Jan 022012
 

Traditional Chinese Tales with a Twist

Stories of Lord Jade Rabbit of the Moon

Lord Jade Rabbit and the Fat Policeman

After Lord Jade Rabbit had cured Li Chunlan of her illness, he was anxious to serve more patients. But he knew that if he waited for Wu Gang’s relative, Dr. Wu Huayan, to introduce more patients to him, he would probably have to wait a year for another one. What should he do?

Wu Gang said, “What we need, is a radio. If we have a radio, we can hear the news from all over the world. And if there is an epidemic, you will have plenty of patients.”

Rabbit feigned surprise, “You sound smart–for a change. So what are we waiting for? Let’s go buy a radio.”

The UFO the duo had used so effectively in the past, sped to earth from the moon and landed at a Suning Appliance Shop in the evening, just before the store closed. The spaceship parked on top of the roof, and blended into the environment by morphing into a component of the central air conditioning system.

Wu Gang said to Rabbit, “Don’t you go out and make trouble. As a Taoist monk, I’ll go down first to collect some alms at the entrance, then I will go buy the radio. It won’t take me long.”

Rabbit said irritatingly, “Wow, it’s your show, isn’t it?! I guess I’m only along to make trouble!”

So, Wu Gang went down from the roof to the parking lot in front of the store and sat down on the ground cross-legged, a handkerchief in front of him. After sitting there for 5 minutes, nobody paid him any attention.

Wu Gang stood up and started his kungfu shadow-boxing show. His movements were well-executed and attracted a few viewers, and some people even praised him. But nobody gave him a penny.

Rabbit watched all this through the window of the UFO and got impatient. He went out and climbed down the roof.

People watching Wu Gang’s kungfu saw what looked like a cartoon rabbit coming toward them. They all smiled.

Rabbit said to Wu Gang, “What you are doing is nothing. Can you do a one-finger-stand?”

Wu Gang held his two hands together and saluted the viewers, “Allow me.” Then he balanced his whole body with one finger. The viewers applauded. Someone even placed fifty cents on the handkerchief.

Rabbit said, “A one-finger-stand is nothing. Levitation, though, is something else. If you can stand still and rise from earth, I might admire your skills.” Rabbit then looked the crowd over and continued, “If you levitate, we will each give you two yuan. If you can’t levitate, you will pay each of us two yuan. How about that?”

Wu Gang held his two hands together again and said, “For ten yuan I will rise one inch; for one hundred yuan one foot, and for one thousand yuan ten feet.” The crowd laughed. Someone commented, “If the money piles up one foot, the Tao is ten feet high.”

Rabbit picked up the handkerchief, held it with both hands stretched out, and went around the circle of onlookers. As people placed money on it, he chanted the sum of money collected. After awhile, Rabbit had 300 yuan in his hands.

Rabbit said to Wu Gang, “Rise!” And the on-lookers roared “Rise!”

Wu Gang rose one inch from the ground. He said to himself, “Bother, gravity on earth is a lot stronger than on the moon. It won’t be easy to rise three feet.”

The on-lookers roared, “Rise! Rise!” Wu Gang rose one foot.

The on-lookers roared, “Rise! Rise! Rise!” Wu Gang rose two feet.

The on-lookers roared, “Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise!” Wu Gang rose three feet. The crowd roared with delight, “Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!”

Wu Gang descended and Rabbit gave the handkerchief of money to Wu Gang, “Go get our radio quick, the shop will close soon!”

Wu Gang clasped his hands in salute to the viewers once more, then ran into the Suning Appliance store.

Rabbit suddenly felt a hand on the back of his neck. He looked back at a fat policeman staring at him. The officer said, “You will come with me!”

Rabbit walked at the side of the fat policeman and noticed that his left leg had a limp and that he walked slowly. Rabbit asked, “Is your leg injured?”

The policeman said nothing. When they got to the station, Rabbit saw that there were a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, and a bottle of calcium on the policeman’s desk. On the wall by a wardrobe at the door hung a large-size police uniform.

The policeman took out a sheet of paper, a pen, and said to Rabbit, “Know why I asked you to come? You and that Taoist monk were cheating the crowd and disturbing public order! What’s your name?”

Rabbit grasped the calcium bottle from the desk and scrutinized the label on the bottle. “Why do you take calcium?” The fat policeman seized the calcium bottle back and slammed it on the desk.

“You can take off your disguise now. What is your name?”

Rabbit put on a smiley face, “I’m not wearing anything under this fur. This is embarrassing.”

“Take off your head-gear then.”

“My face was badly burnt, it would be too frightening. Don’t make me take it off. My name is Wu Gang. I am from Hexi Village. My buddy there is practicing real kungfu. We were not cheating anybody. We just wanted to make some money to buy a radio. In our remote village we are so isolated, we don’t hear about anything in the world.”

The policeman started to write on his paper:

Case: cheating a crowd

Record of Interview:

Person interviewed: Wu Gang
Gender: male
Place of origin: Hexi
Occupation:

Rabbit sat on his chair, then suddenly stomped on the fat policeman’s left foot. The policeman showed no reaction.

The fat policeman asked, “Your occupation?”

Rabbit said, “I am a doctor; my buddy is a pilot.”

The policeman asked, “If you are a doctor, why are you dressed like a cartoon rabbit? And why is a pilot dressed like a Taoist monk?!”

Rabbit smiled, showing his two front teeth, “We’re just having fun, leading a life of leisure, you know.”

The fat policeman said, “Huh, a life of leisure you say? How can you enjoy leisure if you don’t even have money for a radio?!”

Rabbit said good-naturedly, “Leisure is an attitude, no need for money.”

The fat policeman continued to write. Rabbit asked, “You are not deficient in calcium, why do you take calcium pills?”

The policeman said, “How do you know I don’t need calcium. The doctor at the General Police Hospital said I needed calcium. My left foot is always cramping and feeling numb. What is it if it’s not a calcium deficiency?”

Rabbit said, “You have high cholesterol plus you smoke. These cause your arteries to harden and get clogged up. And that causes your left leg to be short of blood supply. If you don’t believe me, feel your pulse yourself. First, see if you can find a pulse on your right ankle, then feel for one on your left ankle.”

The policeman rolled down his sock half-heartedly and felt for his pulse. “Hum, so you really know something about medicine?”

Rabbit said seriously, “If you don’t do anything, your left leg will eventually get gangrene from a lack of blood supply. Then you will have to cut it off.” So saying, he pretended to saw off the policeman’s leg.

The fat policeman said, “Is that true? What should I do? And what medicine should I take?”

Rabbit said, “Quit smoking, eat less fat, and exercise more. Taking medication doesn’t make much difference.”

The policeman was puzzled, “Taking medication makes no difference? That doesn’t sound like advice from a doctor!”

Rabbit said, “Don’t you know who I am? I am a doctor, not a medicine salesman.”

Seeing that the policeman was getting friendlier, Rabbit asked, “Do you have a bathroom here, I haven’t been to one for ages.”

The policeman turned around and faced the door, he pointed to the right, and said, “Turn right.” He then turned back to read his own interview minutes, wondering if he should finish. The last line he wrote on it said: Quit smoking, eat less fat, and exercise more. He felt his big belly and sighed.

Rabbit saw that the policeman wasn’t watching him, so he took the police uniform from the wall, quickly crumpled it together, took it to the bathroom and put it on. Then he walked out of the police station in plain view.

When Rabbit returned to the Suning Appliance store, the shop was closed. Wu Gang was nowhere in sight, presumably having gone back to wait inside the UFO. As Rabbit was about to scale the roof, a woman on the street grabbed him and pleaded, “Uncle policeman, a robber just took my handbag! There was ten thousand yuan inside. It’s my child’s life-savings! He ran that way.”

Rabbit looked to where she was pointing but saw no sign of a robber.

He said, “Calm down. What does he look like and what is he wearing?”

The woman said, “He is of medium height and build and wears a black jacket.”

Rabbit heard the description and started running in the direction first pointed out by the women. When she saw how he ran, she was dumbfounded, “My god, this policeman runs faster than a hare.”

After running three minutes, Rabbit saw a medium-build man wearing a black jacket strolling along the road. He was not walking fast but he was panting. He had a woman’s handbag in his hand and he was checking stuff inside as he walked.

Rabbit went up and seized the handbag. He saw with one glance that there was a large wad of money in it. He angrily said to the man, “How dare you rob a person of their life-savings?!”

At this point the robber looked like he was about to take off, so Rabbit kicked him hard in his ribs. “See how it feels to lose your life savings? It’s worse than that strong kick to the ribs I just gave you!”

Rabbit’s kick had sent the man flying two meters. He landed with a thud. As he pressed his right side he wailed, “Oh my ribs, my ribs. I can’t even get up!”

Rabbit said, “Oh, be quiet. You’ll be OK. It’s not life-threatening. But you should get your lungs checked.”

When he returned to the woman, Rabbit gave her handbag back and saluted her in military fashion.

The woman beamed, “Thank you, Thank you!”

Rabbit shrugged and said, “It’s my calling, lady.”

After he got back into the UFO, Wu Gang said, “Where have you been for so long? I was worried to death. I told you not to go out and cause trouble. You see what happened!”

Rabbit said, “If I hadn’t gone out, you’d still be performing your Taoist kungfu down there and making no money. If I hadn’t gone out, a fat policeman would have had to eventually amputate his leg. And if I hadn’t gone out, some woman’s child would have had his future devastated, perhaps even died. So, how’s that for three knockout punches, just for ‘going out'”?!

With that, they punched in ‘Destination Moon’, morphed back into a UFO and were off.