The Death of a Chinese Ox

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It is with no great fanfare that one marks the passing of an ox or water buffalo. No, there is no sentimentality for a beast of burden. Straining under a lifetime of heavy lifting, cut up and scarred by a heavy wooden collar, common scrapes of life as well as the constant bites by mosquitoes. Who takes a second look at a beast of burden?

___However old and ugly, the beast still pulls, pulling until it drops out of sheer exhaustion. One final look of serenity overcomes him as he rests after a full life of labour, never to pull again. If you ask him he would not complain, for he pulls for us, forever devoted to a higher cause that I cannot understand. Stupid ox, he cares not for himself.

___Unappreciated, the road he has traveled was long and hard, but now he is resting, a rest he truly deserves. Without the ox we would have never gone to market, to sell our goods and provide for our family. Still, it was his job to pull, was it not? To pull, to pull and pull some more. Straining but silent to all who rode to market.

___It is only after the passing of the Ox that we appreciate his labour, but then it is too late. I always thanked the Ox for his devotion and never took him for granted. Still, as I pull the cart to market my mind wanders back to the Ox. Until the end a beast of burden.

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