Ever have imagined what will happen if belligerent dogs,
stubborn goats and noisy chickens share accommodation?
Guess the self-righteous dogs would be self-appointed
policemen, the reserved goats would refuse to co-operate,
while easily-excited chickens, like many media guys, keep
stirring things up with sensational news reports, comments
and forecasts. Before long we may see the dogs biting the
goats and the goats chasing the chickens and the chickens
fleeing the scene. In the end the dogs impose their hegemony
in the site, but their victory could be rather shallow:
the goats are mortally broken and can not serve the ruler
whether they are willing or not, and the chickens have
long sought refugee elsewhere. Then the dogs may have to
turn on each other to determine who shall rule over who
until they end in common ruin.
The theoretical scenario of above almost became reality
in the yard of a Chinese farmer known as Big Sister Liu.
The ostriches fleeing in panic
Liu lives in Yanqing County in the outskirts of Beijing
and keeps four dogs, tow goats and dozens of chickens in
her family-run farmhouse accommodation (农家院). Her dogs
are not more humble than any other dogs, her goats are
not more easygoing than any other goats, and her chickens
are not more meditative than any other chickens. Then how
is she able to accommodate this multi-species community
under one roof without turning her residence into a war
zone? Well, she has a secret weapon: a pair of ostriches.
The young birds are quite pretty (they are on strict diet
and eat oil-free & salt-free cabbage salads only) and
very tall (up to 2 metres) with a pair of long and robust
legs, that only a well-trained ballerina or a highly accomplished
martial arts master would possess. They do enjoy showing
off their kung fu kicks, but on the dogs only. The poor
dogs are so petrified of these long-range arms (legs that
are) that they would immediately lie low, not daring to
demand an apology.
But hasn’t Big Sister Liu just installed a new bunch of
dictators to replace the old? Fortunately, nope. Because
no matter how successful the birds have managed to terrify
the dogs, they are unable to impress the goats who view
them just as a couple of tall chickens. Whenever the goats
get a gutful of the dogs, they’ll try to get even with
the ostriches by chasing them around as they do to the
chickens. And whenever the ostriches spot the sight of
the sharp horns, they run away faster than any chicken
would do, failing to remember their legs are multi-functioned.
Thus the balance of power is achieved.
Of course, it still leaves a lot to be desired if Big
Sister Liu ever wants to create a harmonious backyard.
That might require Liu, for instance, to set up a forum
to talk about The
Analects to her multi-being audience,
so her furred, horned and feathered friends can learn to
have genuine respect for, instead of fear of, each other.
When this happens, it will be a miracle. But miracles do
occur. You never know.
(Original news report in Chinese on 北京晚报by