的,我要十分謹慎,務必一擊必中,不然,我自己也就完了。

我看着,等着,良久沒有動靜,平野上一望無際,怎麽就不見了?忽然一棵大樹後冒出了影兒,是老虎。 我馬上抬高拿槍的手,但奇怪這老虎,身形瘦削,目光呆滯,還在傻傻的爬樹上的葉子。我從沒看過老虎幹這種無聊事。別管了,抬槍,瞄準,就要射它,卻倏的又跳出另一隻老虎,這可不一樣啊,雖是少年虎,已長得十分帥氣,眼神炯炯,就是剛才追那支鹿的虎。

它一出現就看着我咆哮,它離我較遠,超出了五百米。我猶疑,因爲它已知道我的存在,若是一擊不中,它衝過來只需一刹那,我肯定來不急開車倒退。要嘛打那隻瘦的,但這也不行。同時遇上兩隻老虎,絕不是好運氣。

最後,我決定放棄。

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

過了幾天, 我又來到這片野地,帶着點守株待虎的心態,我暗笑了。近年很多朋友都種地去, 他們也常常拉着我去種地,說種地好,安定。 但我不愛,我就愛野獵。我來到那天發現兩隻老虎的樹下,一看, 今天沒有老虎了,什麽都沒有,就只有這株大樹,它是走不動的了,根已經扎得那麽深,就是給雷劈了下來!也就倒在這裏,乾了,枯了,幾千年過了,還是在這裏。

正午,地裏熱氣蒸騰。我便爬到樹上去,坐在一根樹幹上遠眺,只看到我那破破爛爛的吉普車。我知道,若是再打不到老虎,可能就要把它賣掉才能活下去。老虎是越來越少,這種說是瀕臨絕種的動物,要保護,要禁獵,所以才值錢,一塊虎皮,夠我花一年了。不打,我怎麽活?要保護,爲什麽不先保護我呢?像我這種獵虎人也是所剩無幾。

想着,脚下不知何時來了兩隻老虎,我認得它們,我看過的老虎我都認得,它們各有自己的特色,皮毛和眼神都不一樣。看到它們,我沒馬上拿槍,我在高處,它們沒發現我, 我就沒那麽緊張,先瞧瞧再說。

它們也是挺自在的似,大概是剛吃飽了唄,親昵的躺在樹蔭下打滾。那大的攬着那小的不停地舔它的臉。那小的像個大姑娘的羞澀得很。我看着看着覺得好笑,竟就忘了獵殺它們。

忽然,我聼到有人説話,我嚇了一跳,猛然抬頭,卻哪有人影。我高挂樹上,四野無人。就只有脚下那兩隻幼虎。正自納悶,那聲音又說:「我不是老虎!你別再這樣!」

「你不是老虎,那你是什麽?」

「我是……鹿。」

「什麽?」我跟老虎同聲喊道。

我的天啊! 我是不是瘋了,我怎會聼到老虎在說話?還說人話呢? 我一輩子獵虎,知道它們吃喝拉撒的習慣,看過它們徜徉於大自然毫不羞恥地幹那些事兒,看過母虎生產小虎,看過公虎為掙地盤和女的拚過血流滿面,就是沒聼過它們説人話。

「你是鹿?」

「是,我就是那天你追殺的那隻鹿。」

「那你怎會變成了虎?」

它們又說話了,我聽得清清楚楚。但我冷靜下來,因爲我也好奇,也很想知道爲什麽這頭鹿會無端無故的變成了虎。

鹿就說:「那天, 我被你追至無路可走,便掉下了一個狼洞裏。我一掉進去,就掉在一張虎皮上,那張虎皮竟馬上把我包起來,我當時好害怕,便拚命的爬囘地上,我當時還不知道自己的外表已經變了虎。我看你沒追來,就如平常一般在樹下吃葉子,直到你再出現,咆哮一聲,嚇走那個把我當成老虎要獵殺我的人……」

虎聼了,恍然大悟,道:「原來是這樣。」卻就沒有再説話了。

可我知道它在想什麽, 這隻幼虎還未成年,就要獨自獵食,它的媽媽很可能已經死了,而弟兄也失散了,所以它一見到這頭包了虎皮的鹿,就當成是自己的親屬,要保護它,親近它。那也是虎之常情吧!虎雖凶殘,還是有倫常之愛,更何況,這虎自幼喪母……

我想着想着,那幼虎又撲向那鹿,不是要傷害它,而是還要舔它的臉。鹿就推它,帶點惱怒的說:「我都已經告訴了你,我不是虎了,你爲何還是這樣?」

虎停了,撇然道:「我不管你毛皮底下是什麽,我就看你是虎。」

「不行! 我過不了你那種茹毛飲血的生活,我不能再看着你獵殺我的同類,還在我面前啃噬它們, 有一天,你會連我也吃掉。」鹿肯定地說。

我很清楚,鹿擔心的事終有一天會發生的,這幼虎有一天長成了,就會把童年的事情通通忘記,這就是虎,它若不是這樣,它也生存不下去。

虎就道:「那你就走吧!但你身上若還是披着虎皮,你又怎能囘到你的鹿群去呢?你是虎,卻不懂獵食,你是鹿,是不能離群的,你以後又怎麽活?」

這虎雖年幼,卻說得很有道理,這鹿的確陷於兩難的處境,我也一時拿不出主意。

鹿卻堅持道:「我一定有辦法把這虎皮拿掉的,你不用擔心我。」這樣它就走了。

幼虎默默地看着它走,眼神雖有不捨,卻沒有阻止。

原來只有一隻老虎是真的,另一隻不過是披了虎皮而已,我便壯了膽,馬上提起槍桿,對準了樹下那隻真老虎,卻總是按不下板機,看着這幼虎與那麋鹿難捨難分的眼神,我竟心生遲疑,我是不是在做夢?有什麽道理我會聼得懂老虎跟一頭鹿的對話,一定是掙着眼做白日夢,這種無稽的事怎能當真。

我閉上眼一囘,再睜開,往樹下一看,什麽都沒了,果然是做夢了,便當作什麽事都沒發生過就這樣囘去了。

回去不久,我生了一場大病,那肯定是中邪了,我到廟裏求了神茶,喝了,躺了一個月的床才好。那時,秋天已經過去,村寨裏下了第一場大雪。

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

這天,我扛着槍,上了山,來到樹林。我是走路來的,那輛吉普車已經賣掉了,如果我隆冬之前還沒獵到虎皮,我明年就得討飯了。

山裏已下了好幾天的雪,把所有老虎留下的痕跡都掩埋,連氣味都散盡,這趟恐怕又是白來,但獵人的本領就是樂觀,總是相信會有意想不到的驚喜。動物跟人差不多,冷了就會躲起來。我便走進樹林,雖然樹葉都落了,但還是比平野遮蔽,風也不太欶。

沒有老虎蹤影,卻看到有群麋鹿在雪地裏挖枯草。它們很專注,沒發現我的出現。也許它們早就知道我是個獵虎的,對它們沒興趣吧!

突然,有一隻領頭的鹿抬起了頸,竪起了耳,它是鹿群裏的哨子,它敏感、機靈,它可以聽到了連我們獵人都聼不到的聲音。我提起了槍,緊張起來,它一定是發現了可怕的捕獵者,在這片森林裏的王,它們的天敵。

肯定是老虎,我扣着扳機,耐心地等待。果然,老虎出現了,它於叢林裏撲出,向鹿群猛然奔去,這老虎怎麽這樣莽撞,這不是正確的獵鹿步驟,它應該先匍匐在雪地上,極其隱忍的一步一步靠近鹿群,這樣才不會太早被發現。這虎可傻呆了,它一下就衝出,鹿群早就警覺,還沒看到它的影子就飛腿跑掉了。

這虎身形不大,是一隻幼虎,它就在我不遠處,五百米之内,看鹿群跑散了,便停了下來,它背著我,似乎完全沒注意到我的存在。這是大好機會,我毫不猶豫,壓下扳機,開了這個冬天的第一槍。

我擊中了它,它倒下來。

我莫名的興奮,抬槍的手竟有點抖。

我再上了膛,然後一步一步走近它,見它倒在地上奄奄一息,血從它的胸膛流出,它的眼神哀憐,看着我,我抬槍對着它,靜靜地等待,它慢慢的死去。

終於它蓋上了眼,動也不動。我肯定它死了,才敢放下槍,取出獵刀,剝它的皮。

它的皮毛很蓬鬆,很柔軟,色澤鮮艷,是一張極好的虎皮,雖然小了有點,但應該還是可以賣到上好的價錢。我剝皮的時候,一心都在想這些事情。

可是,當我從它的耳後把皮開始拉下來的霎那,我傻了,怎會有一對角,從破縫裏扎了出來。老虎怎會長了角,我不相信自己的眼睛,再往下把皮一剝,天啊!這虎皮下包着的竟是一頭鹿!

我猛然跌退,見虎皮裏躺着一頭已經氣絕的鹿,是公的,初生頭角,閉上了眼,死在一張剖開了的虎皮裏。我這才驚醒,原來一個月前所見的事是真的,還是,我的夢一直沒有醒?

我看看自己拿刀的手,沾滿了血,也不知道是虎的血,還是鹿的血,反正我就是殺了它。

我殺虎剖皮一輩子,從來沒有這樣驚慌過。

驟然,我聼到一聲咆哮。我本能的撿起地上的槍,馬上扣扳機,轉身往聲音處一看,是一隻老虎,初長成的模樣,眼神炯炯,霍然的盯着我。

它在五百米之内,與我駭然對望。

~~~~~~完~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cosmos

 

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The Cosmos

I first met Cosmos in Japan. In the autumn of receding, everything was withered, but her beauty and gentleness calmed the void of soul. In the wilderness, the tender petals were blown in the wind, elegantly posted in the rural or near temples. They are the illusion of returning to spring before the harsh winter actually came. It is indeed a beautiful misunderstanding. Cosmos is an autumn cherry blossom.

That was how I knew about Cosmos, but I didn’t really understand her. Until one day in Mexico, I unexpectedly found a field of them, flourishing in the wilderness of no one. Only to know that Mexico was actually their homeland. Here, they spread like weeds. Every year after the rainy season in October, they pop out, with other unknown weed by the cornfields, pastures, and even on the roadside. They dotted a touch of pink in the wilderness of Mexico. The locals will not plant them in their home garden, as Japanese cherish them like the cherry blossoms of autumn.

Cosmos was introduced during the Edo period and now became the most common flower in the early autumn. In Japan, Cosmos, originated from Mexico, are loved by the people. Japanese cultivated them into different colors, while in their origin, South America, has only pink. Japanese Cosmos has orange, red, purple, white and brown. The brown Cosmos has already been extinct in Mexico, but it is still cultivated in Japan.

People don’t cherish the thing that they are used to, until it was lost. The Mexicans take their hands-off from the nature, let it be themselves. This attitude is similar to the Chinese Taoist inaction. The Japanese love to cherish the things. They explore them for a life time, and do not let go. In Japan, Cosmos is fragile but beautiful alike their exquisiteness.  Before I saw the Cosmos in the wild, I never thought of that they are native in Mexico.

 

秋英

最初認識秋英是在日本。在蕭剎的秋日,百物凋零,但她的美與溫柔安撫了心靈的虛空。在原野上,她們迎風招展,嫩芽般的清雅粉薄,常常栽種在田園之上或廟宇古寺之間,她們是春天的替身,在嚴冬來臨前給人回生的錯覺,那是個美麗的誤會,並非全心欺騙隱瞞。秋英是秋天的櫻花,日本漢字寫作秋桜。

那是與秋英的初邂逅,其實並不怎麼懂她。直至有一天在墨西哥無意發現一大片秋英田,在無人的曠野上茂盛地生長,才知道墨西哥原是她們的故鄉,在這裏,她們像野草一般地蔓延,每到十月雨季過後就從地裏冒出來,與其他不知名的雜草荊棘長在粟米田邊,牧場上,甚至公路旁,淡淡的粉紅點綴了墨西哥枯黃單調的野地。當地人不會在家中庭園栽種她們,不似日本人那樣珍愛,視為秋天的櫻花。

秋英在江戶時代才被引入,開始栽種為觀賞植物,現在已經十分普遍,是日本初秋最常見的花奔,甚有見花而知秋的代表性。所謂物離鄉貴,在日本的秋英比墨西哥老家的秋英受人愛戴,日本的秋英栽培出不同的顏色,而在原産地中南美就只剩下粉紅或粉紫色。日本的秋英有橙紅紫白啡,啡色秋英在墨西哥已經絕跡,但在日本仍然有人栽培,但就不再是漫山遍野,隨處可見了。

人們對身邊慣有的事物都不會珍惜,直到失去了才知道無法挽回,墨西哥人對大自然多採取放任的態度,讓它自生自滅,不會以人力主宰,大有中國道家無為的思想。而日本人對事物的愛惜戀慕過甚,終生探究,不願放手,形成鮮明的對比。秋英在日本,美得有點弱不禁風,襯托出日本風物的精緻,有如天生的一对,在未見過那大片野生的秋英田之前,完全沒想過秋英是來自墨西哥的野生植物。

 

 

 

The monarch butterflies

Mexico has many natural wonders and is a great place for adventure travel. Although life and travel are not the same thing, the mood is similar. For animals that migrate once a year, life is travel, adventure is life. In addition to migratory birds, many animals on the planet have the habit of migrating each year. The purpose of human to move is to survive, and animals are to breed, so they return to the birthplace to produce the next generation. Survival for animals, is to continue the entire species, they rarely think of the existence of their own individual.

Every March, the Monarch butterflies of the Mexican take their first long-distance adventure. The butterflies ride the airflow and follow the wind. They fly over the mountains and the cities, cross the border of the United States, and finally reach the eastern Canada. In the valley of wildflowers, they spend the romantic summer and then in a frosty morning of deep autumn, leave the garden and return to the Mexican forest to mate, lay eggs and die.

From November to March every year, all monarch butterflies gather in the central forest of Mexico. If you wanted to see the thrilling scene of life and death, don’t miss this opportunity. In just a few months, millions of love stories of butterfly was staged. The entire forest was piled with the body of them, as if crowned the mountain with a noble golden cloak. In March, millions of butterflies flew in the wind, cross the small village in the valley, rushed into their destiny, launch another daring trip. Do they have the freedom to choose? Like the returning of salmons. Among all the beings, only human beings were given this extravagant freedom. It is not so easy to be a free person.

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蝶變

墨西哥有不少自然奇觀,也是冒險旅行的好去處。雖然生活與旅行不是同一件事,但冒險的心情卻相類似,對每年都要遷徙一次的動物而言,生活就是旅行,冒險就是生命。除了候鳥,地球上很多動物都有每年遷徙的習慣,人類遷移的目的是為了生存,而動物是為了繁衍,囘到出生地生產下一代。生存對於動物,是整個物種的延續,很少會想到自身個體的存滅,因此才會有春蠶到死絲方盡的執著無覺。

每年三月,是墨西哥君主蝴蝶monarch butterfly破蛹而出,蝶變成形,在中部森林邁出生命第一,也是唯一一次長途冒險旅程的往返。蝴蝶乘著氣流,順著風向,飛越高山海洋和城市,穿越美國國境,最終到達加拿大東部,在野花盛放的幽谷裏,無憂無慮於花團錦簇中度過了浪漫的夏天,然後在蕭瑟的深秋,一個結霜的早晨,義無反顧放下一切,離開謝毀的花園,不是家園,再度穿越荒川野地,囘到墨西哥出生的森林交配,產卵和死亡。

每年十一月至三月,所有君主蝴蝶都聚集在墨西哥的中部森林,要觀看那一幕幕驚心動魄的生與死,就不要錯過這段時機。在短短幾個月裏,上演了數百萬隻蝴蝶的動人愛情故事。漫山遍野,一雙雙殉情的蝴蝶化為梁祝,整個森林鬱鬱蒼蒼,被上了高貴的皇家金黃色斗篷。到了三月,數百萬隻蝴蝶同時迎風飛舞,穿越山谷中的西班牙式小村莊,在教堂鐘聲的伴隨下,一群新的生命又撲向預設的命運,展開同一樣的生死歷程。

看蝶變就如同看洄流,震撼但唏噓。是否會有一些蝴蝶和三文魚不願洄流,產卵和遷徙?當然最好也不要死亡,若能天長地久,在沒有寒冬的花園裏做一隻無知無覺的穿花蝴蝶,那多麽好?蝴蝶是沒有選擇的,三文魚想必也是如此。而誰又有自由的選擇?若能有幸做上了一個這樣的自由人,也真不容易。

Canada and Cañada

 

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Canada is an English word? There is a place in central Mexico also called Canada, but it has an accent like a snake on the n. So, is this Spanish? It turned out not. The Cañada in Mexico is a place of ancient civilization, located near Mexico City. There are pyramids and ancient villages in the ruins. The Mexicans call her a virgin village. Cañada means the village here. It made me remembered that why Canada is called Canada. There was also a story. When the French came to this New World to explored, they met an indigenous man in the mountains. They asked them where it is. The indigenous man answered Kanada. He meant home. Therefore, the French called this land Canada, and later became the name of the country.

This is an interesting story about the origins of Canada, which I heard by someone. I didn’t know if it was true or not. But after seeing the Cañada in Mexico and knowing her meaning, I was so happy that I found something connected. Does everything have an origin? Does every result have a cause? Is seeking the root is about life?

 

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加拿大的Canada,這個字是英文嗎?在墨西哥中部有一個地方也叫做Canada,但在n上面多了一個像小蛇的重音音標。那麽這是西班牙語麽?原來也不是。 墨西哥這個Cañada是一個古文明遺址的地名位於墨西哥城附近。遺址裏有金字塔和古村落,墨西哥人管她叫做處女村,在天主教的影響下,處女就是聖母的代名。那麽Cañada就是村落的意思,這樣一想,就令筆者記起一段傳聞,加拿大為何叫做Canada,也是有個故事,話說當年法國人來到這片新大陸探險,在深山中遇到一個土著,就問他們這裏是什麽地方,那個土著就回答是Kanada,他的本意是家園。因此法國人就把這片土地叫作Canada,後來便成爲了國名。

這是筆者道聼途說的一段有趣的有關加拿大起源的故事,當時也不知是真是假,聼了就算。但在看到墨西哥的Cañada和知道她的意義後, 囘想起這段傳聞,一時竟有找到了印證的那麽歡喜,對這個與自己本來毫無關係的移民國,或多或少,產生了一種契合和感應。萬事皆有起源麽?一切都有因果麽?尋根就是人活著的意義嗎?

 

Animal Illogical–The Un-run Rabbit

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Once upon a time, there was a wood in a small island, lived a squirrel, a snake, a monkey, a turtle, a sparrow and a rabbit. The squirrel climbed, the monkey swung, the snake swam, the turtle crawled, the sparrow flew but the rabbit did not run.

For the island was so small, even they all have their own way to live, they have to deal with each other in order to keep the harmony of the island. The wisest and oldest turtle once said: “How about we race to the beach and see who is the fastest in the island?”

The others animals doubted of what the point to race in such a small island, but because it was the mother turtle suggested, they tended to agree. They all realized that the turtle crawled so slow, she would never be the winner. So, the squirrel said: “Well! It must be fun, let’s do it.”

The monkey swung between the branches, also said happily: “It is a good idea, I have been bored to dead lately.”

The snake thought that he though swam very fast in the water, but not on the land, he said reluctantly: “Ok! Just do it for doing it.”

The sparrow flapped her wings and said: “I am a flier. How can I join the race?” She seemed disappointed. The kind turtle immediately comforted her, said: “Don’t worried my dear, you can be our referee. You can watch from above and you must be fair.”

The sparrow was so pleased. She can be the referee.

When everyone was hailing, suddenly the squirrel looked around and asked: “What about the rabbit?”

As he mentioned about the rabbit, everyone found that he was not there.

The monkey climbed up to the top of tree, searched and said: “He is there…”

The rabbit was lying on the white sand at the beach. He was enjoying the cool breeze, the warm sun and the music of wave.

The animated sparrow immediately flew to beach. When she saw the idle rabbit closed his eyes, taping his toe along with the rhythm of wave. She pulled his ear and said: “Hey! You! Wake up! We are going to have a race, let’s join together!”

The rabbit was disturbed and was unhappy, said: “What are you talking about? Race? Such a silly thing, I would not do it.”

The sparrow wanted to be the referee so much, hence she said: “You are the silly thing indeed, you are the runner do you know that? But I have never seen you run.”

The rabbit yawned as the sparrow flying around him and pulling his long ears. He signed: “I am a runner? In such a tiny island? What the use of it. I rather be a flyer like you.”

The sparrow stopped fluttering, rested on his nose, said uncertainly: “Like me? I am just a sparrow, even I can fly, I don’t have energy to fly away from this island.”

The rabbit blew his nose, stood up and said eagerly: “How about you teach me how to fly! I have enough energy, I can carry you away this island after I learned to fly.”

The sparrow was convinced and beat her pairs of tiny wings, said: “Sounds good! I now teach you how to fly. You just follow me!”

The rabbit clapped his feet but as he had no wings, he could only flap his long ears to pretend flying. He was jumping and jumping, but barely off the land a few inches.

He kept doing it until the sunset, and the sparrow had been flown away long before that.

∼∼∼∼

The next day, the rabbit lain on the beach again idly. He seemed had already given up flying. While he was humming about an unknown song, the snake sneaked onto the beach. He stuck his tongue, aiming for some small insects. The rabbit saw him moving to the sea, he suddenly got a new idea. He jumped up and asked: “Uncle snake! Can you teach me how to swim?”

The snake looked back at him emotionlessly, said: “Why did you bother learning to swim?”

The rabbit scratched his brain, answered ambiguously: “I don’t know? I think… you are cool that you can swim.”

The snake seemed impassive, continued moved slowly to the sea, and mumbled: “I rather am able to run, I hate the salty chilly water under the sea.”

The rabbit laughed: “You rather to run? You don’t even have legs!”

The snake stopped abruptly, turned around and glared at the rabbit. The rabbit then sensed that he was rude, said immediately: “I am sorry! Uncle snake, I did not mean that.”

The snake grinded his sharp teeth, said grudgingly: “You are a runner, if you didn’t run, you are just worthless.”

The rabbit saw that his popped eyes were full of resent. He felt apologetic for what he just said recklessly. But he still didn’t understand why it was happened, said: “Uncle snake! If I could exchange to you, I would. But… why that is so important if you were not born to run. What’s wrong with born to swim?”

Before he finished, the snake has already sneaked into the sea. Once he was in the water, he moved so fast and disappeared in an instant. The rabbit looked at the wave and signed: “What a beautiful swimmer. I wish I could swim like him.”

∼∼∼∼

The next day, the rabbit lain on the white sand again. He has already forgotten about swimming. He was enjoying the sunbath, but felt itchy suddenly. He opened his eyes and found banana leaves falling all over his body. He stood up and looked back, saw the monkey was peeling the banana leaves by the bushes.

He yelled: “Hey! Monkey! Did you see me? You are burying me with the banana leaves.”

The monkey didn’t answer, he was so focused on getting the bananas. The rabbit then walked to him, said: “Monkey! All the bananas are yours, don’t you worry?”

The monkey finally realized that the rabbit was here, said surprisingly: “Oh! Rabbit, I thought you were learning flying and swimming!” He plucked two bananas, gave one to him, continued: “These golden bananas are so good. You see! This island is small but has everything we need. The bananas, the coconuts, the acorns, the seaweed, the radish roots, and the insects, the starfishes. Even uncle snake would not be starved. I think this is a paradise.”

“You are absolutely right!” The rabbit grabbed the banana and toasted with the monkey, said: “That is why I don’t understand I needed to run. There is no reason to run, to rush, do I?”

The monkey sat down with the rabbit, said: “I agreed. But there is something called instinct, as an animal I heard. For they have to be able to run away from their predators.”

“Predators?” The rabbit was wondering, he had never heard about that. The monkey then explained: “We are lucky living in this small island. We never have to face to the reality of wilderness out there. I heard from a seagull before. The animals in the main land have to eat each other to survive. The big eat the small, the fast eat the slow. That’s why they all born with some special skill, called instinct.”

“Ah! I see.” the rabbit exclaimed.

“Mother turtle is wise and kind.” The monkey said while he was enjoying the delicious bananas: “She suggested we race to stimulate our instinct. No one knows what happen in the future, do we?”

The rabbit nodded and said: “Wow! You sounded really up there. Does it because you can swing? Can you teach me how to swing? Brother Monkey!”

The Monkey was shocked, for this rabbit was so stubborn, he laughed and said: “You just wanted something else. Ok! You come to the wood tomorrow, I will teach you how to swing.”

The rabbit was so happy and cheered. He wanted to fly, to swim, to swing, but never run.

∼∼∼∼

The next day, the rabbit really came to the wood and the monkey really taught him to swing. However, the rabbit was even unable to climb up the tree. He was falling, slipping, sliding that made himself looked so ridicules. The squirrel was watching above on his tree hole, and laughed loudly, said: “Ha! Ha! Ha! You are such a fool! An un-run rabbit is worthless!”

The rabbit bounced up from the ground, pointed at the squirrel angrily, said: “You! What are yourself worth for? You can only pick and hide the acorns foolishly.”

The squirrel crawled on the branch, said back to him: “I am foolish?  You are coward! You don’t dare to race with us. You afraid to lose! Does he?”

The rabbit now noticed that everyone was here watching him actually. The snake, the monkey, the sparrow blazed at him with contempt. But the turtle was sympathetic, she said: “That is enough! Don’t be excessive!”

The squirrel said: “All right! If you didn’t run, you climb. Can you climb up this tree like me?

The sparrow then said after him: “If you didn’t run, you fly. Can you fly to the sky like me?

The snake said also: “If you didn’t run, you swim. Can you swim to the sea like me?

The monkey said as well: “If you didn’t run, you swing. Can you swing between the branches like me?”

The rabbit glared at them, but just couldn’t answer any of these questions, then the squirrel emphasized again: “You can’t do any of those, what the use of you! You are worthless.”

“Yes! You are worthless.:” The sparrow, the snake and the monkey said the same thing as the same time.

The rabbit was pushed to be tearful, he abruptly lifted his legs and ran swiftly like wind, dashed out of the wood without a word.

The sparrow, the snake, the squirrel and the monkey were stunned as they the first time saw the rabbit ran. The mother turtle looked back to them,  smiled and said: “Well done, but maybe a little over done.”

∼∼∼∼

In the night, when the moon rose from the sea, the rabbit was still strolling on the beach. He was really confused now. He started to examine what he had always believed. Perhaps, he was wrong, but he didn’t get it right either. He was so vexed and wanted so much someone he can talk to, then he saw the mother turtle crawling slowly to him, he thought: What’s wrong of crawling slow as a turtle? Just because I am a rabbit, I have to run?

As he was thinking, the mother turtle has come to him, much faster than she looked, said pleasantly: “What a beautiful moon night!”

The rabbit responded right away: “Yes, it is. Mother turtle…” paused and said awkwardly: “Thank you for today!”

Mother smiled and said: “Will you forgive them? They just cared for you.”

The rabbit said immediately: “Oh, Yes, I do. I know they didn’t do it to harm me, but, Why?  they just can’t accept who I am?”

“This question you should ask yourself.” The mother turtle twinkled slightly.

The rabbit was shocked and speechless. After a while of silence, the mother turtle said softly: “It is ok whether you come to the race. You can just come to see. It will be fun for all of us.”

The rabbit seemed relieved and said firmly: “How can they have fun without me!?”

Said, laughed with the mother turtle.

∼∼∼∼

Finally, it was the day of race. Everyone was presented, including the un-run rabbit.

The squirrel said: “We are running to the beach, but we should have a touching point to show the winner.”

Everyone thought it was right, then the turtle said: “How about the big rock on the south edge of the beach? Whoever the first touched the top of the rock is the winner.”

“No! No!” Except the rabbit, everyone disagreed, said: “The rock is too high and too big. It is not fair for everyone.”

But the turtle insisted, said: “It may not be fair for everyone, but is fair for all the racers. You know, we are all born differently, it is impossible to level up before we can compete.”

The snake, the squirrel, the monkey and the sparrow were looking at each other. They seemed so moved by what the turtle mother said. But the rabbit was looked bored of this kind of everlasting discussion. He was just quiet and waited.

After a few more offering, they decided to take the mother turtle’s plan. Then, the race eventually started.

The sparrow flew with a leaf in her month. She dropped the leaf, as it reached the floor of the wood, they started running. The island was small, so it didn’t take them very long to the beach. The rabbit was fast for he didn’t have anything in his mind when he ran. He did what they said, ran up to the big rock straightaway. He touched the top of the rock and turned around, but saw no body. No one hailing, no one clapping.

Everyone was still on the beach. They were all together with the mother turtle, slowly crawling, walking to the big rock. As they arrived the foot of the rock, they pushed the mother turtle on the top of the rock and then now they hailing and clapping, for the winner– the mother turtle, but not the rabbit.

The rabbit was totally left alone and be forgotten. He was suddenly blank. He didn’t know what the meaning of racing. The race that he didn’t even want to join. He felt wronged and fooled. As the squirrel, the monkey, the snake, the sparrow embracing the mother turtle and crowned her the laurel. The rabbit abruptly jumped into the sea.

The mother turtle heard the splashing sound of water, immediately turned around and shouted: “No, Rabbit jumped, please save him!”

Everyone was stunned, but no action. The monkey asked: “Could anyone swim?”

They all looked back at the snake, but the snake was stammered: “But… I…have no hands and legs, even I can swim, how could I save a big rabbit?”

The monkey asked again: “Could anyone fly?”

They all looked back at the sparrow, but the sparrow was hesitant: “But… I am so small… even I can fly, how could I save a heavy rabbit?”

The squirrel then said hopefully: “Don’t worry! Did the rabbit learn to fly and swim? He should able to save himself.”

As they were discussing, the rabbit had been disappeared amongst the jagged waves.

The mother turtle sadly took down her laurel, but said sternly: “Rabbit is not only a runner, he must be also a survivor.”

Certainly, the rabbit survived. When he was struggling in the sea, he stepped on a whale. The whale was huge and strong. He carried the rabbit all the right to the main land. The rabbit was dropped on the beach when he was exhausted and soggy wet. He said to the whale: “Thank you so much for saving my life. But though, I don’t know how to keep on living from now.”

The whale smiled, said positively: “Oh! You do. I promised.” Then, he turned around and swam back to the sea. The rabbit stood up and looked around the land. The land was infinitive. He only saw boundless weed and grass under a big blue sky. He was frightened. He cautiously moved ahead, but nothing else he could see except himself. He was all alone.

Suddenly, he heard a thunder under a cloudless sky. He erected his two long eyes to listen. The roaring sound was getting closer and closer, until a strange animal appeared in front of him. It was unlike anything he had seen before. It was really big, four legs, two small ears, beautiful golden fir with strips. As the moment this weird animal opened his month, showed two shape teeth, he rushed and fluttered to the rabbit. The un-run rabbit immediately ran like a shooting arrow, swept across the grass field, instinctively.

When he started running, he saw there on the endless grass field, were many other four legs runners, running and running with him. He also saw many his own kind. Then finally, he realized that who he really was.

∼∼The End∼∼

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animal Illogical – The Navel Frog

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Short story – The navel frog

(1)

Once upon a time, there was a rain frog village under a rice field of an oriental island. They co-lived with the rice field from generation to generation. They were happy who they were, where they were and what they were doing. One spring, the new tadpoles were breed and swam between the rice seedlings. They were expected to grow up very soon after the cherry blossoms. Promisingly, in the early summer, the young rain frogs sang loudly as they were leaping around. Suddenly, one frog screamed: “Look! He has a button on his belly!”

All the young frogs were curious and came together to see what the button he was saying. But no one knew what it was. The rain frog who had a button on the belly was so surprised. He never noticed that there was something unusual about himself. He touched the button and found that it was concaved and felt connected. The other young frogs also touched his button, but they felt nothing about it. They were trying to rub, poke and tickle that made him laughed.

This button seemed like an amazing thing that was able to bring joy. But what was it, and why only he had and the other didn’t? As many doubts raised, an old rain frog came along and asked: “Hey! Kids, what are you doing here?”

All the young rain frogs answered as the same time: “He has a button on his belly!”

The old rain frog came to looked at it closely and said gravely: “It is a navel!”

“A navel?” All the young frogs, including the one who had the navel questioned.

The old rain frog pondered seriously before she answered pleasantly: “Well, don’t worried. It is nothing disaster but just a little unusual. You know, not every piece of cloud is the same.” She was trying to comfort them. But all the young frogs were silent. It seemed that they couldn’t get rid of an ominous feeling.

By the time, the young frog who had a navel was getting lonelier and lonelier and one day he was only himself. He didn’t sing and leap anymore. He didn’t like his navel at all, but he couldn’t make it disappeared. In the early autumn, when all the other rain frogs were blissfully hopping around the ripened rice ears. The navel frog strolled alone to the water passage where a heron drinking by it. The navel frog leaped into the passage, struggled in the fast running water, and was almost thrust by the rapid. He was picked up by a heron at last. When the heron was about to swallowed him. The navel frog said: “Well! Lucky you! I think you have never eaten a navel frog!”

Once it was said, the heron spit him out immediately, coughed hardly and said nastily: “What? You have a navel? Oh, my dear! I almost swallowed you. I don’t eat things have a navel. Don’t you just stay away from me!”

The navel frog was so sad, and mumbled to himself: “It is ok! I don’t think I am tasted good either.” Then he crawled away as the heron requested, but the heron called him: “Come back, kid!”

The navel frog stopped but didn’t come back. The heron strode ahead, looked at him warily before said: “You are not supposed to have a navel as a frog, do you know that?”

The navel frog said miserably: “I know, but I already have one.”

Seriously, the heron said: “You should get rid of it.”

The navel frog just glimpsed at him but said nothing. The heron then giggled: “What an attitude! You can never get help!”

The navel frog glimpsed at him again, said: “Well! You are the wise heron? Then can you explain why this happened to me.”

The heron waved to him, said: “Come over here kid! It will be a long story.”

The navel frog glimpsed at him once again but this time, his eyes were sparkling with hope. He hopped in front of him and said: “Tell me please! Everything!”

The heron smiled and said: “There are all kinds of things in the world and they all have their own way to be. Like I am a bird, I have feather and beak, and we lay eggs as the mice bear baby mice…

The navel frog interrupted: “Hey! I am frog, rain frog, why you talked about mice?”

The heron glared at him, said grumpily: “I have never seen such an impatient frog. You are really different!”

The navel frog didn’t like being different, so he was quiet intentionally. The heron then continued: “When the things have babies, they have navels…”

“Yes, yes, yes! I have a navel!” The navel frog was excited, and asked: “But, my mother lay eggs. How come I would have a navel?”

The heron shrugged his feather, and said: “You know, there are always something wrong. But you can see it in another side. For example, because you have a navel, you are not only a frog, you can be mice, cow, horse and human…”

“Human?” The navel frog was interested, and asked: “They also have navels?”

“Of course! Because they usually wear clothes that is why you don’t see.” The heron clarified.

The navel frog looked up at the humans who were busily harvesting in the rice field. The sweat they sprinkling was stinky and sometimes too much that could drown him. He never like them.

The heron asked attentively: “Do you want to be human?”

“No.” the navel frog relied quickly and certainly: “I wanted just to be a frog, a rain frog.”

The heron nodded with his long neck, said: “But, do you know that, if you wanted to get rid of your navel, you have to find a human to fall in love with you.”

“What? “The navel frog screamed: “By what mean? Fall in love with me?”

The heron clapped his beak, and said mysteriously: “If you didn’t like human, you can find a cow, a mouse or a pig…”

“No, I don’t want any of those!” The navel frog was almost crying.

The heron asserted seriously: “But you have to. I told you to find human, because they like to fall in love much more than cows and pigs. It is just easier for you.”

The navel frog looked up around the working humans in the rice field again, and said: “They are so busy working, will they have time to fall in love?”

“Well, not every human was busy like them. There are many idled humans in the palace. You might able to get one there.” The heron suggested.

The navel frog hesitated, said: “But, I know nothing about human. How could they fall in love with me?”

The heron appeared to know about everything, said: “That is easy! About the human world, there are only three things you should know about it.”

“Three only?” The navel frog was doubtful.

The heron wide-opened his eyes, and said sternly: “Yes, I have seen them all. In the world of human, if you wanted to be loved by them, first, you have to be strong.”

“I am not.” The navel frog said immediately.

“Second, you have to be beautiful.”

“You think I will be looked beautiful to their eyes?” The navel frog was uncertain.

“Third, you have to be eloquent.”

“Eloquent? That seemed more possible, I can even sing.” The navel frog was proud of his voice always.

“Then, you may go! Humans ears are very soft, you definitely will find one falling in love with you.” The heron assured.

The navel frog was encouraged as he leaped up and down animatedly.

The heron reminded him one more thing: “There is a trick to make them falling in love with you. It is to see their navels. After you get one fell in love with you, remember to get a kiss for proof, then your navel will be disappeared.”

“A kiss?” the navel frog was hesitant, mumbled: “With such a big mouth!?” When he looked back and tried to ask more, but found that the heron had already flew away to the sky soundlessly.

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(2)

The navel frog then hopped and hopped on the dirt road. He accidentally leaped on an ox-cart that was just happened riding into the palace, where it was so far away for him to reach. He never thought he would be there of entire life. The ox-cart went through many buildings and finally stopped by the barn. A fishy odor came over as a group of humans unloading the baskets from the cart. The navel frog hastily hopped into the grass, avoiding to be trampled by their big feet.

The day was sunny and dry. The rain frog could not live without water for too long. He had to find something wet to dampen his body. He hopped and hopped, suddenly smelled soggy and felt steamy. He hopped through the grass field and found a place very special. It was so warm and moist even in the autumn. He felt rejuvenated as if he was still a tadpole.

When he was absorbed in the time of before he had a navel. Abruptly, a group of humans stumbled in with their huge shadows. He was shocked because the first time he saw so many naked human bodies in his life. They were not wearing clothes like the others in the rice field, but exposed their navels in the public. The navel frog remembered what the wise heron said: “The trick to make human falling in love with you is to see their navels.”

He didn’t expect he could see their navels easily and it was not only one but so many at the same time. However, he was not glad about that, for he didn’t want to be loved by all these bulky objects.

He immediately closed his eyes, but he had already seen one on a big round belly. This belly holder seemed had instantly enchanted by him. He found the little one by the grass at a glance. This big human jumped over near and said devouringly: “What a beautiful rain frog you are!”

The navel frog was so frightened when he saw this big human raised his hand trying to grab him. He hopped and fled into the grass straightaway. He was hopping and hopping with all his strength until he heard no more sound from him.

He stopped and panted, found that he was by a pond. The pond has grown lotus and their leaves were big enough to hold him. He jumped on one of it, moistened his body with the clear pond water, wetted his dry eyes and cracked mouth. Instantly he felt relaxed and released as he heard some wonderful sound flicking his ears. He didn’t know what it was. He just had never heard something so wonderful before. He peered from the pond, looked around the place was quiet and neat, and then saw a small human object sitting inside a house. This human appeared to be much more approachable. The navel frog looked at her for a long time as she was flicking something that made those wonderful sound.

The sounds were so good to hear, that made him want to sing. Hence, he started singing his favorite song of the rain frog traditional hymn. In the rainy season of the rain frog village, everyone must had sung this song. The name of this song was Rain Call. It literally meant calling the rain. The navel frog still remembered each word of it. He sang: “Gero, gero, gero, gero, gero, gero….”

After he sang for a while, the wonderful sound stopped, and that small human was approaching to him. She walked near to the pond, seemed looking for where was the singing came from. The navel frog immediately hid shyly under the stalk of lotus, but stick out his two big round eyes to peek at her closely.

She had a round face and a small noise. Her face was very white, with long straight shiny black hair covered both side of it. She also had a small mouth with red lips, but still five times bigger than his. Her eyes were thin and long that almost the eyeballs were unseen. She looked so different from him but he was instantly fond of her. He thought: How about this one? She seemed adorable and unharmed.  If I have to be in love with a human, perhaps, I couldn’t find anyone better than her. But, if she was so nice, would she be falling in love with me?

Then he remembered the trick again. However, she was wearing clothes. How could I saw her navel? While he was wondering, he heard a human sound shouting from the house: “Princess! Be careful! Don’t drop into the pond!”

Another human object was running nearby. She carried a piece of thick clothe, covered it on the shoulder of that Princess, and said: “Please! Princess, it is cold outside. Let’s get into the room.”

The navel frog was frustrated to see her wearing more clothe, thought: How can I see her navel, if she was wearing so many clothes? With a little help of wizard, he got a naughty idea and believed that it would actually work. He promptly hopped from the lotus leaf, bounced himself high up to the air in front of the Princess, then dropped into her collars right before she was pushing back to the room.

The Princess shouted: “Oh! Nanny! A frog got into my clothes.”

Nanny heard it, immediately helped to take off her first layer of clothes. When she just found the rain frog clinging on the Princess’s collars, it had hopped into her second layer of clothes. Then the Nanny helped to take off her second layer of clothes. When she just found the vicious rain frog, it sneaked into her third layer of clothes. And then again and again, up to the sixth layers of clothes until the navel frog was exhausted.

As he was taking rest by her collars, gasping and wondering how many more layers her clothes would be, the enraged Nanny fiercely swept him away with her palm. She was really irritated by this little mischievous frog. She saw it dropped on the floor in front of her feet. She intended to lift her foot to smash on it. But the Princess stopped her, said gently: “No, Nanny, just let it go!”

The Nanny reluctantly yielded. She picked up all the layers of clothes that scattered on the floor, said grumpily: “How should there still be a rain frog in the autumn? It is very weird!” When she stood up and saw the Princess was wearing only one layer of under clothe, she panickily screamed: “Oh! No, Princess, please wear the kimonos! Are you cold? Are you all right? You shouldn’t dress only one layer of kimono…”

While the Nanny anxiously laid the kimonos on the tiny body of this Princess, she was watching at the lotus pond curiously. The navel frog had already hidden under the lotus blossom and he was also watching her at the same time. He wondered: “Is she looking for me?” as he was thinking that, he felt throbbed, for the first time of his whole life.

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(3)

In the night, when everybody was gone, it was very quiet in the garden. There were no more chirping of birds and insects. Not a single cicada or cricket was left after the last day of summer. But a frog call raised secretly.

“Gero …gero …gero …gero …gero…” The call was slow and hesitant, it sounded cautious and uncertain. The navel frog doubted it was the right time to call again. Perhaps it was rude to call so late in the night. When he saw the light in the room was eclipsed, he was disappointed. So, he stopped gero.

After he stopped, the rustle of falling leaves were replaced. Unexpectedly, someone walked to the pond and muttered: “Are you still there?”

The navel frog was surprised and happy, but he didn’t respond right away. He listened to the silence for a while, then carefully gero once. The Princess was pleased as she confirmed that the rain frog was still there. She smiled and said quietly: “Why are you here? I have never seen a rain frog in the palace. I heard that they only were found in the rice field.”

The navel frog didn’t know how to answer. It was inappropriate to tell the truth, he believed.

The Princess said again: “You must be lost. Don’t worry, tomorrow I will ask someone bring you back to the rice field.”

“No! I don’t’ want to go back to the rice field…” The navel frog shouted. The Princess continued, as if she didn’t hear, said: “Even I like your gero and glad to have your companion, but I think you should go back to the rice field where you have your kind of friends.”

The navel frog leaped from the lotus leaf and said: “I am happy to be your companion too. I wanted to stay here, do you understand? You didn’t, did you?”

The Princess giggled and said: “Very nice sound. Even I don’t know why frogs gero a lot.”

She seemed didn’t understand a single word but only heard gero gero gero when he talked. As she turned around and walked away, the navel frog hurriedly gero twice to test.

The Princess stopped, came back to the pond, ardently searching around to see where was the rain frog, said pleasantly: “Gero, gero, I like your voice. Does it mean anything?” She didn’t wait for the answer since she realized that she was talking to herself: “If you were going back to the rice field tomorrow, could you please gero more tonight for me?”

Once she said, the navel frog gero three times readily before he took a deep breathe to gero continuously: “Gero, gero, gero, gero, gero, gero, gero ……” until the Princess laughed.

She said: “That…. that is so nice! Thank you! You seemed understand what I said, but I am sorry, I can not understand what you said. If I did, that would be very nice.” After she said that, she slowly turned around and walked back to her room.

The navel frog leaped on the top of a lotus head, looking over her tiny shadow disappeared behind the paper door.  He now realized that it didn’t matter he talked or gero, she heard the same thing. Thus, he just kept gero gero gero dolefully for the rest of night.

The next day, the Princess really asked some gardeners came to pick up the rain frog. She requested them to do the job gently and brought it back to the rice field tenderly. However, the gardeners have been looking for it all morning but couldn’t find anything even similar.

The Princess supposed it probably left by itself. She was hoping it could reach the rice field safely. She heard that even the nearest rice field was mile away from the palace. However, when the night came, and the garden was quiet. She heard gero gero gero again. She was delighted to hear its voice again. She ran to the pond, knelt on the floor, looking for it, but it was too small to see in the dark. Nevertheless, the frog calling was promising each night to accompany her sweet dreams.

Many nights had passed by like that. The navel frog just gero for her but didn’t do anything about his navel. Yet, he worried about his navel less and less. He was joyfully singing each night and listening to what the Princess said to him. The only thing he was dissatisfied that was he could not talk back to her.

One day, when the Princess was not there in the room. The navel frog was sluggish. He lounged on the withering lotus leaf, having an autumn sunbath, and leisurely watching the drifting clouds. Suddenly, something dripped from the sky. He hopped to avoid, saw that was a smear of bird shit. He looked up to the sky, as a white shadow descended on the edge of pond, said rudely: “What are you still doing here? Idiot! Haven’t you seen her navel yet?”

It was the wise heron. The navel frog was alarmed and bothered, said: “No… I just haven’t gotten a chance.”

The heron paddled his wings, said agitatedly: “Don’t you know that you do not have much time. have you noticed that it is getting colder and colder each day? You see! this lotus pond, when all the leaves and lotus heads were turned brown, there will be frost and snow…”

“So…” the navel frog didn’t get the point and the urgency. The heron signed and explained patiently: “I see, you are the first-year rain frog, you don’t know that there is no winter for the rain frogs, do you?”

“Winter? What does it look like?” the navel frog asked naively.

The heron proclaimed exaggeratedly: “The winter– is the time of resting, withering, declining and dying. There was no life and no motion. Only cold and cold. Everywhere is snow covered, no food, no fun and no ….”

“Really?” The navel frog was suspicious.

“And you! A rain frog…” The heron pointed at his nose, said sternly: “… has to be slept through the winter. If you were not, you surely have no second spring for your life.”

The navel frog started to believe and picnic, asked anxiously: “Then, what should I do? I don’t want to die. I wanted to see the next spring and the next summer.”

The heron flapped his wings in the air, said strictly: “See her navel or just forget about yours.”

“Yes, I will, I will see her navel. I felt that she is fond of me, but what the use of being eloquent as a frog? She actually couldn’t understand what I said. For all my words became gero gero to her ears.” The navel frog was frustrated.

The heron then calmed down to explain: “I don’t blame you for I didn’t tell you that.” He extended his long wings before said: “In this universe, you know, we have many many kinds of thing, but only humans are different from us. They cannot understand our talks. They cannot even understand each other talks. That was doomed, but there are still love in between them. So, you see, it all depends!”

“If it was like that, without communication, how can we fall in love?” The navel frog was disheartening.

The heron looked up to the sky and saw a group of goose passing by. He looked hustling, answered hastily: “Fall in love with heart not mouth, isn’t it?” After saying that, he flew to the sky as dropped his last word: “I have to migrate, see you next spring!”

The navel frog was helplessly seeing him off. He felt abruptly so lonely and scared.

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(4)

The navel frog was still gero gero for the Princess, but got no chance to see her navel until one night she came to the pond with a dish of human food.

She was looking for him in the pond and said intently: “I brought you something to eat tonight? I wondered do you have enough food in the pond…”

With the glow of the full moon tonight, she could easier spot where the little rain frog. It was lying on a brown lotus leaf. The freshly green of his body was so appealing under the moonshine. She took the food from the plate and stick it out to the pond, said: “You see! this is dango, the traditional food for middle autumn. It was made by mochi, and it is round as the full moon.”

“Dango? Mochi?” the navel frog realized that he was getting more difficult to find insects around the pond and the grass field. They were dying out or hiding. He was starved for some days but he had never eaten human food. He was hesitant he wanted to taste it.

The Princess saw that it had no response, she took back the dango and said: “You don’t like it probably. I am sorry I don’t know what you like…”

“No! I like it.” The navel frog jumped up and down from the lotus leaf as he said. The Princess saw that he jumped so amusingly, she giggled and said: “I like your jumps, as much as your geros. You really know what I like and do please me a lot. But I don’t know what you like. I don’t even know what do you like to eat.” She was felting guilty.

The navel frog blurted out: “I like to see your navel.” But of course, she could only hear gero gero gero.

The Princess put the dango on the floor and said: “This dango is much bigger than you. You cannot eat perhaps, but you can play with it.”

The navel frog leaped again, landed on the top of the dango. The Princess was gratified and laughed, said: “You are really so small. You are just about as big as my thumb.” As she said, she placed her thumb by the side of the rain frog to measure.

The navel frog was so closed to her that he could see her collars was opened. It was the great chance to jump inside and see her navel. However, he didn’t want to do that. He just couldn’t do such a nasty thing to her any more.

So, he leaped on her thumb instead. The Princess was surprised it did so. She thought that these kind of little animals, birds or insects, would usually run away from the humans. But this rain frog didn’t. She felt instantly a special attachment with it. She lifted it in front of her eyes, gazed at it thoroughly, and said: “You are so beautiful.”

The navel frog was very moved, and said to her: “You are so beautiful too.”

While the two were gazing each other, suddenly someone shouted in the room: “My little princess, what are you doing out there?”

As that human said, he has already presented in front of them. The navel frog immediately recognized him, the big human he saw his navel the first day he was in the palace. He was so scared to see him again. He jumped from the thumb of the Princess back to the pond, and hid under a withered lotus leaf.

The Princess said: “Father! I am… just looking at the moon.” She was trying to covered up for the rain frog.

The Father said: “Moon? What fun of looking at it? Come, I brought you many new toys, let come to see!”

The Princess said submissively: “Yes, Father.” Then she was walking away with him. The navel frog leaped out from the leaf and yelled: “No, don’t go! Please! I knew that you don’t want to play the toys, you wanted to be with me.”

As he yelled, the Father stopped and looked back, said suspiciously to his daughter: “Did you say something?”

The Princess answered gently: “No, Father.”

The Father shook his head, smiled and said: “Well, let’s go!”

“You are such a bulky ugly thing! How could you have such a delicate beautiful daughter!” The navel frog grumbled behind by himself. Unexpectedly, the Father stopped and looked back at the pond again. This time he was annoyed, for he was pretty sure he heard something, said angrily: “Who is talking?”

The navel frog was shocked, it seemed that this bulky human was able to hear and understand his words. He then tested again, said loudly intentionally: “I think your daughter was in love with someone. And she liked to play with me more than with you.”

The Father instantly stood his eyebrows and asked her daughter anxiously: “Are you in love with someone?”

The Princess was so embarrassed asked by his father with this kind of question, she just blushed but didn’t answer.

The Father laughed and said: “It is all right to be in love with someone, my daughter, you are already 12 years old. But the point is whom? Whom are you in love with?”

The Princess was totally baffled. She never thought of this kind of thing. She didn’t know why Father suddenly came up with such a question.

As she was silent, the navel frog answered for her: “Your daughter is in love with me.”

“What did it say? And who are you?” The Father marched ahead to the edge of pond, searching the sound where it came from. As he saw a frog leaping onto the lotus head, he momently smiled and bewildered, said: “Oh! It is you! My dear loved one. Don’t you know that I missed you so much!”

The navel frog didn’t know where he got the courage. He wasn’t afraid of this big human anymore, said frankly from his heart: “Yes, it is me. I saw your navel, but it was an accident. I didn’t mean it. I am very sorry. I don’t love you. I loved your daughter!”

Now, the Princess also saw the rain frog. She was so stunned that her father was able to talk to him, she asked ardently: “Father, you understand what it said? What does it just say?”

“This toad said it loves you!” The Father was infuriated, as he said that, he seized the frog with his big palm, grasped it and said madly: “Nonsense! It is crazy!” He shouted to the Princess for the first time: “You can in love with anyone else, but not this toad!” After saying that, he grabbed the frog and left. Before he ran out of the house, he told the Nanny: “You kept eyes of her, don’t let her leave the room until I told her.”

The Princess was so confused and frightened. The Father had never been acting like that to her. And also, he was able to talk to the rain frog! He said it loves me?  What does it mean? What is happening? Am I in love with someone?

The Princess was extremely perplexed and depressed.

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(5)

The navel frog was captured and imprisoned in a bird cage. The big human that he saw the belly was crazy about him. He brought all the precious things in the palace and all the good food he could find in the realm he dominated to please his beloved frog. But the navel frog was not interested at all.

The big human was thwarted. He shook the bird cage and shouted: “What do you want me to do? That you would be happy about me?”

“Nothing.” The navel frog has not been eating for many days. He was weak and tired, said feebly: “I wanted nothing from you. All the things you brought means nothing to me. I cannot eat gold and silver. I only eat flies and mosquitos.  I can not wear silk and brocade. I only need fresh water to cover my skin. I cannot be happy if I was in this bird cage. I will die if you didn’t release me now.”

The big human didn’t believe, said grudgingly: “You won’t die! Why? It is so warm and nice here. You see, it is snowing so hard outside. If you were outside now, you will surely die.”

The navel frog clung on the bars, looked outside at the garden through the window. It was just a piece of white and the grass field he used to catch mosquitos and flies was totally covered with that so-called snow. He had never seen such a scene in his life. He was devastated but enthralled, suddenly he missed someone very much, said unconsciously: “I wonder how the Princess is now? In this kind of cold day, none of a little sound she can hear, no chirps, no tweets, no geros…”

The big human heard that he mentioned about his daughter, he struggled more, said painfully: “My loving daughter is sick. I cannot lose her. But I cannot keep my mind out of you either. I love you both, but you two love each other.”

“The Princess is sick?” The navel frog was so worried, said: “Then, what are you still doing here? You should have been with her.”

The big human said with agony: “But, I can’t, I can’t put you down. I just can’t…”

The navel frog realized that he was bewitched. He wished the wise heron was here, that he could ask him how to resolve it. He actually felt pity to this big human. He was not supposed to suffer for this, said: “It was all my fault. I am terribly sorry.  I should have not seen your navel at the beginning. I told you that it was just an accident. I didn’t intend to see it.”

The big human was vexed. He heard the frog said about it many times. But he couldn’t control himself. He was crazily in love with this little thing. He wanted so much that it could love him too. He was pondering how this happened. He tried to reason it: “But… why? I cannot forget about you since you have seen my navel!”

The navel frog saw that he was willing to listen, so he leaped in front of him, looked at his big face, told him everything honestly: “It was a trick! Just a trick. In order to get rid of my unnecessary navel, I need to be in love with a human. In order to have a human loved me. I have to see his navel.”

“It was just a trick?” The big human sounded awakening.

The navel frog said unthinkingly: “Yes, I supposed that it is wrong to trick someone to be loved. I should have not believed in it at the first place. The wise heron is too wise but irresponsible.  Well! He is migrating now. I don’t think he can hear, I don’t think he will know what is happening to me in fact, and I don’t think I can see him next spring…”

While the navel frog was murmuring to himself. Suddenly, he heard a sound of click. He looked back and saw that the door of the bird cage was opened. He was surprised. He cautiously moved himself outside of the cage, looked around the room stuffed with all the valuable things in the human world, but he didn’t see the big human who brought them here. He wondered when and why he left without a word.

He was free now. But he was scared. He didn’t know what he should do and where he should go? Looking at outside, it was totally white that looked so frightful to him. Since he was born, he had never seen so much white. And snow was something absolutely unknown to him. He jumped from the table, hopped and hopped towards to the door. The door was left opened. He was almost frozen instantly by a blast.

He thought of the Princess. Thought of if she was sick, he wanted to at least sing for her, even though he knew nothing about healing a human. This simple wish gave him the courage to make the first hop out of the room. He hopped and hopped on the snowy path. A hop by a hop, hopping back to the pond of the Princess’s room.

But he lost on the way for everything was covered with snow. All the identified objects were concealed and the grass field he used to passing by were generally became just a plain. He lost his sense of direction. It was freezing cold and windy. He was hungry and weak. He finally stopped hopping, and felt like this was his last moment. He opened his round big eyes, gazing at the crystal white snow flake, sang his favorite song: “Gero… gero… gero… gero… gero…”

He didn’t know that he was actually just behind the window of Princess’s room. The ill Princess heard the geros. She immediately woke up from bed, ran out of the room, and found the rain frog as like a little raindrop on the snow. When she saw him, he was about to become ice. The Princess pick it up on her palm, said tearfully: “Don’t die!”

The rain frog didn’t answer. He has already lost conscious. The Princess was very sad. She didn’t know why she just couldn’t let it go. She was sick and has been laying on bed for many days. She was only wearing a couple layers of Kimono. But her body was still warmer than the rain frog. So, she put it into her collars, that she wished it could be revived.

The navel frog slipped down to her belly where was so warm and soft. After a while, his tiny body was gradually revitalized. When he opened his eyes again, he found himself laying on a belly button and saw a hand protecting him through the white kimono.

He was amazed, said faintly: “You have such a beautiful navel, but do you know? You don’t have to fall in love with me even I have seen it.”

“What do you mean?” the Princess replied with her delicate voice: “Do you know? I have… perhaps… fallen in love with you long ago, from the first time you sang gero for me.”

The Princess replied to him?! The navel frog was so joyful and jumped from her belly, said: “You…you can hear me, you can understand what I said!”

The Princess asked: “Seeing the navel… is it the reason why my father could understand your words?”

“Yes…but, it was different… that…I can really talk to you.” The navel frog said shyly.

The Princess smiled and said: “Now we can talk with words, but don’t you think, we were also talking when you gero ……” Suddenly she sneezed.

The navel frog said caringly: “You are sick. You must go back to the room.”

The Princess stood up, said sturdily: “No, I don’t want to go back to the room anymore. I wanted to bring you to a place.”

“A place?” the navel frog wondered.

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(6)

The navel frog was carried by the Princess while he was still inside her kimono. He felt vital and cozy as like he was back to his mother belly. Gradually he smelled something familiar. He remembered that soggy and steamy exactly the same of the first day in the palace when he saw the navel of her father.

The Princess said: “This is the private hot spring of the palace. It is exclusive to the royal families. This place is warm and moist all year around even in the harsh winter. You can stay here until the next spring when the snow melted that you can go back to the rice field.”

The navel frog was grateful for the kind thought of Princess but silent. He felt somewhat melancholy. He totally forgot the purpose of coming here. He was reminded unwillingly that the wise heron said: After you get one fell in love with you, remember to get a kiss for proof, then your navel will be disappeared.

He didn’t care about the proof and his navel. But he did want to kiss her. Though, even he was kissed, and his navel disappeared, that meant nothing to him anymore. He knew that he could not survive without the rice field, but he perhaps could not survive without her either. He was struggling.

During his silence, the Princess walked into the pool of hot spring. As the navel frog was immersed into the warm glossy water, he instinctively swam. He swam and swam and was out of the kimonos. He had never known that he could swim so well. He enjoyed the lukewarm water very much. It was so soft, so tender and so sensitive that he felt like kissing.

Yes, he was kissing indeed with the Princess. But, no, she was not the Princess, not anymore. She transformed to a frog, a rain frog as same as him.

The two rain frogs swam and swam in the spring and hid under a rock. Suddenly a human was screaming from the distance, said: “Oh! No, Princess is disappeared!”

Nanny ran to the pool, saw that only her white silky kimonos were left and floating on the water. She was almost fainted. The Princess’s father heard that her daughter was disappeared, he jumped out of the room and ran to the pool. He was flustered as he saw the kimono she left. He asked the Nanny severely: “Where did she go?”

The Nanny said timidly: “Princess became…a… frog.”

The Princess’s father was astounded but calm, asked again: “Did you see that?”

The Nanny was frightened, she knelt on the floor, said tremblingly: “No, but… Princess was just still there. When I came over, I saw… two frogs swimming. It was extremely unusual to see frogs in the winter.”

The Princess’s father stepped into the pool, probing around her loving daughter until he saw a little green thing emerged from a piece of rock. He intuited that was her daughter from the way she looked at him. And next to her was the other frog. They were coyly hiding and fearfully watching.

The father was watching back wistfully. After a while, he walked back and told the Nanny, said decisively: “From now on, no one is allowed to get into this hot spring, and from now on, no one is allowed to harm any rain frogs under my regime. You tell everyone, this is the King’s order. Do you understand?”

The Nanny immediately bowed and said: “Yes! I understand.”

Before the cherry blossomed again, the couple of rain frog hopped and hopped back to the rice field. The navel, no, his navel had been disappeared. The gero frog saw the first frog by the rice field was his buddy frog.  When the buddy frog saw him, he was overjoyed. He hopped up and down, shouting and calling the others frogs, at the same time said: “Where have you been? My friend, we had looked for you last year before hibernated. We had counted and counted but still one less. We thought you must not survive through the winter. Now you are here! What a miracle!”

The gero frog hugged the buddy and the other buddies and relatives. He introduced the Princess frog to them.  He was glad that she was welcomed and accepted. Soon there would be the busy time to breed and nurse the new generation of rain frogs. Every rain frog was happy to have one more couple frog.

Under the bloom of cherry trees. Each couple of rain frog was looking for their places to do so. The gero frog and the Princess frog couldn’t find a seclude place for themselves. The Princess frog was looking so shy and uncomfortable. The gero frog hence brought her to the water passage. He held her hands, kissed her below a rock, but suddenly he was picked up by a long beak. The Princess frog was horrified, she hopped out the rock and said toughly: “Put him down! Please! Don’t you hurt him?”

The heron then looked at the frog in his beak and found that it was the navel frog, he immediately dropped him down, but saw that his navel was gone. He said slyly: “Ha! You have no more navel. I should have eaten you.”

The gero frog said playfully: “Well! Why didn’t you?”

The heron said: “Ah! You are getting much tougher. I knew that, it is more difficult to pick the rain frogs than the clams now. We can’t even get closer to the rice field, the humans will shu…shu….” The heron paddled his wings, as he looked at the Princess frog, said mysteriously: “This elegant rain frog must be the human one you saw the navel.”

When he mentioned about that, the gero frog had something to compliant, said: “Why are you so wise, but didn’t tell me ahead she would become rain frog after kissing me?”

The wise heron shrugged his feather, said rashly: “How could I tell you everything? I know so many things. You didn’t care about that at that time, did you? You just wanted to get rid of your navel. Why should I bother to tell you something you were not interested?”

The gero frog was embarrassed, but he had to admit, nodded and said: “All right, you are always the wise one. Over all, I am happy to have her, but I am sorry for she has to separate with her father.”

Abruptly, there were a hustling in the rice field. They were wondered what happened. The heron immediately flew up to the sky to see. When he came down, he said: “It was the King came to plant the rice seedling. That is why so noisy!”

“My father?” The Princess frog was thrilled. She leaped so high, hugged the gero frog, and the heron as well. Since then, the King came to plant the first row of rice seedling in the spring became the custom of this oriental island. As all the rain frogs were protected and lived happily, the once only navel frog and his princess frog loved each other until forever.

The end