VOX POPULI: Instincts of an Animal




(First published in The Rafu Shimpo on July 13, 2011.)


I usually take my lunch to work and throw my leftover food under my car. When it is time to leave after working all day, I have noticed that all the food under the car disappeared. Last week after lunch, I slowly got out of my car; I noticed a black crow walking near my car. This crow has an instinct that it is lunchtime while we must rely on our wrist watch. The crow does not have a GPS, Map Quest, or a map, and she knows exactly where the leftover food happens to be.

There are times when I have difficulty finding my white Toyota pickup especially at a shopping center, but the crow knows exactly how to single out my car. I greet this crow with a gentle voice, and I know how appreciative she is especially when there rice left over. The crow, raven, magpie, and the blue jay birds are all in the same family.

Last Saturday the Ventura County JACL visited Keiro Assisted Living quarters, and then went to Little Tokyo. While we were sitting at a table, a small sparrow flew right in the middle of our table. We did not have any food to share, and the sparrow looked at us and left because she knew we were not eating.

Uma is a French bulldog, and we know that we spoil her because we enjoy the attention Uma gives us. Uma does not like to see a black suitcase because she knows that someone in the family is leaving. When I travel, I put my suitcase in my car the night before, so that Uma won’t feel that she is going to be left behind.

My son Gerry was packing his black suitcase, and Uma started to cry. She kept crying because she wanted to go where Gerry was going. Uma was now crying louder, shaking, and felt that no one loved her. It worked because Uma went all the way to Laughlin and back.

This past week a possum happened to walk into our back yard, and Uma attacked this ugly creature, and I believe Uma was showing his appreciation for living with the Yabu family.

It is wonderful to find so many loyal families that enjoy their pets, and what is amazing is that they know your habits and are willing to be your companion. Recently, when I had the opportunity to visit Susan Ahalt (The Bird Lady). She operates the Ironside Bird Rescue Inc. Susan allowed me to be in the same spacious cage with an eagle, two owls, magpie bird, plus other animals. The animals were calm, and they knew Susan would feed and take care of her animals. Susan lives in Cody, Wyo., and she knows more about magpie birds.

Jim Franzen needed to know the coloring of the underside of a magpie bird, and it was Susan that got a photo. Jim is doing a 3-D drawing of Maggie, and Bill Toma from Arizona is making a sculpture. Willie Ito did the drawings of Maggie. Bob from Camarillo will be doing the casting.

Willie Ito, Jim Franzen, Bill Toma, Bob from Camarillo, Caety Schmidt, M.D., and Susan (The Bird Lady) never saw Maggie but fell in love with this bird from Heart Mountain Relocation Center.


Shig Yabu is the author of “Hello Maggie.” The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.


Leave A Reply