Kids have been away with their mother and grandparents for a few days leaving me to my own devices back in Osaka, so a good time for me to catch up with a few friends. Anyway, they went off to Naruto, in Shikoku, as their grandmother is a member of the XIV hotel group. Funny how they always go away when I am working! They used to ask me if I wanted to go with them, now they just tell me they are going. C’est la vie!
Everyone was sleeping when I got home at the usual time after class last night, so I didn’t see them all until today. I was comfortable in my bed around 8 o’clock this morning when I sensed from my sleep that somebody was near: a whispering sound woke me up! I opened my eyes and found Hugo’s face about 5 cm from my own, smiling.
“Ohayou, Papa!” he cried, clearly very happy to wake me up.
“Okairii,” I replied sleepily, “Did you have a good trip?”
“Yeah! I went to the zoo!”
“What? Again?” (We went to Tennoji zoo last Sunday!) I asked, beginning to wake up, but still coming to terms with the bright day, and Hugo’s incredible early-morning genkiness.
“Yeah. Naruto zoo. I saw a white tiger!”
“Really , what was it like?” I innocently enquired, encouraging the little man to tell me more.
Hugo stepped back from the bed a little, regarding me with curiosity, as if I had instantly become a senile old relative who needed to be treated with special care and sympathy. Speaking slowly, in order that I didn’t miss anything, he said, “It’s white. And looks like a tiger.”
Then he was gone, backwards out of my room, leaving this old man to reflect on the wisdom of asking stupid questions, while I tried to raise my tired aching bones from my bed.
Later, I had a look on the internet and discovered that these white tigers are not natural creatures, but are a hybrid breed, created by man. I can understand to some extent the attraction, and maybe importance – in a research and educuational sense, of zoos, but I don’t really like the idea of particular animals being kept in zoos, especially the big cats, who need space to run around. Click here to read an article about white tigers.
If anyone has any opinions about what it says, as always, post your comments on the honTony blog.