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Foreword

Foreword

The ox is a giant creature. It’s one of twelve Chinese Zodiac signs. Take rat for Aries; tiger for Gemini; rabbit for Cancer….. The twelve animals symbolize twelve branches used to designate years, and the ox lies in the second. In 2009, Master Chi-jung Shey, my close friend and good teacher, holds an exhibition“Cow Year, Cow Show”, combined with a publication of his works. It’s something worthy of celebration and I sincerely congratulate him.

The cow is a kind of mammal. It has a sturdy build with four hooves. It grows two big curving horns on its head. It s upper jaw bears no foreteeth and canine-teeth, but it has a strong bicuspid to cut grass with. Its stomach is divided into four bags, including paunch, reticulum, and abomasums. All cows can chew the cud with their unique digesting constitution.

The cow has a strong power to undertake any hard labor. It is tamed to plow the field and draw the cart. It also provides us beef, milk and many kinds of stuff for our daily use. Water buffalo and yellow cattle are roaming in the countryside in Taiwan Hakaa areas.

That is a long story since we people met the cow. January 5th is called“Cow Day“ in the old lunar year. Master Tu in Three Kingdoms Era named January 1st chicken, 2nd dog, 3rd sheep, 4th boar, 5th ox, 6th horse, and 7th human being. An old document in Southern Dynasty also declared that January 7th is called“Man Day”.

I had been getting along with my cow till I went to military service and then worked away from my hometown. My father was a tenant and owned a piece of deserted farmland. We raised a yellow cow. I had asked my father why not keeping a male ox, which has a stronger body. Father answered that cows would give birth to baby cattle, that could be sold and bring in a lot of money. When I grew up, I realized my father’s situation and the sorrow and pain of raising a poor family.

The cow we raised in our family was quite gentle and obedient.

When I was a pupil, I played as a cowboy and led her to graze on the pasture nearby. She would not eat other people’s rice along the path. When the evening came, I would like to put the cow-rope around her horn, and pat her on the leg to urge her home. She would go back to her cow-house herself.

All the farmers raise the cow just for the purpose of farming production. However, I discovered my cow also provided a kind of warmth to her master. Her kind heart made my courage prevail over the fear of a giant monster, and made her under my control. I sometimes fell asleep under a tree. She would lick me on the cheek. She seemed to awake me and protect me from catching a cold.

There was a sad story remaining a deep impression in my mind.

The mother cow gave birth to a cub. When the young was just eight or nine months old, it was so naughty and active that an accident happened. It jumped and leaped everywhere and suddenly dropped down to a deep cliff and got died. Several people got together to deal with the disaster. I saw my father shed tears, and my old made long and deep sniff to the dead calf, licking all over its dead body. Clearly I saw two lines of tears falling from her eyes to the mouth. After the people went away, I embraced my poor old cow in the breast with my arms. I can’t remember how we got home that day!

Master Shey has been an amateur photographer for more than three score of years. He has had a deep passion for the cow. By means of his lens, he displays in the picture the humble and elegant figures of the cow. Every picture tells a story, which may be happy or sad. In order to capture an ideal scene, he has climbed up to high mountains, and also wandered about the seaside. Sometimes, he got nice photos easily, and other times, he got nothing at all. In the long run of tracing the cow, he has suffered a great deal. He has made a long stay in the stall, just for taking good pictures of all good looks of the cow and sharing them with others. So few people realize these masterpieces are made of long terms of tears and pains. All the cows, young and old, should salute this respectable Master, if they know what he has done for them.

We human beings often regard ourselves as the creations.

Nevertheless a staying with the cow for so many years, now we find the cow has a full passion, a pure soul, a patient mind, tolerance and perseverance. Thus, the cow has surpassed us a lot. Both of Master Shey and I hold the same opinion and we earnestly hope our society can develop“cow-spirit”to make our community and country a better place to live. Let’s expect a peaceful and prosperous world.

Chang Cheng
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Last modified:2010-06-29 16:46:05 by agrkb Powered by TadBook2
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