Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The old man under the moon.

I have a couple of stories for you this morning. Marco will be three years old this December. He was just a tot when he arrived, with barely five hundred grams. Sussy showed an interest in him and became his surrogate mother. He traveled everywhere on her back. Time went by and now his weight is six kilos. He is a big monkey. These two monkeys occupy a large enclosure with three tall mature trees and they have a choice of two houses. As Marco has grown, he has become increasingly boisterous. Sometimes pushing and teasing Sussy. Now and then, he has made her cry. He has a pleasant nature and does not intend to hurt her but he is big and strong. We have found it necessary to separate them for certain hours of the day. He is in every sense mature and healthy. He plays vigorously all day on his walkways and swings. It is time for him to find a mate. My good friend Gabriela has two female Howlers. I have written about them previously on the blog. Both Ronnie and Vicky are mature. I have had a conversation with Gabriela and we are agreed that in January 2007, Marco will move in with them, hopefully to fulfill his proper role as leader and father. Vicky and Ronnie do not live in enclosures, they are free in the trees. I know Marco will be happy there. I shall of course ask to visit him often. My little boy going out into the world.
Nancy is settling down well. This morning we had a great walk in our arboretum. She was fascinated with the Horseradish Tree and stole fruit from the Surinam cherry avenue. She has made a number of friends. She gets on well with most of the others but she likes Schatov and Mañiña in particular. She plays with Schatov in the daytime and sleeps with her head on Mañiña shoulder at night.

Our pictures show a new photograph of Marco (this morning), Left. Schatov and Nancy share a meal. Right.

The old man under the moon (月下老人) is an old man appearing in an old Chinese story, and is a synonym for the god of marriage or a matchmaker.

The Story
During the Tang Dynasty, there was a young man name Wei Gu. Once he was passing the city of Songcheng, where he saw an old man leaning on his pack reading a book in the moonlight. Being amazed at it, Wei Gu walked up and asked what he was doing. The old man answered, "I am reading a book of marriage listing for who is going to marry whom. In my pack are red cords for tying the feet of husband and wife." When Wei Gu and the old man came together to a marketplace, they saw a blind old woman carrying a three-year-old little girl in her arms. The old man said to Wei Gu," This little girl will be your wife in the future." Wei Gu thought this was too strange to believe and he ordered his servant to stab the girl with his knife.

Fourteen years later, Wang Tai, the governor of Xiangzhou, gave Wei Gu his daughter in marriage. The daughter was a beautiful young woman, but Wei Gu found that there was a scar between her eyebrows. When he asked what had happened, he was told that she had been stabbed by a man in the marketplace fourteen years before.

This article relating to a myth or legend from Asia is a stub. The story comes from the Wikipedia

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