26 May 2011

Li Tiantian: The Fable of the Hornet, the Bird, and the Tortoise


Lawyer Li Tiantian was one of several Chinese rights lawyers to disappear during a major crackdown that began in mid-February. She has finally re-emerged, posting this brief item (translated below) to her Sina blog. Even the most literal-minded among us should be able to get the picture.

(UPDATE: Shortly after posting this, Li Tiantian's Sina blog was deactivated, so the link above won't lead you anywhere. The full text has been preserved below.)

(UPDATE #2: Also, be sure to check out some of Li Tiantian's tweets describing her experience in custody, translated here at Global Voices Online.)

May 24: I was Discharged from the Hospital

It's been a while since I've been in touch. First, let me tell you a story.

One day, a hornet worried unreasonably that a little bird would stir up its nest. (As it happened, some distant hornet nests had recently been stirred up.) The hornet grabbed the little bird and began stinging it frenziedly. Unable to bear the hornet's stings and thinking there was no point to suffering this ordeal, the bird realized that no one would gain anything and that there was no way to change the hornet's ways. So, the bird kneeled down to the hornet and kowtowed in order to extricate itself. The hornet, knowing that the force of justice was on the increase in the animal world, didn't dare do anything rash to the bird and came up with a plan that would satisfy everyone. It agreed to release the little bird, but only if the bird promised: (1) not to speak of the past few months; (2) not to damage the hornet's reputation; and (3) not to urge other animals to stir up the hornet's nest. Finally the bird was free.

By the way, as for me, I've been in hospital for the past few months recovering from slightly elevated blood pressure. I went in on February 19 and was discharged on May 24. During this period I haven't gone online, and the doctors have asked me not to go online so much in the future. In order to preserve my health and live a few extra years, I will go online less in the future. I'm sure everyone's been worried about me -- thank you, you can rest easy now. I'll bet that there will be others in the future who, like me, will become increasingly mute, and I now know why many online friends from before have vanished from the Internet. After all, living is the most important thing. Under the present circumstances, there's nothing wrong with being a tortoise hiding its head -- at least they live to an old age. Maybe everyone should learn from me and be a tortoise hiding its head, for it's because I've done this that not a single hair on my body has been harmed. Of course, perhaps there's been a huge earthquake inside my heart.

5月24号,我出院了

好久没有联系,先给大家讲个小故事吧。

一天,马蜂无端怀疑一只小鸟要捅下他们的马蜂窝(那段时间,恰巧远处的几个马蜂窝被捅下),马蜂就把那只鸟抓了去一顿狂蜇,鸟被马蜂蜇得无法忍受,考虑到这样受折磨毫无意义,既没有造富一方,也不能让马蜂改掉毛病只好给马蜂下跪磕头,以求解脱自己,马蜂考虑到动物界正义势力不断强大,也不敢轻易把鸟怎么样,就想了个两全其美的办法。答应放小鸟出去,但小鸟必须承诺并保证:一,决不说出这几个月的经历。二,决不败坏马蜂的名誉,三,决不鼓动其他动物捅下马蜂窝。最后,鸟自由了。

顺便告诉大家,我,我因为血压有点高在医院静养了几个月,2月19号晚入院,5月24号,我出院了,所以这段时间没有上网,医生要求以后也要少上网。为保命并多活几年,我以后要少上网了。大家一定很担心我,谢谢了,大家可以放心了。我估计,以后还会有很多人象我一样变的越来越变哑巴的,我也知道了为什么以前的很多网友陆续在网上销声匿迹了。因为我就要这样做了。毕竟活着是第一位的,就目前的状况来说,做缩头的乌龟王八没有什么不好,起码活的长。大家有可能不妨向我学----做个缩头的乌龟王八,我因为这样做身体几乎没有损失一根汗毛,当然内心可能已经发生了一场大地震。

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