December 02, 2009

Beware the shrike!

In the "cool things you learn while translating" category: 百舌の速贄 (mozu no haya'nie), "a worm or a frog impaled on a branch by a shrike," which can be literally translated as "the shrike's sacrificial offering."

According to Wikipedia, "Shrikes [or "butcher birds"] are known for their habit of catching insects, small birds, or mammals and impaling their bodies on thorns."

A great metaphor to use in a horror novel. And the appearance of this terrifying creature? All together now: Awww. Though that hook at the end of its upper beak does lend the cutie an edge of menace.

North America's Loggerhead Shrike will "stun or kill prey with its powerful, hooked beak before impaling it on a plant thorn or barbed-wire fence. The victim will then be picked apart over time, sometimes left there for months before being finished."

All together now: Ewww.

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