Four Await

     After migrating upward from the depths at nightfall, four cutlassfish position themselves just below the surface. There they suspend their long tapered bodies vertically, with toothy jaws facing upward.  Nearly motionless in this position, they wait. If an unsuspecting squid or small fish ventures too close, a cutlassfish lunges upward and seizes it with wide-open mouth and fang-like teeth.

    In China, Japan, and Korea, the number 4 is considered extremely unlucky because in the language of each, the words for “four” and “death” are homonyms.  Never present a gift consisting of four items to a Chinese, Japanese, or Korean friend.  In China and Japan, some hotels and hospitals skip room number 4; some buildings even skip the fourth floor, labeling it the fifth instead.  In Korea, many buildings label the fourth floor with a Roman “F” rather than use the number “4.” Such an strong aversion to a mere number just because of the way it sounds when spoken may seem like a odd superstition, but cultures everywhere have their own, equally curious superstitions.  Count the squid.

       

Size:  60 x 39 inches  (2009)

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