the_pilchard: (killer)
[personal profile] the_pilchard
A few weeks ago I was poking around among the Chinese stuff on eBay, looking for writing-related items which I buy and sell. I came upon this bronze rat which has nothing to do with writing but was irresistible. I had to have him.

 photo IMGP2962_zpsa6gtgeqi.jpg

I expect he features in some Chinese folktale. I've hunted around on the Internet but I didn't find anything that seemed to relate to him.

 photo IMGP2964_zpsk7ehvfgt.jpg

He's got some Chinese characters stamped into his bronze hide. Does anyone know what these mean?

I expect that it's a sign of second childhood when you start buying bronze rats online. For the moment, at least, there are no other signs. I haven't taken to playing with wooden blocks, nor have I lost the ability to read. I can still tie my shoelaces but for how long I don't know.

Date: 2016-08-25 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-pilchard.livejournal.com
I found a link that said he was a feng shui rat, and a bringer of luck and wealth. Hmmmm. Not working very well so far...

Apparently he's especially auspicious for those born in the year of the rat. I'm a tiger, myself, but I have to admit I'd rather be a rat.
Edited Date: 2016-08-25 01:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-08-26 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minihaha.livejournal.com
I'm sure Deb prefers the Tiger in you.

Date: 2016-08-26 09:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yummydeb.livejournal.com
One of the PD nurses (the pushy one who we weren't all that fond of) was trying to be cute or coy or something once (while being pushy), with Sem. He responded with sharp claws words and a very pointed look. Rather than taking the big hint and realizing that she was pushing her luck backing off she looked at me, burbled with amusement and said to Sem, "Oooh! You're a little tiger!!!"

I did not dare to look at Sem in that moment. I seriously thought he was going to kill her with his bare paws hands. I flicked a look in his direction after my initial gasp, and his eyes were flashing fury. Then he visibly composed himself, and decided to let her live another day.

Love my tiger.

Date: 2016-08-31 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minihaha.livejournal.com
She dodged a bullet.

Date: 2016-08-31 10:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-pilchard.livejournal.com
As Chairman Mao would have said, I'm just a paper tiger nowadays.

Date: 2016-08-31 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minihaha.livejournal.com
No one could ever describe you as a paper tiger. Not you.

Date: 2016-08-25 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yummydeb.livejournal.com
I thought I'd already told you. She is Temperance, the Testicle Rat.

The story goes, or so I am told, that during the Bronze Age when a man wanted to marry a woman, he had to give her not only his heart, but also his balls. Literally, in terms of his balls. This tradition (created by a Healer) only lasted a generation or so before the Healer realized that while testicles made excellent meals for his small herd of medicinal rats, there seemed to be quite the decline in population, and it wasn't doing much for the men of the Bronze Age either. He twiddled the bone through his nose, scratched his still-present ballsack (being unmarried but certainly not celibate, he had retained possession of his balls and had also fathered most of the Bronze Age children in the area - a crafty move on his part, creating that tradition while exempting himself from it in order to slake his massive sexual appetite without interference), and had a think about things.

He was getting on in years by then and was far less interested in sexing up the laydees, much preferring to train his rat-herd to do amusing tricks while off their little faces on shrooms. He hit upon a solution - a token offering! Along with the customary small dowry, rather than handing over their actual testicles, men could now make small totems of a rat dragging a ballsack away to give to their brides. Temperance seemed a fitting name for the rat, and thus a legendary tale was born.

The population positively boomed, and the laydees - though very few enjoyed having to tolerate the little testicle-lugging rat sculptures but had to give them house room anyway or their husbands would feel aggrieved at having to go back to the old bloody custom instead - were happy to not have to go to the smelly old Healer for barrenness "cures" anymore.

Over time the menfolk have forgotten that it all happened during the Bronze Age, and in that Chinese-whispers way, the misunderstanding began that the rat sculptures had to be made of bronze. The general form remains the same, though.

And that is the story of Temperance, the Testicle Rat.

Date: 2016-08-25 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-pilchard.livejournal.com
And there was me thinking it was a Feng Shui rat! Tchh! Stupid me!

That's a good tale, anyway, though it does make me clutch my scrotum in a defensive way.

Date: 2016-08-25 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yummydeb.livejournal.com
Pff. Clutch all you like. Your scrotum has been mine since ~2006.

Date: 2016-08-26 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minihaha.livejournal.com
It's Templeton - come to save your ball sac. He saved Charlotte's egg sac, so it's a natural progression.

Date: 2016-08-28 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reeeeeeeeflex.livejournal.com
What we fail to realize here is that rat is actually human-sized and he's just murdered Santa Claus, stuffing his body in his own toy sack. The rat is now looking for somewhere to hide the body. Probably it will be fed to the pigs.

Date: 2016-08-31 11:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-pilchard.livejournal.com
Considering that Santa didn't bring me a BSA Gold Star last Christmas when I'd asked so nicely, I think he deserves whatever he gets.

Date: 2016-08-28 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vix.livejournal.com
I've no experience with Mandarin so I am of little help here (if it is even Mandarin, I have no idea).

However, just an observation, that poor rat has such a world-weary look in his eye. Isn't there some Pied Piper relationship here?

Date: 2016-08-31 09:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] classytart.livejournal.com
Had it translated. It means he's carrying a sack of gold.

Date: 2016-08-31 10:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-pilchard.livejournal.com
Thank you very much! It's good to have confirmation that it isn't a scrotum.

Date: 2016-08-31 10:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] classytart.livejournal.com
Well. It might be a scrotum of gold.

The symbols are yellow/gold the colour, gold the metal, bag. And he is lucky.

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