I’ve liked cactuses since I was a boy. Not the spiky ones that hurt when you touch them, but the ones that have smoother surfaces. I had a little cactus at my parent’s home in Canada when I was young. It may still be there. Cactuses live so long and are quite strong. They really are quite amazing and very easy to take care of.
About 3 years ago, during a holiday from my great job teaching English conversation (英会話) at Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi (スミス英会話 塚口校), I and my Japanese wife visited family in Okayama Prefecture, Japan. One day, we all went sightseeing on top of a mountain not far from my wife’s parents’ home, where I saw some cactuses being sold. They were funny because they were shaped like feet, little round stems sticking out of a big base, like toes on a foot. I couldn’t help buying one. I chose my favorite one and paid for it. As I paid for it, the young lady at the cash register said that she had one of her own too! (^.^) Wow! As we left by car, I must have looked funny sitting there in the back seat of the car, carefully holding my precious new little cactus. The little thing was so cute. I was in love! (^.^)
I brought the cactus home to Tsukaguchi. I still have the cactus today and you can see photos of it in this post. Yes, it has lost its cuteness and has gone a little wild, but I still am very fond of it. At first, I tried to preserve the cute appearance of the cactus by cutting off any new tiny stems that kept growing on the toe-shaped ones. Yeah, I know, that’s not so good for the cactus. I eventually I gave this practice up and just let the cactus grow freely (apart from a few times when some stems grew strangely, when I cut them and planted them in the same pot).
Over time the cactus lost its’ resemblance to a foot and grew long stems, from which grew other stems, until there were a mix of differently shaped and sized stems. These sometimes looked like people or animals. At one time my wife and I had fun making out a waving rabbit. (^.^) We made out other shapes too but all eventually changed into other shapes.
One day my wife suggested I bring it to my English conversation school (英会話スクール). The reasons were that I didn’t have anything green at my school, it could probably survive there even with the limited amount of light available and it was easy to take care of. In addition we didn’t how much space at home. I finally followed her suggestion and brought the cactus to Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi (スミス英会話 塚口校) last week. It now sits on a cabinet next to my computer desk. It actually gets more attention now than before because I look at it more often. One student found it both interesting and scary. (^.^) Perhaps I should point out the interesting shapes that the stems make. That would be fun. Maybe I could use the cactus in my English conversation (英会話) lessons with some students, telling them my cactus story then asking them questions on it as a listening test. Let’s see what I can do! Whatever happens, my cactus that I fell in love with years ago has found a new home. (^.^)
Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi