Wednesday, March 27, 2013

June 8, 1954 Rhinoceros Beetle Fights as Told by Bonnie

Looking for a fighting beetle to put on the string


"Kenji-chan heard the laughing and shouting from the village playground.  The fights had started so he grabbed a small box and ran to join his friends.

The boys were watching a fight and each boy had a favorite fighter which he was urging on to fight harder.  Part of the boys were holding boxes and in each box was a big, black bug like the two who were having a battle on the ground.

The fighting bugs were called rhinoceros beetles and were almost as big as mice.  Each beetle had a long horn that it used for fighting but the bugs did not hurt one another.

Kenji-chan was anxious to see how well his new beetle would fight.  He had gone up the mountain before breakfast that morning and found it.  Some of the boys had bought their bugs from men who sold them on the street.  The men had caught them up on the mountains, too.

The beetles on the ground stopped trying to fight when they got tired so the boys put them back in the boxes.  Then Kenji-chan tied a thread around the leg of his beetle and put it down to fight with another bug.

At first Kenji-chan's beetle tried to run away but the boy held tightly to the string and kept pulling the bug back.  Then the beetles began to fight and push with their horns.

The boys shouted and squealed as the bugs fought until Kenji-chan's beetle won the fight.  It was still fighting hard when the other beetle had stopped trying to fight.

"I found a real fighter," laughed Kenji-chan as he put the insect back in the box."

(From In Japan, by Bonnie Belshe, 1955)       

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