Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm Such a Tease

Here's the kitten story, which I know you're hankering to hear.

The setting: Last Summer, while teaching in Xiantao, Hubei, China

I was on my bike, riding along one of the canals that runs through Xiantao. I came across a stone bridge leading onto an island in the middle of the canal, and I turned onto the bridge, curious to see what was on the other side. I passed a gatehouse on the far end of the bridge, and coasted into a parking lot, where, after mucking through a sign-full of chinese characters, I realized I was at a school.

Satisfied with my discovery, I turned my bike around and started back towards the bridge. As I approached it, and old man emerged from the gatehouse, with a young boy of no more than 5 or 6 years at his heels, scrambling to keep up. I drew closer, and saw that the old man was carrying a long pair of wooden tongs, clamped at the end of which was a tiny kitten, trying to wriggle free. I watched with both shock and, I admit, some amusement as his intentions became clear.

The old man and the little boy walked out, halfway across the bridge, looks of excitement on their faces, and without a moment's hesitation, tossed the kitten into the canal below. They peered down at the water, the little boy wrestling to get his head over the stone railing, and watched as the kitten struggled for its final breaths, then turned around and returned to the gatehouse, looking well pleased.

Once you've finished meditating on that, here's a photo to clear your mind. It's from the park around Sun Yat Sen's mausoleum in Nanjing.


Blogger Sam said...

This is a test.

Have you had problems commenting? You're not alone. There are people here to help. Let me know, and I'll look into it.

23/9/06 7:14 AM  

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