Dedicated to the the Baiji,
or Yangtze River Dolphin – declared functionally extinct in 2006.
It is the year 2037 BCE, and a crisp, spring morning.
“No, I will not marry Chen!” are her last words, before she looks at him, her eyes softening, one last time, and throws herself off the cliff, into the angry Yangtze – his outstretched hands too little, too late.
“Nooo, Lien Hua!” he cries, his last sight of her is a brownish white water explosion.
King Jin Gui falls to his knees, tears flowing down his dusty, sunburnt cheeks, disappearing into his silver chin beard, many years long. He regrets the fact that he didn’t bring his guards closer to the meeting, they are strong swimmers. Two small streams, from his fierce, closed eyes, add to the brown torrent below, until he turns away, with a heavy heart …
News of Lien Hua’s disappearance spreads like wildfire,
word-of-mouth flooding the banks of the Yangtze,
against and with the murky current.
After a mere seven days, first sightings are reported – she had undergone a life-saving metamorphosis, moments before drowning. Princess Lien Hua is now a river goddess, protecting Yangtze fishermen and boatmen …
The near-blind Baiji thrives along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, for more than four thousand years.
The Year of the Red Dog – 2006 CE
“Hey, Tao! Eaten any river goddess lately?” says Wang, fisher of the Yangtze, as he switches off his single-engined boat.
“Haha, that’s funny, reminds me of a bullshit story my grandmother used to tell. Haven’t landed one in almost four years, my friend.”
“Oh, same here. And your darling daughter, Daiyu, how’s her wedding coming along?”
“Ah, these young people, I don’t know about a future with them. She screamed at me, this morning. ‘Father, I WILL NOT MARRY! If you don’t let me go to university, I will throw myself into the Yangtze!’”
“Ah, ah, ah, they’re not right in the head, my old friend,” says Wang, as he disentangles his fishing net and cleans the wires of his electric shock fishing device.
– end –
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