Author: Norman Hinsdale Pitman
Rewritten by: Liana Chau
” What shall we eat tomorrow? Because I have the slightest idea,” said Widow Wang to her son as he began to prepare for work.
” Don’t worry mother, the gods will provide,” said the son, Ming-Li, even though he wasn’t quite sure himself.
The old woman thought, as Ming-Li left for another day of work, ” How lucky am I to have a kind, kind son like him. No other mother could be prouder. “
As she thought, there was a knock on the door. She was surprised because she rarely had visitors. She opened the door and there stood a bald-headed priest before her.
” I’m sorry, but I don’t have any food,” said the old widow, pretty sure he was here for food. ” My friend, we live on scraps, and my pets are hungry as ever. You shoud’ve seen them before my husband died. My cat was so big and plump, she could barely get on the roof! Now look at her, she’s so thin that you can barely see her. My dog, was a strong one, but became weak after months of little food to eat.”
To the widow’s surprise, the priest said ” Don’t worry, I’m not here for food or money. “
” Have you come the laugh at our misfortune?” demanded Mrs. Wang.
” No, no, of course not. The gods have looked upon your kind son and want to give you a gift that will bring you fortune.” He held out a golden Beetle before the widow’s eyes.
” Hmmm…. I could sell this for a lot of money…” murmured Widow Wang.
” No! You must not sell this. It can bring all the food your stomach can hold. All the food to your heart’s content! “
The widow stared wide-eyed at the priest, then at the Beetle. She had doubts. “May I try it now?” she asked eagerly. “As soon as I’m gone,” said the priest. ” Oh, one more thing. When you want to get food, put the Beetle in the kettle and chant whatever you want to eat. After the meal, please do put it away safely.”
After he left, the old woman put the Golden Beetle in a pot and closed the cap as she chanted these words:
“Dumplings, dumplings, come to me,
I am thin as thin can be.
Dumplings, dumplings, smoking hot,
Dumplings, dumplings, fill the pot.”
As soon as she was done, she took off the cover and inside were the smoking hot pork dumplings she wished for! ” Oh how happy will my son be when he gets home!” She also fed Blackfoot, the dog, and Whitehead, the cat very well.
Soon, Ming-Li came home with a dark could over his head. It was clear to Mrs. Wang that he was dissapointed and upset. ” Come dear, sit down, sit down,” rushed the old woman as she was about to give her son the biggest surprise of her life. She dropped the Beetle in, and mumbled for the dumplings. ” Son, get ready to eat dumplings! ” Did he hear wrong? No! Before him was his favorite food ever. He ate them up very quick. ” Mother, what happened? Where did you get dumplings? Why are Blackfoot and Whitehead all fat? “
” Don’t rush son, I’m about to tell you.” As she told the story of the golden beetle and the priest, the son blinked in surprise.
From then on, the two lived with fabulous meals everyday. Unfortunately, they also became lazy, for there’s no need to work anymore. Soon they wanted to show off their fbulous meals to their friends. They invited a Mr and Mrs. Chu. They came expecting a beggar’s meal, but went home full.
” Iv’e expected a beggar’s meal. Looks like someone’s got all the luck,” said Mr. Chu. ” And I know the answer to the whole thing.” said Mrs. Chu. ” I saw the old lady get a piece of gold from the cabinet. I also heard her mumble something about dumplings. It must be a fairy’s charm. Why don’t we borrow it? We’ll return it sooner or later..” said Mrs. Chu. ” alright, but we’re just borrowing. After all, they did invite us to dinner.” Mr. Chu said.
On went Mrs. Chu to the Wang’s house. She knew they would be gone for the fair. Whitehead saw her, but did nothing, she was just shocked to see a stranger in the house unaccompanied by Mrs. Wang. But all she did was go back to sleep. Blackfoot didn’t even notice. She rummaged here and there searching. Alas, she has found it. She went home quickly and enjoyed a fine meal with her husband. ” I didn’t even get spotted. ” she said, matter of factly.
Mrs. Wang, came home thinking she would enjoy yet another hot meal with her son, bagan crying after she realized the golden beetle was gone. The truth was hard to accept. Ming- Li got sick again, in the desire of some food, while the Chu’s were njoying there hot delicious meal.
” AH HA!!!” screeched Whitehead.
” What is it? Have you caught a mouse? Have you got a flea? ” said the shocked Blackfoot.
” no, no, no, it’s just that Iv’e realized that that lady stole our charm! “
” what lady?”
” That lady , Mrs. Chu? Yes, her, she stole it! I saw her sneak into the house the other day…”
” Why didn’t you tell me earlier? It makes me uncomfortable not knowing who the cause of our misfortune is,” barked Blackfoot.
” Well, I just remembered..” said Whitehead.
” I am going to bite her eyes out,” said Blackfoot angrily.
” Let the humans deal with humans. As animals, we shouldn’t care that much.We want the charm. That’s all.” Whitehead simply replied.
” Let’s go tonight, “said Blackfoot.
That night, the two animals set out on their journey for their mistress’ beetle. Blackfoot enjoyed the swim, while Whitehead didn’t get a single drop of water on her face. When they got to the Chu’s house, it was midnight. The cat told the dog to stay outside, while she leaped in the window. As soon as she landed, she swiftly caught a mouse, and was about to eat it when , to her surprise, it talked! The mouse convinced Whitehead to let him go, and he’ll be her humble slave. Whitehead ordered the mouse to fetch the charm. He did as he was told. Whitehead leaped out the window and met with Blackfoot outside, beginning the journey back. On the way, Whitehead caught a fish, but dropped the charm. Blackfoot got mad and they started calling each other names. But soon, a kind frog offered to get it for them. They continued the journey all the way to their owner’s house. She was sobbing harder now, and no matter how hard Blackfoot barked, it couldn’t get to the widow’s ears. Whitehead swiftly jumped in the house from the window, leaving Blackfoot outside. The Widow praised Whitehead, gave her an absolutely awesome meal, leaving Blackfoot outside, not saying anything about him and how much he helped. After breakfast, Whitehead came out, saying:
” Mistress loves me. I’m such a hero. Oh, jealous right? why don’t you go to the streets and find a bone?”
And with that, Blackfoot shook her to death. He passed down to his generation and told them to hunt down these traitors. And now, that is, why today, dogs kill cats, not only in China, but around the whole world.