Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Real History of the Dragon Boat Festival

Stewart Sloan

It was a dark and stormy night and the lights in the Counsellor's office flickered with the electricity in the air. Mr. M. Lee was startled by the shrilling of his phone and paused to get his heart back to normal before picking it up.

"Mr. Lee, get out of there now, Tung's goon squad is coming to pick you up".

The caller hung up without identifying himself but he didn't have to. Lee knew the man was correct. In the last Legco meeting the Chief Executive had looked in his direction and bellowed, "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest, er, I mean lawyer?"

Lee didn't even bother to collect his brief case; he opened the door of his office, saw that the coast was clear and ran for the lift. Changing his mind he decided to use the fire exit and ran down the stairs.

As he went he wondered how he was to get to safety in his hide-away in the New Territories. The MTR was closed; the Star Ferry had long since stopped running. They would be watching the cross harbour tunnel buses; his only hope was to go to Queen's Pier and see if he could get a water taxi.

He was panting with exhaustion and fear when he arrived and his exhaustion turned to despair when he realised that there were no more water taxis. The Walla-wallas had been put out of business by the tunnel buses years ago. He sat down on the steps and put his head in his hands. He could only wait for daylight and hope that he could get to the Star Ferry without being spotted.

Then he heard a commotion in the water and stared in amazement as a green dragon raised its majestic head out of the water. Apart from the San Miguel tin that had got caught in one of its horns it was a magnificent animal, as dragons go.

Lee sat there dumbfounded, not exactly worried but then this was his first experience with a dragon and he had no idea what to expect.

Then, to his amazement the dragon spoke, "Quickly", it said, "Climb on my back and I will take you to safety".

"But, but, but" stammered Lee, "You're green".

"You try swimming around in this shit for a thousand years and see what it does to your complexion. Hurry now!"

Without further ado, M. Lee climbed on the dragon's back and was taken to safety in the red-light district of Tsim Sha Tsui. (Who would think of looking for a Legco member in a topless nightclub?)

M. Lee was taken to safety and from that day on all the freedom loving people of Hong Kong show their respect to the dragon that saved him by celebrating Dragon Boat Day.

At least I think that's the real version.

1 comment:

Friend said...

Brilliant :) Must be true :)