the girl with the bird

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It usually doesn’t rain much in this part of the country – but today it definitely did:


We were hanging out in the hotel lobby writing postcards, having tea and reading books, while everyone outside was getting drenched:

mean taxi

And then it suddenly stopped – the sun came back out, and the wetness disappeared:


Just as I was standing outside taking watery pictures, I noticed this girl:

back with bird

I had seen her go out of her way to help an old man get a taxi during the rainstorm. The girl and the old man didn’t seem to know each other, and I figured, maybe she just likes to help other people.

Then I noticed her bird:

crouching with bird

She had found a little bird that didn’t seem to want to fly anymore:

girl with bird

So she talked to it and blew air on it, and moved her hand up and down for the little bird to flap its wings:

kiss for bird

People were standing around watching, and I was right next to her taking pictures, but she didn’t seem to care.

Or maybe she didn’t notice.

In the German language “to have a bird” means being crazy.

When the little bird finally went airborne and disappeared into the shady crown of a tree, she stood there watching:

love school yard punk

And I stood there too, knowing not what to think.

There seems to be this widely accepted notion that Chinese people have a tendency to be cruel towards animals.

This might seem true if we look at statistics. Or at internet videos. Or at dog meat festivals.

But is this a general issue, a problem that is rooted within Chinese culture? Or should we look at it within the context of the political brutalization that reached its peak during the “Cultural Revolution”?

The real question is: How do you expect a society to have an understanding of animal rights if there cannot even be an open discussion about the rights of human beings?

Whenever I think of the issue of animal abuse in China, this girl comes to mind. The way she was caring for a sparrow after it had almost been washed away by a colossal desert rain.

Of course it is sad that most people in China are probably not much like her.

But then who really is?

Robozwerg says:

“Every time I come to China it’s the same thing: the sky gets dark and it starts to rain.”

  • Becci

    tja robozwerg, dann solltest du mal drüber nachdenken ob du die regenwolken nicht hinter dir herziehst wie ein magnet… ๐Ÿ˜‰ tröste dich, hier regnets auch. und überhaupt alles mist. jürgi holt puck auch nachher ab, ihr füßchen ist ganz kaputt jetzt, weil sie daran rumnagt. wünsch euch beiden noch einen schönen tag, lasst es euch gut gehen! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Patrick

    well…..maybe she actually IS an angel?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    however a cool thing to see. its the little things that matter.


  • anca

    wie schön sie doch ist.


  • Momo

    anca, war auch mein Gedanke. Chris, warum hast du sie nicht angesprochen?


  • John

    The little human stories that you witness – short and poignant – bring this great adventure of yours down to the personal level where we can all relate to the experience. This one about the girl and the bird is beautiful.

    And how long will Robozwerg keep you company?


  • Florian (Flo Li Anh)

    Jaja, is klar, in Wahrheit geht es doch nicht um den Vogel…


  • Marc

    Hehe, lange nicht mehr so etwas süßes gesehen. Sie sieht wirklich aus wie ein Engel ๐Ÿ™‚ und der Vogel scheint es zu genießen ๐Ÿ™‚


  • andy

    …was für eine wunderschöne Frau! , wie eine schwertschwingende Kämpferin aus einem Yimou-Zhang-Film.

    (ok, ich dachte, ich schreibe was neues, aber wie ich sehe, denken alle Männer hier so…)
    Aber John hat auch vollkommen recht!


  • Christoph

    Becci: Armes Pucki…
    Patrick: I thought so too.
    anca: …
    Momo: Mir ist nichts eingefallen.
    John: He'll be around for a couple of weeks. Isn't that awesome?
    Florian (Flo Li Anh): ?
    Marc: Ein sehr braver Vogel, fand ich.
    andy: Yes, John is often right.


  • ZMH

    such little things says the most about a person.


  • Moose from Montreal

    why did you say “this girl I photographed eight years ago”?
    did you publish your journal almost real time?


    • Christoph Rehage Post author

      hey buddy, not sure what happened here. I think I edited this when I re-uploaded content for the newly designed site. I’ll change the wording. ๐Ÿ™‚


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