Author: Murakami Haruki (村上 春樹)
Japanese Title: フリオ・イグレシアス (Furio Igureshiasu)
Taken From: 夜のくもざる (Yoru no kumozaru, 1995)
After he stole our mosquito repellent incense, we no longer had any means to protect ourselves from the attacks of the sea turtle. We tried to send away for more incense from a mail-order company; but, just as we thought, the telephone lines had been cut, and our mail had stopped coming to us a few weeks ago. When you think about it, there’s no way that wily turtle would have allowed such a thing – up until now, we had been able to stave him off solely on account of the incense. Now, however, he must surely be napping contentedly tonight at the bottom of the blue-green sea in preparation for tonight’s assault.
“This is it for us, isn’t it,” she said. “When night comes, we’ll both be eaten.”
“We can’t lose hope,” I said. “We just need to come up with a plan.”
“But the sea turtle stole every last stick of our incense.”
“We’ve got to try to think about this logically. If the turtle hates mosquito repellent incense that much, then there’s got to be something else he hates just as much.”
“Julio Iglesias,” I said.
“Why Julio Iglesias?” she asked.
“I don’t know, it just suddenly popped into my head. Like a hunch, or something.”
Following my intuition, I set the turntables of the stereo system to Julio Iglesias’s “Begin the Beguine” and waited for nightfall. When darkness came, the sea turtle would attack, and the final showdown would begin. Would we be eaten, or will the turtle go hungry?
When I heard wet, squishy footfalls close to the door a little after midnight, I lost no time in dropping the needle onto the record. As Julio Iglesias started to croon “Begin the Beguine” in his sugar-water voice, the footsteps came to a dead halt, and we heard the turtle moaning painfully. We had triumphed.
That night, Julio Iglesias sang “Begin the Beguine” one hundred and twenty-six times. I myself rather dislike Julio Iglesias, but fortunately not as much as the sea turtle.