Friday, January 07, 2011

Saved by the Wire

(A photographic reenactment)

I hope this isn't and indication of how my year is going to go.

A few days ago I was going for a walk with Cha. We decided to feed the wild ducks that have been frequenting our little street-side rivers. I brought a pocketful of bread. And I learned something too. Wild ducks don't eat bread. Who woulda thought? Mostly they see the beagle coming and fly away in a spray of water from their damp ducky feet. Quite cute actually.

Here's the little river. The ducks are in the rice field today.

Here we have some ducks beating a fast retreat from Cha, me and our bread of doom.

Duck? Did someone say, Duck?!

We found the first signs of spring. Some beautiful red plum blossoms.

We found this grave-like/shrine-like place.

We walked a bit farther and tried to feed this giant white bird we came across. An egret, I suppose it was. Same reaction. So I gave up on feeding the cold birds and gave the bread to the dog. Which after another five minutes walking caused him to do his business on the side of the road.

We were mostly home, though, when it happened. Right here to be exact.

And this is when things went South. You have to remember it's 7am and I'm in my pajamas (coat, hat, scarf). I've also left my cell phone at the house.

So I whipped the bag (for cleaning up businesses) from my coat only to learn (too late) that it was tangled up with my keys. The keys flew into the air and landed with a chink in a grated gutter. The grate is fastened to the cement around it so I there was no way I could lift it, much too narrow for my hands. Wonderful.

Here I give you the exact grated gutter. There is water running down there, but luckily the keys landed on a pile of muck. Still, I couldn't reach them.

I can't get in my house. I can't call my in-laws to come bring another house key. The only thing I can do is start knocking on doors. At the first door I hear someone moving around, but after a peek through the window (foreigner with dog, in pajamas=danger!) they retreated to the back of their house and didn't answer.

The second door was an old farmhouse. And oldish man answered and I realized all of the sudden while my Japanese is pretty good, I had no words to describe where the keys had fallen. I'm not sure "grated gutter" is good English. (I'm not sure "good English" is good English.). The farmer is a little wary, but decides to follow me so I can show him what happened (generous use of hands to mimic the slow motion arc of falling keys). He's like, no problem and disappears, only to reappear with a long wire he's bent into a hook. Smart, smart man.

A few minutes of me rooting enthusiastically and Cha sniffing just-as-enthusiastically and our hero retrieves the keys. I'm like all thank you, thank you! and he's all it's okay.

AND tomorrow I will buy him some cookies for his help. That family who didn't answer the door, no cookies for them.