Wednesday, May 18, 2022

THE AVOIDANCE OF ANTS, SNAKES, AND BUGS

As if we didn't have enough to worry about, with earthquakes, forest fires, covid, East Coast Pizza, and fundamentalist Christian missionairies intent on dragging us away from our sinful hedonism, there's now one more thing: ferocious jumping worms. Amynthas agrestis.
New harbinger of the apocalypse. I do not know what to make of this.

So I read Wikipedia. Fat lot of help that was.

Elsewhere I found a list of translated names for the critter. 跳蟲 ('tiu chung'; "jump creepy-crawly"),亞洲跳蟲 ('ngaa jau tiu chung'; "Asia jump creepy-crawly"), 瘋狂蠕蟲 ('fung kwong yiu chung'; "insane worm"), 阿拉巴馬跳線蟲 ('aa laa baa maa tiu sin chung'; "Alabama nematode"), 蛇蟲 ('se chung'; "snake creepy-crawly").
Thanks internet, I feel a whole lot better.

The most common terms are 跳蟲 and 瘋狂蠕蟲。
蛇蟲 is a misleading term, as it can also mean (ants), snakes , and insects.
As in 善棺槨,所以避螻蟻蛇蟲也。

From Master Lü's Spring And Autumn Annals (呂氏春秋), regarding 孟冬紀,節喪: 古之人有藏於廣野深山而安者矣,非珠玉國寶之謂也,葬不可不藏也。葬淺則狐狸抇之,深則及於水泉。故凡葬必於高陵之上,以避狐狸之患、水泉之溼。此則善矣,而忘姦邪盜賊寇亂之難,豈不惑哉?譬之若瞽師之避柱也,避柱而疾觸杙也。狐狸水泉姦邪盜賊寇亂之患,此杙之大者也。慈親孝子避之者,得葬之情矣。善棺槨,所以避螻蟻蛇蟲也。

Translation
Burials:
In ancient times, there were people who secreted them in the vast fields and deep mountains and (they) were safe. They were not called national treasures of pearls and jade, and they must be hidden for burial. If it is buried shallow, it will be touched by a fox; if it is buried deep enough, it will reach a spring. Therefore, all burials must be on the high tombs to avoid the foxes and the dampness of the water springs. This is good, but is it not confusing to forget the problems of betrayal, thieves, bandits and rebellion? For example, it is like a blind teacher avoiding the pillar, avoiding the pillar and quickly touching the scorpion. Foxes (often powerful shape-shifting magical creatures), water sources, and troubles with thieves and robbers are enormous in this period, to be guarded against by loving parents and filial sons, in burials. Good caskets (棺槨), so as to avoid ants, snakes and insects.



This is not only quite fascinating, but also boring as all git out.
And to my knowledge 狐狸精 are not an issue here.
Neither auspicious, nor malevolent.



狐狸精
['wu lei jing']

If nine tailed foxes become an item of news media furor, OTHER than feral cosplayers of characters in Rumiko Takahashi manga, then we can start worrying. By then 猫鬼 ('maau kwai'; cat daemons, nekomata) will probably also be rather common.

I for one will welcome our mythological furry overlords.

Kent Brockman: Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it's time for our viewers to crack each others heads open and feast on the goo inside?

Professor: Yes I would, Kent.

And there you have it.
News in a nutshell.



Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of thy counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither countest thou two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three.




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