I went to Nara the other day. For those who don’t know, it was the capital of Japan from 710-784. During this time many nice buildings were built there. A lot of them are still around. I like nice things. So I went to have a look.
Here’s an example. It’s the biggest and nicest wooden building in the world.
There’s also some wooden statues. They’re not so nice though.
Nara is also famous for its deer. They’re considered sacred for some reason. This has given them a level of protection so that their population is now over a thousand.
This creates a serious problem, as anyone familiar with the deer’s aggressive nature could tell you. They’re like furry sharks, or sociopathic bears. The risk of personal injury or death they pose is so great that warnings are translated into many languages and posted all over Nara.
When I took this photo I had been in Nara for some time but I had yet to see a deer. I thought I was safe. It was quiet, almost too quiet. It was just then I noticed something to the left…
I froze like some kind of animal in headlights. This was clearly a dangerous situation, but luckily I was prepared. I had some 鹿せんべい, rice crackers specifically made to give to the deer. They’re sold from special stalls whose owners pay protection money to the deer.
They look like this. They may not look like much but provide a temporary distraction which allows you to escape.
I pulled out a stack and fed them to the deer. Its bloodlust seemed to be placated. I turned to run, but realised that I was surrounded by more deer who had been attracted by the crackers. Unfortunately, I had none left. I was out of deer crackers. I was out of luck.
Deer to the left of me.
I was certain that my end was nigh. Just then, a stroke of luck saved me; a mother happened to be passing by with her child. Young mothers are the deer’s favourite prey.
They left me and set off in hot pursuit. My life was saved. I was free to look at nice buildings another day.
I never knew what became of that young mother. Knowing what the deer can be like, I don’t want to.