井底之蛙

7/29/2006

The good life

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 3:08 pm

I came across this story while reading the Liaozhai 聊斋

The Loyal Mouse

According to Yang Tianyi, once he saw two mice coming out of a hole. One was swallowed by a snake. The other stared at the snake with its small, prickly ash-like eyes, looking very angry. However, it could only stare from a distance, not dar­ing to go near. Feeling quite full, the snake meandered into its own hole. When half its body was in, the other mouse darted forward and caught the snake’s tail with its teeth. Infuriated, the snake withdrew from the hole. The mouse, quick and ag­ile as they all were, whizzed away and disappeared out of sight. Unable to catch up with it, the snake returned. Again, as soon as it entered the hole, the mouse appeared and held on to its tail as before. This was repeated many times, the mouse appearing as soon as the snake went in, and scurrying off as soon as the snake came out. Finally, having no other choice, the snake crawled out and spit the mouse it had swallowed out onto the ground. The other mouse came over, sniffed it and squeaked, as if in mourning, then hoisting the dead mouse with his teeth, he left. My friend, Zhang Liyou wrote a poem about this which he entitled, The Loyal Mouse.

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