Friday, January 20, 2006

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb

The trusty Beeb provides us with an entertaining list of cross-species adoptions in the animal kingdom, often by predators of prey. Curiously, they list alongside them the story of how the locals warmly welcomed a surprise visit from a whale in Tokyo Bay.

There’s surely something vaguely libellous about the association of the Japanese item with the others – it somehow suggests that all Japanese are predators whose instinctive reaction to meeting a whale is to start hacking it to death on the spot. The fact that a few of them stopped to enjoy the sight of one in a bay is therefore equated with some sort of bizarre freak of nature.

It’s quite unfair, of course. The Japanese are an extremely cultured and sensitive people, as evidenced by the exquisite haiku they would compose, tears in their eyes, to celebrate the memory of those allied prisoners they had just spontaneously beheaded for raking the sand the wrong way, or whatever:
Cow eyed foreigner
Thought that there were rules to war
Unlucky for him

…and so on. See? Beautiful. Almost an honour to be turned into sushi by such sophisticated folk.

Personally, I think that the offending link should be removed forthwith. Now if a Japanese man adopted a whale, that would be another matter entirely. The lion and the lamb lie down together often enough – but usually only the lion gets up again. At least if you’re lying next to a whale the odds are more even. About 50-50 really, depending upon which way it rolls.

Update! Synchronicity works overtime as a whale turns up in the Thames. Aren't you glad I use my powers for Good?

Will we be as soft a touch as the people of Tokyo, or will it be eaten by chavs? Watch this space...

Update update! That Thames whale was pants, actually. With that bottlenose it didn't look like a whale at all - more like a dolphin that had really let itself go. If the best we can muster is Flipper's fat friend then we might as well stop issuing them visas.

A poet and his captive audience, yesterday.


PI said...

Ivan welcome to blog land. I've enjoyed your outrageous comments on Jonny B for some time - wishing you had a blog - and now you have. I also started this January so drop round if you are a mind to.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Thanks for the warm words, Pat - much obliged! I shall certainly stop by for a cup of tea and a chat...