The Love of Life

74. Going to the Dogs


Fengching was a nice little village. Most of the people living there were simple farmers. They were honest and hardworking. Everybody got along well with everybody else, and things went well with them.

With almost all of them. There was one mean guy in the village, called Shen 2, because he was his father’s second son. He had a little store, and business was pretty good, so gradually he had saved a small amount of money.

Shen 2 loved liquor, and he loved dog meat. When he was a bit ahead, he’d buy some liquor and cook up a dog and enjoy a little feast.

He’d tell people, “Dog meat smells nice and tastes spicy! What could be better than dog meat cooked just right and washed down with fine liquor!” He would invite his friends to his feasts, so over a period of years, he had butchered quite a few dogs.

In 1756, Shen was feeling weak. One day he keeled over and was put to bed, but even the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him.

His wife stayed faithfully by his bedside, especially after he started having fainting spells. Late one night, Shen was tossing and turning, but his wife couldn’t do anything for him. Then she heard him saying something. She leant over to listen, and her blood ran cold as she heard him say,

“Another black dog! It’s mean!

“There’s a spotted dog attacking me!

“Dogs, two, three, four of them, I can’t count them all, keep them away from me, please, somebody, keep them away from me!”

By now he was shouting loudly enough to wake the entire household. “Help! Help! Somebody come save me!” Everybody could hear him, but nobody could see a single dog. All they saw was Shen 2 tossing and turning on his bed, with a terrified look in his eyes.

“He must be out of his mind,” his relatives said sadly, shaking their heads.

Just before he died, Shen 2 crawled under the bed. He got down on all fours and growled and barked like a dog until he died.

Usually, before a person dies, there will be some indication of where he is going after death. People going to heaven die peacefully, even happily. People going to hell know it. Their suffering begins before they die, and they die miserably.

Shen 2 must have been on his way to a new life as a dog. And the chances are that he ended up in somebody’s cooking pot.

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