夜明け前のサファリ Pre-Dawn Safari

夜明け前、ドスドスっという音で目が覚めた。いつもは開けてあるシェイドを開けてみると、ボブキャットの子供が窓のすぐ外をウロウロしていた。Thump Thump, the sound came from right outside our bedroom and woke me up. I raised the shades on the windows, and there I found a Bobcat cub going back and forth less than two feet away from me.

お母さんは朝ごはんのウサギを咥えていた。「カメラ〜!」と叫んでいる間にさっさと塀を飛び越えて行ってしまった。The cub’s mother had a rabbit in her mouth for their breakfast. It was so unexpected, that I shouted “Camera, Lenses~!” Of course, that’s exactly I shouldn’t have done. While I was running around like a crazy person, they hopped onto the backyard fence, and disappeared.

が、話はここで終わらない。 But, the story didn’t end there!

バスルームの窓の外、なんと、お母さんがまだウロウロしていた。という事は、子供がまだいるはず!Right outside of the bathroom window, the mother was still there with a concerned face. Does this mean what we hope? The cub should still be there.

右側が裏庭の塀。The backyard fence is on the right.

もしかして、また裏庭に入ってくるのかな? Is she coming into the backyard again?

と、思ったら、木の上を見てる。But then, she is looking up into the tree.

という事は、子供は木の上? Does this mean that the cub is on the tree somewhere? But where?

いた!勝手にボビィと命名した。Found him! I named him as Bobby then.

なんとまあ、夜明け前からこの騒動。もう、太陽の光が山上方をてらし始めてる。This all happened before dawn. Now the sunrise began and a strong sun started to illuminate the red rock hill.

お母さん、どうする?ボビィは木から降りられなくなったらしい。もう2時間も経ってるよ。What do you do, Bobby’s mom? It seems that Bobby can’t come down from the tree. It’s been two hours since he first climbed up.

窓の中から見ていた私たちですが、だんだん疲れてきたボビィの様子に、何とかしないとまずいと思い立つ。で、外に出てみることにしたら前庭でお母さんと出くわしてしまった。Bobby looked so tired. Shouldn’t we do something to rescue Bobby? We observed all these movements from inside windows but we decided to go out. But then, we encountered his mom right there at the front yard.

まずい!お母さんは一瞬も目を離さず私を凝視している。この距離、まずい!Oh no… She was staring at me without blinking. This doesn’t look good.

ソロリソロリと歩いて家の中に逃げ込んだ。さらに1時間が経過。状況に変化なし。バンちゃんは勇敢にも長い板を梯子の上に乗せて木に繋いだ。ボビィ、これで降りやすくなったかな? Ever so slowly, and quietly, I returned to the house to take refuge. Banchan was so brave then. He carried out a ladder and wooden long board and set up a slope near the branch where Bobby was sitting. We hoped this will help Bobby to go down easily.

それでも何の進展もなっく4時間も経過したので、ユタ州の野生保護課に助けを求めることにした。こちらに向かっているレスキュー部隊と電話で話しているまさにその最中、「一人で降りて茂みの中に走って行ったよ!」というバンちゃんの声。Still, the situation didn’t change for four hours. I finally decided to call Utah’s Wildlife Rescue Division. I explained all the details to the person who was driving over to our house. But then, Banchan shouted, “the cub is down by himself!” while I was talking to the rescue person.

ボビィの足。やっぱり猫みたいにフカフカ。Bobby’s foot. It looks soft like a cat’s foot.

慌てて再確認をするために木の上を見に行ったらもうボビィはいなかった。I ran to the bathroom window and looked at the tree. And I found nothing there. Bobby had gone.

木の上から落ちそうになった時。小さい爪がフカフカの足から見えてる。これで必死に落ちるのを防いだのね。A shot when Bobby nearly fell down from the tree. Can you see his tiny claws? He held on to the tree so hard with those claws.

ボビィは木の上から降りられなくなったのか。それとも休憩してただけなのか。答えはボビィとお母さんだけが知っている。Here is a question. Was he in trouble and he really couldn’t come down, or was he simply resting there on the tree branches? No one knows the answer to this question but Bobby and his mother.

そんな早朝のサファリだった。It was a great safari adventure early in the morning.

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