(470) Nonsense with birds [詩歌]

Nonsense with birds

今年は酉年なので、鳥が出てくるナンセンス・ポエムをEdward LearBook of Nonsenseから選んだ。

Owl , hen雌鶏, lark雲雀, wren, raven,

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!---
   Two Owls and a Hen,
   Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”

lark: 雲雀(ひばり) songbirds
wren: 鷦 ミソサザイ small active
brown bird
pic. EL001

There was an Old Man of Whitehaven,
Who danced a quadrille with a Raven;
    But they said, “It’s absurd,
    To encourage this bird!”
So they smashed that Old Man of Whitehaven.

Whitehaven: Cumbria County, North, England
quadrill: 18-19世紀に流行した、4組の男女のダンスで、スクエア・ダンスの先駆けになったもの
raven: 鴉 Large black bird with a straight bill and long wedge-shaped tail.
absurd: foolish
pic. EL074

There was an Old Man who said, “Hush!”
I perceive a young bird in this bush!”
  When they said, “Is it small?”
  He replied, “Not at all!
It is four times as big as the bush!”

hush: cause to be quiet or not talk.
perceive: to see, hear, or feel.
Pic. EL080

There was an Old Man with an Owl,
Who continued to bother and howl;
   He sat on a rail,
   And imbibed bitter ale,
Which refreshed that Old Man and his Owl.

howl: cry loudly, as of animals.
imbibe: .take in liquids
ale: an alcoholic beverage
pic. EL098

There was an Old Man on whose nose,
Most birds of the air could repose;
   but they all flew away,
   At the closing of day,
Which relieved that Old Man and his nose.

repose: lean in a comfortable resting position.


Pic. EL111

(469) thought: curiosity

469thought: curiosity
Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein 

Follow your curiosity.

  I am curious about snow monkeys in Jigokudani Yaen Koen monkey park, Nagano. The snow monkeys have the distinctively human-like habit of climbing into1) natural hot springs to warm up during the winter months.
snow monkey 1.jpg
  My big question is how those monkeys dry their furs after bathing. Don’t they have a cold? Can they get dry enough by shaking their bodied after getting out of the bath.
snow monkey 2.jpg
  Like tiny, furry versions of salarymen, they commute. Attracted by little more than the chance to warm up in the tub and the occasional snack, they descend from the snowy mountain peaks around 9am and return home around 4pm.

1) Climb into: +副詞()(手足を使って)(…に)乗り込む,もぐり込む; (…から)(よいしょと)出る,降りる. 例: climb into a car 車に乗り込む.

(468) word: dust [英単語]

Word: dust


Dust: Noun.
Fine powdery material such as dry earth or pollen that can be blown about in
the air. "The furniture was covered with dust"

Dust: Verb. Remove the dust
from. "Dust the cabinets"

Duster: A piece of
cloth used for dusting.

Dirt: mud, dust,
or grime that makes something unclean

Poppy pig
by dick bruna

Poppy Pig (Miffy's Library)

Poppy Pig (Miffy's Library)

  • 作者: Dick Bruna
  • 出版社/メーカー: Egmont Books Ltd
  • 発売日: 1996/11/15
  • メディア: ハードカバー

She dusted down the
cupboard next

she took the greatest care

she dusted up, she dusted down

she dusted everywhere.

But look, oh dear, the duster now
was dirty as could be
so Poppy washed it in a bowl
until the
dirt came free.



(467) Osayo legend 2 [英作文]

Osayo legend

Once upon a time, or should I say more precisely it was about 400 years ago. There were a couple of lovers here in Matsuyama. In those days, samurai class ruled over other three classes. One is farming
peasants, another is artisans and merchants. In this story I’m going to tell, the couple maybe belonged to farming peasants’ class, I imagine.

The young woman’s name was Osayo and her fiancé was Yoshimatsu. One night the couple went to Unshoji-temple’s summer festival. A big bon-dance was going to be held in that year. That year’s festival was very special. The temple was located at the foot of Katsuyama-hill but the lord of Matsuyama allowed to use the top of the hill for the festival
because in that summer the construction of the castle on the hill just started. The lord announced there would be a big summer dance festival. So the townsfolk were all encouraged to join in the celebration.

On the night, a good many people, the old and the young, men and women gathered there in droves. Especially young men were overjoyed with this dance festival. Some loved dancing with maidens. Some tried
making a pass at them.

Osayo was a young and beautiful maiden. She was so attractive that she stood out from others. So her fiancé, Yoshiatsu had to keep an eye on her all the time. After joyful dancing, they took a rest for a while. She said she wanted to see some of food vendors. There were various stalls around the dace site. She run to one of the stalls. The dance site was so crowded with the townsfolk. Osayo got separated from him for a moment. And the next moment, Yoshimatsu lost sight of her. He didn’t get so upset in the beginning. But she was missing after all. He looked for her around the vendor. He completely lost all trace of her.

Once stepped out of the festival site, there was only pitch darkness of castle hill. He gradually got uneasy and finally he began to shout her name. The strange thing was that nobody saw her ever after. She
disappeared very mysteriously. He looked desperately for her
all around in the mountain, through the night, but ended in vain.

After a little while, they rumored that Osayo was taken away to be sacrificed at the construction site of the castle.

What do you think of this story? I think it was true. I believe this story. I have two reasons.

One is that the ground of the top hill was not firm so the chief carpenter of the castle construction insisted that human sacrifice, young maiden, was needed for laying the firm foundation.

Another reason is that the lord searched for a suitable maiden but nobody volunteered to be a human sacrifice because the townsfolk were horrified to be buried alive under the foundation.

The top of the hill was originally twin peaks. The area in between was filled to make the flat ground. This is true, you can see the deep well on the top of hill even now. It’s a 44 m deep well. It’s impossible to dig this deep in samurai’s era. The fact is, before the construction, there was a spring at the bottom of ravine. When the land was filled in, it became today’s 44 m-deep well. So laying foundation for the castle was the most important work.

So the lord planed the big summer dance festival on the top of
the hill to find a suitable maiden.

What a scary story!

Osayo was offered as human sacrifice to pray to the deity for safe construction. But several bad things continued after her death, I think.

Yes, finally the magnificent castle main tower was built, it had five roofs and stories. It took 25 years to complete the castle construction. But just before its completion the lord was ordered to transfer to the northern Japan. He was unlucky, after all. Because he had to leave his adorable castle behind.

The second lord came to Matsuyama, but he died 7 years later without leaving any heir. He became another unhappy lord, I think.

The third load rebuilt the main tower, but it became 3 story castle. The main tower became smaller, for unknown reasons. And one more thing, about 180 years later from Osayo’s death the main tower was struck by lightning and burned down. What would Osayo feel about these things occurred around Matsuyama Castle? Is she still angry?

Reconstruction of present structure was completed in 1854. Now
Matsuyama castle has become one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Matsuyama city. Osayo-san, thank you very much for the price you paid. Now many people love Matsuyama castle.


(466) sill [英単語]

Word: sill
Meaning: piece of wood, or stone, etc.
forming the base of window or a door.
A window-sill 窓敷居、窓台
A door-sill ドアの敷居

The little house she lived in had flowers
on the sill.
---“Poppy pig” by Dick Bruna

Even if you’ve only got a windowsill, you can
still grow some lovely grub.
window sill.jpg


(465) “a bar of soap / a cake of soap ?” #2 [調べる]

“a bar of soap / a cake of soap ?” #2


what do you think of the following?


When you go to the grocery store, please buy ( ) soap for me.

(A) a piece of (B) a (C) a bar of (D) a pair of

  The right answer is (C) a bar of.


Is this the only right answer? I remember that I was taught “a cake of soap” is right. It was more than
40 years ago at school in Japan. But the strange thing is since then I’ve never
heard of this phrase being told, nor read in books in my life.


On the contrary, I often see “a bar of soap” in place of “a cake of soap”.

The latest example I read is from a picture book of Miffy.


She took a bar of soap,

And her soft yellow sponge.

s miffy soap.jpg


Which is right, “a bar of soap” or “a cake of soap”?


Both are right. But there is a big difference between the two. The difference is much larger number of people use “a bar of soap” than “a cake of soap”

Yahoo Japan 知恵袋 2009/9/2015

the_round_square_triangleさん searched on "A ...???... of soap".




a bar of soap 865,000

a piece of soap 39,300

a cake of soap 28,600

a block of soap 993

a tablet of soap 471 has many comments on this question.

I show you two of them.


Kelly B said:

A quick curious google on "cake of soap" yields results from Australia, mostly.


Ferntree Gully, Aug 24, 2006 Australian Australia replied to this:

This is a strange combination for us Aussies.

 We use a cake of soap in the bathroom and a bar of soap in the laundry.

 I have not purchased a bar of soap recently but memory is that the bar of laundry or hard soap is
shaped like a gold bar. It is angular and has sharp edges.

 Cakes of bathroom or soft soap are softer in shape with curved sides and blunt edges.



padredeocho, Aug 25, 2006 United States said:

In the USA, we would never say cake of soap. If I were leaving the house, and my wife said, Could you pick
up some soap?
I would assume she probably meant a pack of soap bars for the bath and shower. If she wanted any other kind of soap, she would tell me what kind, i.e. dishwashing soap, handsoap, etc.


(464) Joke / Christmas [joke]

(464) Joke / Christmas
(Macy’s wooden escalator)

  Despite the best effort of child psychiatrists, there are still a lot of kids of four or five --- even in sophisticated New York --- who believe in Santa Claus.
  One of them was taken by his mother to the toy department in Macy’s on a December morning last year and was dully propped up on Santa’s lap.
  “What do you want for Christmas, my lad?” asked Santa Claus dutifully.
  “Better write it down,” said the lad, “or you’ll forget.”
  “Trust me," urged Santa. “My memory never fails.”
The lad was dubious, but catalogued his demands.
  The same afternoon, mother and son arrived at Gimbel’s and the lad found himself on Santa’s lap for a second time. The Gimbel Santa asked the usual question.
  “What do you want for Christmas?” The lad slipped off his lap, kicked him lustily in the shin, and yelled, “You numskull, I knew you’d forget!”

psychiatrists [saikáiətrist]: 精神分析医
Macy’s: Macy's department store

dully: 退屈するように
be propped up: (transitive, usually with "up") To position the feet while sitting or reclining so that the knees are elevated at a higher level.
lad [lˈæd]: 少年、坊や
urge: 〔人に~するよう強く〕促す、要請する、勧める
My memory never fails.: 私は忘れたことなんかないんだよ。
dubious [djúːbiəs]: being in doubt〔人が物事を〕疑わしく思う、半信半疑の
catalogue [kǽtəlɔ̀ɡ]: 目録を作る
Gimbel’s [ɡɪ́mbəl-]: Macy's and Gimbel's were popular
department stores located within two blocks of one another in Midtown Manhattan in New York City; the latter store is now defunct.

for a second time: 二度目
lustily [lʌ́stili]: 元気いっぱいに、力強く
numskull [nʌ́mskʌ̀l]: ばか者

(463) word/ scone [英単語]

 (463) word/ scone

banana scone.jpg
ミニバナナ スコーンというお菓子を食べさせてもらって、sconeという言葉を知った。


A scone is a single-serving quick
. They are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal,
with baking powder as a leavening agent, and are baked on sheet pans. They are often lightly sweetened and are occasionally glazed with egg wash. The scone is a basic component of the cream tea or Devonshire tea. It differs from a teacake and other sweet buns, which are made with yeast.

single-serving: 一回だけの
quick bread:
・Wheat [(h)wí
ːt]: 小麦
・oatmeal [ó
ʊtmìːl]: ひき割りオート麦
・sheet pan: A sheet pan, baking tray or baking sheet is a flat, rectangular metal pan used in an oven.
sheet pan.jpg

・glazed [
ɡɪzd]: うわぐすりをかけた、上塗りをした、つやをつけた、
・egg wash: Egg (yolk or white) mixed with a little milk; brushed on pastry before baking to give a glazed appearance
・leavening agent [lɛ́vənɪŋ]: 膨脹剤
・component: 構成要素
・Devonshire tea: A cream tea as traditionally served in Devon. (英国Devonの旧称)


The difference in pronunciation is alluded to in the poem which contains the lines:

I asked the maid in dulcet tone [toʊn]
To order me a buttered scone [skóʊn];
The silly girl has been and gone [gˈɔːn]
And ordered me a buttered scone[gɔ́(ː)n].

dulcet [dʌ́lsit]: 〈文〉耳に快い、旋律が美しい
allude to [əːd]: であるとほのめかす 
ordered me a buttered scone = ordered a butter scone for me


(462) Word/communicate [英単語]


I read a picture book about communication a few weeks ago. I’d like to show you several phases from the book.

What is communication? There are three simple answers in the book.

1. Communication is sharing knowledge.
2. It is telling news.
3. It is expressing feelings, and being heard.

Second, what condition is needed to communicate?

It takes two to communicate.
One to say it. One to listen…and respond.

But there are other occasions to communicate. Here are two examples in the book.

1. We sometimes communicate with ourselves.
Sometimes when a feeling is fresh, it is hard to explain it to someone else. So I
communicate with myself. 
I write it in my dictionary. It helps me understand what is troubling me.

2. Even a book can communicate your feelings to you.



(461) Osayo legend [英訳]

bon odori today.jpg







--- tasogaretokiblog


bon odori_mukashi.jpg
The Samurais who planned to build Matsuyama castle, believed human sacrifice of a young maiden was needed for constructing a firm castle without troubles.

They searched for suitable maidens but nobody volunteered to be a human sacrifice because they were horrified to be buried alive. 

They were worried about it and announced to have a big summer dance festival of Unshouji-temple at the top of Castle-hill, Katsuyama.

Many young townsfolk were encouraged to join the Bon-dance festival by the lord’s announcement.

There was a beautiful maiden called Osayo in the townsfolk. But before long, she went missing, and her lover Yoshimatsu noticed it.  So he looked for her all around in the mountain, but ended up in vain.

After a little while, they rumored that Osayo was taken away to be sacrificed at the construction site of the castle.

Since then, on every Obon-festival day Osayo’s sad story of human sacrifice at Matsuyama castle was constantly on the lips of the townsfolk.

Unshouji-temple is located at Misake-chou of Matsuyama city. But there isn’t any document leftconcerning Osayo legend.
--- tasogaretokiblogより