wild and menacing
There is no doubt in my mind that
feral giraffes and
feral hippos have been living in Tokyo for generations without being seen by a soul.
of organisms living together, especially to mutual advantage
Which meant that these trees either lived in a
symbiotic relationship with the algae, in a giving-and-taking that was to their mutual advantage, or, simpler still, were an integral part of the algae.
extremely irritating to the nerves
All he was aware of was that something
stressful and momentous had happened, something beyond the outer limits of his understanding.
a feeling of great elation
My running became smooth and unselfconscious, a source of
of or relating to the sense of smell
It came to my
olfactory sense, full and fresh, overwhelming: the smell of vegetation.
a broken piece of a brittle artifact
For two, perhaps three seconds, a gigantic, blinding white
shard of glass from a broken cosmic window danced in the sky insubstantial yet overwhelmingly powerful.
pouring in abundance
When the going was good, when the rain was
torrential, when the bags had as much water as I thought they could take, I filled the bailing cups, the two plastic buckets, the two multi-purpose plastic containers, the three beakers and the empty cans of water (which I now preciously kept).
a contrived or fantastic idea
If you’re not happy with this
figment of your fancy, pick another one.
of or relating to or characterized by facts
“Neither makes a
factual difference to you.”
violent pangs of suffering
It was natural that, bereft and desperate as I was, in the
throes of unremitting suffering, I should turn to God.
the branch of biology that studies plants
“I have an uncle who knows a lot about
botany. He lives in the country near Hita-Gun. He’s a bonsai master.”
pass gradually or leak or as if through small openings
oozed through the dry pastiness of my mouth.
give off a weakly shining reflection, as of silk
The island lay just a little further down,
shimmering in the water.
Where were these
disgusting, sacrilegious recipes coming from?
an animal or plant that lives in or on a host
Either there was soil deeper down, or this species of tree was a remarkable instance of a commensal or a
the creation of something in the mind
In Japanese a story would have an element of
invention in it.
be in opposition to
“Not plants that
contradict the laws of nature.”
several things grouped together or considered as a whole
I won’t describe what the
accumulation of human and animal skeletons, mixed in with innumerable fish and turtle remains, looked like.
the center of an object
In cross-section it consisted of two concentric walls: the wet, slightly rough outer wall, so vibrantly green, and an inner wall midway between the outer wall and the
core of the algae.
confusion characterized by lack of clarity
I would fall into a
daze, not difficult for someone in such an advanced state of lethargy to begin with.
to cover or extend over an area or time period
But these were seafaring birds that could
span the Pacific with hardly a flutter of the wings.
a boat transporting people or vehicles over a body of water
When they got to Tomatan, eight hundred kilometres south of Long Beach, and saw that it was not Tomatlan, Mr. Okamoto decided that they would continue to Santa Rosalia, two hundred kilometres further south, and catch the
ferry across the Gulf of California to Guaymas.
inspiring mixed contempt and sorrow
What kind of a
pitiful salesman are you?
the structure providing a frame for the body of an animal
skeletons clean and fired them to a gleaming white.
a notable achievement
It was as the meerkats were hauling the fish out of the pond, displaying real
feats of teamwork, that I noticed something curious: every fish, without exception, was already dead.
bending and snapping back readily without breaking
My foot sank into clear water and met the rubbery resistance of something
flexible but solid.
a mechanical device that prevents a vessel from moving
Climbing the giant swells, the boat clung to the sea
anchors like a mountain climber to a rope.
an accident resulting from violent impact of a moving object
No other ship mishap reported in area on that day, so ship-ship
the condition of being deprived of oxygen
One of my favourite methods of escape was what amounts to gentle
as if struck dumb with astonishment and surprise
flabbergasted. A boot. Putting aside the fact that I am a Hindu and we Hindus consider cows sacred, eating a leather boot conjures to my mind eating all the filth that a foot might exude in addition to all the filth it might step in while shod.”
“So no boot for you.”
“Let’s see it first.”