The Dog by Ba Jin ~ 巴金 《狗》 with English Translations


巴金 《狗》


















The Dog
Ba Jin

I used to be afraid of dogs when I was a child. One day during lunar new year, I remember, I happened to be chased after by a big black dog while I was playing about in the garden of Second Uncle’s home. Fortunately, after running past several flower beds, I gave him the slip by rushing upstairs in a storeyed building, thus avoiding the mishap of having my legs bitten by the fierce animal.

From then on, I always played the fugitive while the dog the pursuer. He would bark furiously at the sight of me. And the more scared I was, the fiercer he became.

I developed a canine phobia.

As I was growing up, one day it suddenly dawned on me somehow that it was shameful to be afraid of a dog. Hence instead of shying away in fear, I stood confronting him.

I stood firm and so did he. He barked angrily with his mouth wide open as if he were about to run at me. But, nevertheless, he never moved a single step towards me.

He glowered at me, and so did I at him. But he always kept the same distance between us.

After a time, the minute my back was turned he immediately followed in pursuit.

However, as I looked back he stopped right away and stood barking at me savagely, but dared not attack me.“Aha, he’s now used up all his tricks!” said I to myself, feeling much more emboldened. I stared at him scornfully, stamped my feet and shouted viciously abuse.

He backed up a few steps, it being his turn to show signs of inner fear. He kept barking but with reduced savagery.

Disgusted with the din of barks, I picked up a stone from the ground and threw it right at him.

It hit him on the bark. He let out a piteous cry apparently with pain and, before my second stone was to fall upon his head, quickly turned round to run away with the tail between the legs.

I gazed after the fleeting animal and gave a disdainful laugh.

Thenceforth he would promptly take to his heels whenever he saw me with a stone in my hand.

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