The Rosy Moon

 Li Xiulu

When he won a prize in the Province's calligraphy contest, Mr. Luo feltelated as if a gold ingot had fallen on him from the sky. The world instantlybecame ecstatically rosy in the eyes of the 23-year-old winner. At the moment,he was smoking a cigarette while judging Miss B's photograph in a glassframe with a calligrapher's eye. He found that she was by no means pretty and she was the one who almost became his wife! Look at her lips, he thought. How thick they are! Ugly beyond words! People would ask, then, how come a young calligrapher should choose to marry a cold drink peddler? It isn't a good match! Well, fortunately, the prue camein time, or it would be too late if we had gotten married.

I must shake her off me! But some other people would certainly gossip about it, those who like to poke their noses into everything! I won't be scared. Times have changed. To hell with all those solemn vows I've made to her! I am now a calligrapher engaged in art. What does a cold drink peddler know about art? After all, I am like a coarse china plate that used to be put together with those commonplates for daily use until one day an archeologist discovered that it was anantique. Well, then, when it's placed with other precious antiques in the museum, all the common plates will have to bow low to it. Jealousy, naturally, will come with admiration. For that's the way things are. Thus Mr. Luo took the picture of Miss B from the frame and threw it away, feeling well justified. In its place he put in a color stage photo of Miss A, and went on dreaming. See? With her charm and grace this woman must be the one that makes a match for me now. To Mr. Luo, the woman used to be a fairy queen whom he could only look up to and admire at a distance. But now that he felt himself to be the prince of art....A fairy queen and a prince, what a perfectmatch!

He took up a writing brush and began to write.

"I am now a calligrapher...." It was a letter of fire to pretty Miss A.

The second letter was to Miss B the thick-lipped: "I am now a calligrapher...." It was a letter of ice.

He then dropped both the fire and the ice into the mailbox.

In a shed by the river, Miss B wept bitterly. She crumpled the letter, threw it into the river, and then went on with her work.

In a small house on the river bank, Miss A let out a contemptuous laughafter reading the letter, crumpled it and threw it into the river. She thentumed to her study. of a script.

The two crumpled letters floated slowly down the river and disappeared.

When evenulg came, Mr. Luo sat by the river smoking a cigarette, and gaz-ing at the water with the eyes of an artist. There reflected a rosy moon in thewater. In the moon there was a golden palace, and out of the palace flew thecharming and elegant Chang Er, the moon goddess....

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