Over on Learned, I wrote about three encounters with the Japanese garden slug, the most recent of which resulted in the picture below. What can I say, these weird, little critters fascinate me.
A Rainy Walk in the Woods
Everybody in Japan likes mushrooms. I mean, everyone.
Over on Steemit, I’ve been participating in the #WednesdayWalk challenge, which is exactly what it sounds like: a challenge to yourself to make sure you’re getting up out of your chair and getting some exercise in. It’s the kind of challenge I enjoy – one that forces me to do something I will have fun doing even when my lazy-brain or self-sabotaging-brain is telling me that it’s not worth the effort. So, I’ve been taking the dog and the camera and making sure to get out into the world.
We’ve got a little wooded parkland near the house. It’s got a few tree stumps in it and I had noticed the mushrooms sprouting up all over the place, but this was the first time I had seen anything come to snack on the mushrooms. And while they certainly don’t look threatening enough to eat a snake’s brain nor to take on a herd of snakes, they don’t exactly look friendly, either.
It turns out, in Japanese folklore, Namekuji can:
acquire magical powers when the get old enough,
take on the appearance of people,
kill people and steal their souls just be touching them.
As if that weren’t enough, Namekuji get bigger with each stolen soul, which helps them in their favorite past time: sumo wrestling.
Back in our world, the Japanese Garden Slug, like I found out in the woods, is regarded with the same mixture of curiosity, irritation, and general acceptance as cicadas, bees, and frogs. In other words, they’re not necessarily bad, but they’re sometimes annoying, and, generally, they’re just part of the Japanese landscape. Until they get up and walk…
Thanks for reading!