“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

丑石 (lit. The Ugly Rock)

Essay by Jia Pingwa.

Well-known autobiographical essay (散文) first published in People's Daily 人民日报, February 20, 1981 in which the author compares himself to an ugly and (mostly) useless rock, made beautiful by it's very uselessness.

Despite the simple language and clear metaphor, a more complex reading can be seen in parallels with the opening chapter of the classic novel Story of the Stone 石头记 (also known as Dream of Red Mansion 红楼梦).

Translations:

The Ugly Rock

Translated by Gladys Yang

Full text available online:

http://www.en84.com/article-100-3.html