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  • A Sacred Mango
  • Ha Jin (bio)

We gathered in front of our City Hallexploding firecrackers and beating drums and gongs.Thousands of people came overto receive a gift for our city from Chairman Mao.It was a golden mango carried by a big truckaccompanied by three other trucks,all of which were planted with colorful flagsand loaded with golden chrysanthemums.

The mango was exhibited in the center of the hall.We lined up to look at itand to show our gratitude and respect.

But that nightsome curious child tasted the fruitand was not caught.Our mayor, frightened and outraged, said,"Damn it, if I knew which son of a rabbit bit the mangoI would turn his whole familyinto counter-revolutionaries!"

But what could we do?We substituted a wooden mango for a real one. [End Page 55]

Ha Jin

Hai Zi 海子 (1964–1989) was raised in a farming village in Anhui province. At age twenty he began teaching at China University of Political Science and Law. Between 1984 and 1989, he wrote hundreds of poems. He committed suicide in 1989. A translation of his work in English, Ripened Wheat, was published in 2015.



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