Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rainy Season

Check out this week’s weather forecast from the newspaper! I guess it’s the rainy season in Japan! (The little line of suns on the top right column is Hokkaido; the line on the bottom left, Okinawa. If you live anywhere else in Japan, you had better take an umbrella with you when you go out this week!)

It reminded me of a little children’s song…

Rain, rain, go away.
Come again another day.
Little Johnny wants to play,
So rain, rain, go away!

In English, we have many ways to describe rain…
If it’s only raining a little, just a drop here and there, we say, “It’s spitting.”
If it’s a little heavier, just enough to need an umbrella, we say, “It’s drizzling.”
If it’s just average rain, we say, “It’s raining.”
If it’s much heavier, we say, “It’s pouring.”
When it’s raining really, really heavily, we say, "It’s raining cats and dogs!”
That last expression originated in England 3 or 4 hundred years ago. Back then, cities were much dirtier than they are now. Buildings were very close together, and people threw their kitchen scraps out their windows. Dogs & cats would live off the scraps that piled up between the buildings. When they died, their bodies stayed stuck between the buildings until very strong rains washed them out into the streets. When people passing by saw the bodies, they would jokingly say the bodies had fallen from the sky with the rain.
Over the next week (weeks?!) , try to describe what type of rain it is using one of the expressions above.

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