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Friday, April 22, 2005

July 7th

I have a new pet project. Translating Japanese folk tales into cheeky English. Here's the first one.

Once upon a time, when stars were like people and had jobs and the like. There was a young cow herder named Otohiko and a weaver named Otohime. He was the very best cow herder around and she weaved the prettiest fabric in the sky. One day they met. Sparks! Fireworks! Stars! They fell in love. They couldn't get enough. They ran around the entire sky all day and all night. It was beautiful.

But not so good for the cows and all the ladies that wanted new clothes. Without Otohiko around the cows ran wild, and without Otohime around the new summer line had tears and holes and clashing colours. Hideous, I know.

So the king of the sky said this has gotta stop, and unleashed a torrential river between their houses. Some people call this river the Milky Way. With the gushing river between them they couldn't see each other at all anymore and they cried and cried, underneath it rained and rained. So much so that every June since then became the rainy season in Japan. The queen took pity on them (also got fed up with all the pouring rain) and said they could see each other once a year. The two cheered up a little, and counted the days until the one special day.

That day is July 7, also known as "Tanabata". hurray! Unfortunately, the barrier being a river and all, if it rains on July 7th the river floods and they can't see each other. Bugger.

There's a couple things you can do to help them along though.
Take a big branch of bamboo, decorate it with paper rings and sparkly stuff. Write wishes and what not on pretty paper and also hang it on the bamboo.

Stay up late, watch the moon, and eat lots of desserts.

Be really bummed if it rains.