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I am not the type of person who is easily surprised. I have seen a lot of things in my lifetime and always try to accept new things. I have to admit, however, that when I boarded my first international flight to Japan, I was not expecting to be seated next to a dog. It was with the passenger next to me, a quiet, well-dressed man in his early 70s. The small dog looked at me, and the man smiled as I sat down.

The man introduced himself and told me that the dog, whose name was Yuki, was his Emotional Support Animal(ESA). I have heard that animals can help people cope with fear and anxiety and that it’s possible to travel with a pet as long as the owner gets special permission. The man explained to me that after his wife died, he had found it more and more stressful to go out alone, especially to busy and crowded places like airports. This was the first time I had actually been seated next to someone who was using this rather new system.

I was curious why the man, who was not Japanese, had given his dog a Japanese name. He told me that long ago, he and his wife had enjoyed a winter trip to Hokkaido. The purpose of that trip was to visit some Japanese friends they had known in college. During that trip, the snow had made a strong impression on him. He had clear and fond memories of how beautiful it looked on the mountain peaks, so it was easy for him to remember the word yuki, which means snow. A few years after his wife’s death, he adopted a little white dog. When he first saw the dog, it reminded him of the pure white snow of Hokkaido. This was the dog, now sleeping next to me. On this trip the man planned to visit those same friends and see the wonderful mountains where he had skied so long ago. But this time he would take his “Snow” with him.

The flight started normally and was very smooth. Later, the plane started shaking, and the pilot announced that we had to return to our seats and fasten our seat belts. The young girl sitting in the window seat next to the man looked worried. The shaking of the plane was almost more than she could bear. She was traveling alone and fighting to hold back her tears. Then, the man said, “Would you like my dog, Yuki, to sit with you until this rough shaking stops? She’s very friendly.” The girl nodded, and without another word, the man put Yuki on the girl’s lap. The effect was like magic. As the girl sat with the dog, her fear vanished. Soon she was talking to Yuki, “It’s all right. I’ll take care of you!” With her little friend comfortable in her arms, the girl found that she could be brave.

Soon after that, everything went back to normal. Some of the passengers went to sleep, some chatted, and some just sat waiting for the end of the long flight. Almost nothing had changed. But there was one small difference. Just by being herself, Yuki had added two more people to the growing list of ESA fans and believers. She had made the young girl’s trip less difficult, and my own trip more interesting. Thank you, Yuki. Keep up the good work!

問1 The author describes himself as someone who 41.

① believes he has an open mind
② feels uncomfortable in public
③ hates being around animals
④ often flies to Japan on business

問2 The man gave the dog a Japanese name because 42.

① he saw that kind of dog on his first trip to Japan
② it brought back memories of Japan’s winter scenery
③ it was his first Japanese teacher’s favorite word
④ that was the name his Japanese friends had chosen

問3 The word bear as used in the fourth paragraph is closest in meaning to 43.

① carry
② display
③ endure
④ produce

問4 What did the young girl do when the man put Yuki on her lap? 44

① She did a magic trick.
② She settled down.
③ She started crying.
④ She stopped chatting.

問5 What does this story imply about the relationship between people and animals? 45

① Humans and animals can build positive relations.
② Saving injured animals gives you satisfaction.
③ The death of a pet can be a shocking experience.
④ The presence of animals can cause trouble.







問1 41 正解 ①
① 彼は広い心を持っていると信じている
② 人前だと不快に感じる
③ 動物の周りにいることを嫌う
④ ビジネスで日本まで飛行機に乗ることが多い

問2 42 正解  ②
① 彼は日本への最初の旅行でその種類の犬を見た
② それが日本の冬景色の思い出を呼び戻した
③ それは彼の初めての日本語教師の好きな言葉だった
④ それは彼の日本人の友達が選んだ名前だった

問3 43 正解 ③
第4段落で使用されている bear という言葉は、意味が43に最も近い。
① 運ぶ
② 表示する
③ 我慢する
④ 作り出す

問4 44 正解 ②
① 彼女は手品をした。
② 彼女は落ち着いた。
③ 彼女は泣き始めました。
④ 彼女はおしゃべりをやめた。

問5 45 正解 ①
① 人間と動物は前向きな関係を築くことができる。
② 負傷した動物を救うことはあなたに満足を与える。
③ ペットの死は衝撃的な経験になることがある。
④ 動物がいるとトラブルを引き起こすことがある。

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