Monday, July 2, 2012
My niece was married last weekend. They met through their mutual passion for tennis, but it was a conversation she had with him about tapirs that convinced her she had found her life-long partner.
Then, almost by accident, I came across this entry in a travel book called Traveler's Tales Thailand, by Alan Rabinowitz. He quotes an unnamed traveler as saying, "[the tapir is] an enigma... a survivor of a more gentle and legendary time ... wandering in unique isolation in a world not yet mature enough for its wisdom."
Did you know that the tapir is named after a creature in Chinese mythology? In Japanese folklore, the tapir (known as baku) eats people's dreams, especially nightmares. In fact, I grew up believing that the tapir was a dream-eating mythological beast, and only recently realized it was (also) a real live creature.