September 10th, 2007

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Acclimation

I just love the fact that Abbie and YinYang are so used to Luckie that when she goes in their cage, even when she leaps in like a deer right in the midst of them, they don't even bat an eyelash. (OK, so guinea pigs don't really have eyelashes and don't blink, but you get the idea.) They just keep on munching their hay or eating their cucumbers or sitting there like Gund toys. Abbie will often sniff Luckie's face or tail and YinYang may scuttle by with an "Excuse me!" look on her face, but other than that, they really don't seem to give a care that this 12-lb. predator is in their cage.

For her part Luckie is good with them in turn; the only time she seems to snap into predator mode is when one of them moves very quickly, like if Abbie is startled by a sound and makes a made dash for cover. Then Luckie will switch on and a paw might come out, but it subsides very quickly. I don't think she terrorizes when while I'm out or else they'd be a whole lot jumpier around her.

On a related note, Pell, my budgie, is so confortable around Luckie that the other day she took a bath right in front of her. I had put a little pan of water in the bottom of the cage, along with a sprig of parsley, and Pell was having a bath. Luckie popped onto the windowsill and Pell just sort of cocked her head at her like "Oh, you again!" and went back to splashing around. A few minutes later I was on the phone with Kristina and Pell was in the bottom corner of the cage tweaking Luckie's nose through the cage bars. Every time Luckie would come close enough, she'd go "Gotcha!" That bird knows no fear and, despite what are no doubt excellent hunting skills, Luckie comes off like Sylvester to Pell's Tweety. And since Pell is in fact yellow, even better.
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Educational Exercise Through Fantasy

Last December while in Munich I got myself a German version of Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea, an omnibus with the first four books. I intended it as something I would read for practice, as I've found I'm far happier reading novels or short stories in German than I am reading a textbook, even if *do* need some help with grammar and gender and so on.

Anyway, put it off for months until today when I put it in my work bag, along with a little pocket dictionary. Happily I was able to read the first five pages on the way to work this morning, which is a lot further than I thought I would get. It's quite easy to read, which is what I'd gathered from glancing at it in the store. I thought that a smart elementary school kids and young teens willingly read wouldn't be too hard or too unpleasant!

So it's fun so far, plus I'm learning new words like "bann" (spell) which I will surely need once I read the next German book I have on order: Harry Potter: Stein der Weisen (yes, the first HP book).

UPDATE: Finished Chapter 1. The more I read, the fewer words I have to look up.