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Look Who's Calling You

24 August 2009

The crow in the picture is called Wow Wow, and Wow Wow is a confused bird experiencing a series of identity crisis. He used to be pretty certain who he was when he lived in his native land in bush because he talked like crow, until he migrated into a human family in Giant Tablet Alley (大石碑胡同) in Beijing, and began to learn human language. He did well and soon was able to call the names of his mistress and his master and his young master, fluently.

His masters are tremendously proud of him for his exceptional linguistic accomplishment. He was very proud of himself and convinced that he had become part of the mainstream of the household community. But in reality, he is very much a second-class resident and lives in the family's mining field - a room where household coal is stored. In dark night during his sitting-meditation session (by perching on a narrow bench), he would question himself philosophically: Am I a bird (then why I communicate with people in human language)? Or a human (then why I don't have a proper bedroom but have been locked in this filthy detention centre)?

Later he became acquainted with a neighbouring dog, but the two didn't get on well. The bird considered the dog an outcast (sleeps on the floor), and the dog thinks the bird must be a convict (lives in a cage). So the two often engage in hot disputes, which forced Wow Wow to master a second foreign language: barking; and which made the bird feel further confused about his true identity.

But the biggest identity crisis emerged when Wow Wow was offered to play a leading animal role in a blockbuster movie Ten Conditions of Warfare in Red Crag (or something similar like this). The success of his acting career, that lasted 4 days long, shot him to stardom. Since then people queued to apply for an entry permit to the household just to hear him calling names of his masters. By then he wondered if he was a celebrated artist or a pathetic clown.

Recently Wow Wow is reported to have fallen in love (without condition) with a female bird of the same feather; and, according to the observation of the family mistress, nowadays the new migrant in question seems having returned to old habit: spends more time with his crow girlfriend than his human fellow residents in the household, and seldom bothers to please his masters by responding to their calls.

Maybe he eventually realised who he really is.

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