The Japanese macaque weaves a fancy tale indeed!

“Kon Ni chi Wa”, that is hello! in Japanese.

I answer my own question of who lives in tree tops in this part of the world — Tsurube-otoshi. Who or what is that? Well, it is a legendary creature that hides among tree branches and catches humans who pass under the tree on which it is seated.

I am a Japanese macaque. Let me tell you the ludicrous things that the female of our species tell us about this creature. They claim that they have seen this thing when they go up trees. Imagine that! We males are more terrestrial than they are — hey, not because we are scared of that creature, mind you. We end up quietly listening to the tales they spin off their fanciful and unreliable minds. They claim that tsurube-otoshi either just jumps on its unsuspecting victims or it drops a large well-bucket on them to trap them! Quite fanciful, isn’t it? The over imaginative ones of our troop insist that they have seen it. Sometimes, it is an ogre, big and ugly; sometimes, it is a ball of fire. I suspect they had been feeding on fermented fruits at the time they “saw” the creature.

Be happy

Let me move on to the main purpose of my letter. I advise my fellow writers to remember this Japanese proverb, which would make life enjoyable.

“Your life is the same whether you spend it crying or laughing.”

Hence, stop crying! Stop complaining, friends! Look at us. We are the northernmost-living primates other than man (yes, man is a member of the primate family and he should think of himself as one among the many species of animals on this planet and not as someone better than the others.) Do we bellyache about the cold temperatures of -20º C? No, we don’t. We huddle together to keep warm or seek out volcanoes and hot springs for heat. Of course, we avoid Hokkaido, the northern most of Japan’s four main islands.

I will tell you a little bit more about this beautiful country. Japan consists of four main islands of Honshû, Hokkaidô, Kyûshû, and Shikoku, in addition to numerous smaller islands. It is mostly mountainous. It has got a variety of plants and animals. People though live mostly in coastal regions and on lower slopes of mountains, mainly in the three southern islands. Our habitat is beautiful and we have nothing to complain about. As for our looks, maybe we could but we don’t.

We are macaques. Hence, we have high ridges above our eyes and longish, dog-like muzzle. We do not have a glossy black fur but a mousy grey-brown one. Our face is pink; so is our rump. Our tail is just a stump. But are we complaining? No, not at all! In fact, we are happy, intelligent and smart. So, why crib?

(Sa yo na ra) Good bye.