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Friday, May 27, 2011

Araiguma

When my sister and I were still quite small, we lived in a house bordered by fairly extensive woods. One year we had a family of raccoons come to visit us nightly on the back deck. We fed them dog food, and it was then that I learned that raccoons do not produce saliva and must have water when they eat.


This, I was told, leads to raccoons dipping their food in water or dipping their paws in and then rubbing it on their food.
Since then, I've learned that a lack of saliva is not the reason a raccoon dips (actually termed 'dousing') its food, but does it for other (researchers don't seem entirely sure) reasons.
At any rate, I had to laugh when I first heard the Japanese name for raccoon: araiguma, meaning "bear that washes."

My mom's birthday is coming up, and while thinking of something to do for her, I remembered that time as a kid and did this drawing for her card.

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