Life in the village. A raccoon stuck in a cage.

So here is the story.

It is my 16th. wedding anniversary.

I am firing a small kiln by feel. The wind knocked a piece of corrugated metal into my thermocouple and broke it so I have no way to know what the temperature is. I do know by the color of the heat I will be running out to check glaze melt a couple of times during this post.

Here is the kicker.

Two days ago on my insanely early morning walk with my dog I found something that usually would be unremarkable. My dog took a sudden, deliberate and fast turn to the left off the road and headed up the mountain that borders our walking road. I always have a half second of ‘Uh oh, I hope I didn’t miss a chance to keep King (our dog) from going missing’. It is a very early walk and as the Japanese have seen the wisdom of letting people get up earlier that want to enjoy more daylight it is also very dark. That means I can’t actually SEE  King, only flashes of his white fur as he walks in front of me. He turned left because there was a raccoon stuck in a large cage that is set to catch wild boar. I also think it is crazy to walk through mountains that are full of wild boar and crazed raccoons in the pre-dawn morning but that is the only time in the day I can find to exercise so there I am.

The raccoon was full of screams and anger at King so we went on our way. I thought about letting him go then but with King, all 55 kilos of him pulling me and the thought of trying to manage an angry wild animal and all I decided to live to fight another day.

I didn’t go check on the cage yesterday, in fact gave King a good whack with my umbrella when he headed towards it. This morning I did check and saw the poor fellow laying in a ball on the floor of the cage, asleep or dead. I leaned toward asleep as he was curled up for warmth. I again thought of letting him go but decided against it. I did call the guy that set the trap to tell him he had caught something and could he go check on it.

I asked the guys son today if they had opened the cage. I got a typical Japanese answer that meant ‘No’ without saying no.  After pressing a little more this is the analysis on why they hadn’t let it go.

Reason 1, The raccoon is not a native species to Japan so they are not sure if it is ok to let go.

Reason 2, It is a bear after all.

This last comment needs a little explanation. The Japanese word for raccoon, araiguma, アライグマ、荒い熊、includes the word ‘bear’. The first comment also needs a little explanation too. I also come from overseas so can really relate to non-native species.

I will take my walk tomorrow without my dog and open the cage. I hope the raccoon is well enough to run away. I hope he isn’t so well he attacks me.

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One Response to “Life in the village. A raccoon stuck in a cage.”

  1. Jason Says:

    I like your racoon story. I can understand the Japanese mentality about the racoon being a bear too. Strangely enough, due to the kanji.
    I hope you can save the racoon.

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