Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Slater Mania

Amy has developed a liking for slaters. I vaguely recall rustling about in the garden chasing and catching slaters. I think we used to throw them into spider webs when we had finished with them.

Amy got it off Peter, who is obsessed with them. Rosa also collects them, but she hands them on to Peter. At first Amy was a bit squeamish about them, but I convinced her that they don't bite. I think the kids find them easy to approach because the first thing they do is roll into a ball - hence their Japanese name dango-mushi, dango meaning a type of ball.

She collected her first slater on Tuesday when the kids came for the English Playgroup, and I helped her put it in a little plastic container with grass and cake crumbs. She carted it around, showing it to everyone, how it made a little ball, how you could hold it in your hands and it would not hurt you. She lost it at one stage but fortunatly it was found again. She still had it the next morning, and the next day, although by that time she had handled it to death. By the time she showed it to Chiharu and Seiya yesterday, the little container was quite smelly! So off she went to find some more. She managed to get one crawling on her instead of curling into a ball, which was a revelation. She giggled as it tickled her hand, and then she concluded that it must really like her to want to be with her. From then on, whenever they tried to get out of the container, she told me it was because it wanted to come and see her.

Meanwhile in Japan, there was a big train crash today. From what I have heard and seen so far, the young driver was speeding and the train just lost it on a corner and derailed, crashing into an apartment building with such force that the carriage was crushed to about a quarter of its width. Apparently that was the ladies' car (introduced by JR in an attempt to do something about the 'chikan' (molester) problem). And perhaps a lot of schoolgirls in there, which would be very sad.

It's always a bit of a shock, especially in Japan, where it is supposed to be so safe that things like this aren't supposed to happen. But really life is not that predicatable, and ultimately fate can't be controlled. I just heard from an email friend that a fellow AFWJ club member's husband usually takes that train, but skipped work today because of a cold. Fate...

No comments: