《蛙文》/ Frogscript 1 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok

Japanese Frog for Frogscript_RESIZED_JAN 2018

Please scroll down for the English translation!

《蛙文:青蛙》

郭少鳳著

早上10點半左右去到高千穗嘅小火車站,買了11點多嘅火車票之後,仲有一點點時間,立刻前往候車月台,尋找至愛綠色細細隻嘅日本小樹蛙。

家姐啱啱喺早幾日前嚟呢度玩,透過WhatsApp,寄咗張青蛙相俾我,告知喺等小火車時見到好多好多綠色青蛙仔,叫我一定要去找找看看!

回想未到嘉道理農場工作前,對於青蛙嘅認識係超級有限,只知屋企成日有田雞食,細細個時,媽咪餵咩嘢俾我哋食,我哋咪食咩嘢囉。其實未見過真身,只知田雞腿充滿肌肉。後來喺嘉道理農場擔任環境教育嘅工作,第一個項目就係同青蛙有關:嗰年正正係國際青蛙年,好多保育機構都做緊同青蛙有關嘅教育及保育工作。

嘉道理都唔例外,邀請咗園內嘅兩棲類專家,舉辦了青蛙教師工作坊。工作坊除咗豐富了我哋對呢類並不顯眼嘅動物知識外,更有機會參加人生第一次嘅夜行尋蛙活動!喺一晚當中,見到了好幾種唔同品種嘅青蛙,原來青蛙會因著唔同嘅棲息地會有唔同嘅習慣,除咗幫我哋食蚊之外,對大自然嘅生態平衡起著好大嘅作用,真係大開眼界,我亦從此決定唔再食田雞!

而家手執火車票,滿心期待,立即走入月台,呢個曾經連接了高千穗同日本其他地方嘅火車站,現在已改成觀光小火車。見到當地旅客帶著孩子喺路軌上影相拍照留念,就急不及待走過去。

喺月台對面,就係一大遍廣闊嘅稻米田,慢慢行,見到有東西從腳邊跳開,第一時間估係最常見嘅草蜢。但睇真啲,唔對路,形態唔同,原來係一隻細小嘅蛙仔,得手指頭那麼大,棕啡色嘅,滿心歡喜,繼續靜靜地慢慢行。隨著腳步一步一步向前行,一隻一隻嘅小青蛙跟住跳開,這個畫面十分有趣!

呢個時候,我嘅眼睛都好專注去揾揾綠色嘅小樹蛙,真係皇天不負有心人,終於俾我見到綠色嘅日本小樹蛙,仲要係喺張藍色嘅木長櫈上發現,小樹蛙腳上大大嘅吸盤都吸實木櫈,好似知道我想幫佢影相咁,一動也不動咁俾我慢慢欣賞同拍照!多謝你呀!

尋蛙嘅另一個樂趣係:通常見到一隻,就唔難見到第二隻、第三隻!揾完、睇完、影完就夠鐘去搭小火車。

 

“Frogscript • Frogs”

by Evette Kwok

One morning at around half-past ten I made my way to the little railway station at Takachiho and, after buying a ticket for a train not due to depart till after 11 o’clock — so having a little extra time up my sleeve — I set off at once in the direction of the platform to search for tiny Japanese tree-frogs of the most gorgeous green.

One of my elder sisters had visited here only a few days earlier and, using WhatsApp, had sent me a photo of a frog with a note saying that she had seen large numbers of them while waiting for the little train. She insisted I go and look for them myself!

As I recall, before I went to work at Kadoorie Farm, my knowledge of frogs was limited in the extreme. We were always eating tin kai (“field chickens”, a common kind of frog) and, when I was a child, we had to eat up whatever we were given. In actual fact, I had never seen a living tin kai frog — all I knew was that they have plenty of meat on their back legs. Later, when I took on the job of environmental education at Kadoorie, my very first assignment involved frogs: that year, it just happened to be the International Year of the Frog and many organizations were involved in educating people about these creatures as well as trying to protect them.

Kadoorie Farm was no exception, and an expert on amphibians working there had been asked to run a workshop on frog education for teachers. Apart from enriching my knowledge of these very inconspicuous animals, another benefit of the workshop was to take part in my very first nocturnal frog-hunt! In one night, I saw quite a number of different species and I came to understand that the same frog can adopt different habits in different habitats and that, apart from helping humankind by eating gnats and mosquitos, they had a significant influence on the ecological balance. This was a real eye-opener, and I decided from that day onwards never to eat another tin kai again!

Now, with my train ticket in my hand and a heart bursting with expectations, I made straight for the platform. This railway station, which had once connected Takachiho to various other places in Japan, was now used by a little sight-seeing train. When I saw local Japanese tourists having their picture taken with their children on the railway track as a momento of the occasion, I walked over to them eagerly.

Opposite the station there was a wide expanse of paddy fields and as I walked slowly through them, I glimpsed something hopping aside at my feet. Just a common grasshopper, that was my first impression. When I took a closer look, however, I realized my mistake: the shape was quite different. It was actually a tiny frog no bigger the size of the tip of a finger and brown-coloured. I was delighted by my discovery and continued on my way, making as little noise as possible. As I went on, at every step, one tiny frog after another jumped aside as I passed. What a fascinating scene it was!

By this time, I was well and truly on the look out for small green tree-frogs and — because Heaven really does help those who help themselves — I finally got to see a small Japanese tree-frog and, what’s more, it had appeared on a blue wooden bench. The big suction cups on the its feet gripped it tightly: it was as if it knew I wanted to take a picture of it and so obliged by sitting as still as possible so that I could admire it and click away at my leisure. Thank you, Little Frog!

There is another pleasure in hunting for frogs: once you’ve seen the first one, you usually end up seeing a second, and then a third without much difficulty! By the time we had hunted them out, looked at them, and photographed them to our heart’s content, there was still time to get back to catch our little train.

Translated by Simon Patton

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