The Young Couple (from Xiaoxiao ji)

Sample translated by Canaan Morse , from the book Xiaoxiao ji.

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One evening at dinner, Huang, who had moved to X village hoping that the quiet would cure his fragile nerves, was feeling helpless in front of a dish of bloody stir-fried chicken his host had made him. Suddenly, he heard a cry from outside:

“Come on, come on! Come see what they’ve caught!”

The voice was urgent, as if something serious had occurred, and soon the whole village echoed with equally anxious responses. Even Huang, who had never really liked crowds, put down his rice bowl and walked out to the pond past the front gate chopsticks in hand to see what was going on.

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