The Love of Life

73. A Dead Dog's Revenge


Chinese farmers plow with oxen and water buffaloes, so most Chinese do not eat beef, out of gratitude to these trustworthy animals. But many Chinese regard dogs the same as they regard pigs, as a source of meat. So some Chinese butchers specialize in slaughtering dogs.

One such butcher lived in Nanhsiang Village in Chiating, near Shanghai. His name was Ts’ai Liu. Dog meat is especially popular in the winter, because they say it warms you up, so as the New Year festival approached, Ts’ai smiled as he whetted his knives and thought about how much money he was going to make.

Ts’ai had butchered dogs for years. He had the whole routine down pat. He slit a dog’s throat and dumped the carcass into a vat of water. After it had soaked, it would be easier to pull out its fur. He always did it that way. Experience builds efficiency. But things went differently this time. After he dumped the carcass in the vat, his eyes bulged, his ears rang, his heart thumped. He had a premonition of impending doom.

Just at that moment, the dog came to life, and with its last mite of strength, lunged out of the vat at Ts’ai! His premonition had prepared him: when he saw the dog coming for him, Ts’ai somersaulted backwards, but the dog was already on him! He tried to fend it off with his hands. It sank its teeth into Ts’ai’s forearm!

Ts’ai screamed in pain. His neighbors came to see what was wrong. They tried to pry the dog’s mouth open with sticks, but its teeth were stuck fast. No matter how many people tried to lever its mouth open, it held onto Ts’ai’s arm.

“Who would ever imagine that a dog with its throat slit could have such power?” one of the neighbors asked in amazement.

“This isn’t the time for discussion! Get it off me, will you!” Ts’ai rolled back and forth across the floor trying to sling the dog off, but it seemed to be welded to his forearm.

The pain was so intense that tears came to his eyes. The dog kept biting! It hurt more and more. He even wet his pants, but the dog held on!

The pain got worse and worse. His heart couldn’t stand it. His neighbors watched helplessly as Ts’ai’s face went pale. Then– Kka! They heard the death rattle in Ts’ai’s throat.

He fell back dead. As he died, the dog released its grip and fell down dead with him.

From then on, nobody in that region ever dared to eat dog meat again.

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