Eyes Wide Open

Many cultures throughout history have held similar beliefs that eyes, particularly the pupils, are “windows to the soul”.  Here’s an original, fictional story that incorporates this particular insight.

Eyes Wide Open

 

01- Tuan Yong- hero

 

Orphaned at the age of three Tuan Yong was brought up by his paternal uncle Tuan Gang who had begrudgingly taken him in.

 

02- Tuan Gang- Paternal Uncle

 

His uncle Gang had an only son Tuan Min who happened to be six months older than Yong.  Min had two elder half-sisters but, being the only male offspring, was terribly fawned upon and spoiled from birth.

 

03- Tuan Gang and Tuan Min (The nephew)

 

A special tutor was engaged to educate both children but with a particular onus to give the most attention and care to Min. Yong was pretty much left to his own devices to learn whatever he can. However Yong had the propensity to develop into a fine, intelligent, young man with high moral fibre.  Gifted with many exceptional abilities, generous to a fault in nature, as well as, possessing a rather statuesque, handsome physique, Yong had, in every imaginable way, far surpassed Min.  To the further consternation of his uncle Gang, Yong also possessed added brilliance and aptitude with the literary and the fine arts. By simply tapping into his vast reserves of imagination on top of his natural keen insight into nature, Yong would produce with the least effort dazzling masterpieces in a flash. He was therefore popular and held increasingly so in high regard by all his peers.

 

04- Tuan Yong and his Tutor

 

In contrast, Min, despite his efforts and many inherited advantages, could never measure up, always falling short in any social or academic endeavor. What’s more, as upstanding as Yong was in character and ability, Min was the opposite. But instead of acknowledging his inferiority, Min remained falsely confident, vain and cruel. 

 

05- Cruel Tuan Min

 

Wishing to advance his only his son Min, Gang chose to be perpetually blinded to all his shortcomings. He refused to acknowledge the blatant facts when Min took full credit for Yong’s exemplary deeds and academic accolades. Most often Yong was also unfairly blamed and punished for many of Min’s loathsome acts. Moreover poor Yong would be severely reprimanded at each instance for his supposed failing to protect and deter Min from his nasty endeavors and his increasingly coarse, scandalous ways. 

 

06

 

As they grew up, to the added consternation of Gang, his son Min had become progressively wicked and licentious, warranting more additional funds and force to suppress the resulting damage. To make matters worse Min had become a compulsive gambler and a womanizer. His idle ways led him to spend most of his time in unsavory places doing many abhorrent things. All of which of course was covered up with a certain pressure and occasional bribery; even though this greatly   sapped Gang’s coffers.

 

07

 

Then came a day when Min committed an unpardonable crime; one that could not be so easily swept under the rug for any amount of finagling, threat or money. The situation was dire and something extreme needed to resolve it.

 

08

 

  In a private conference Uncle Tuan Gang spoke his mind after laying the blame squarely on Yong’s shoulders. “You should have been more insistent in your reasoning with Min and strove harder, been more persistent in order to prevent this catastrophic event.  As it is, the authorities will be wizened to it by morning and will be coming to make an arrest!”  

 

09

 

Finally, after all that ranting and raving, with his fury spent, Gang sat down and in a hissing voice added, “There might be, however, one last recourse left.  That is, if you, Tuan Yong are willing to face this probable peril. “Looking down he mumbled, “And considering all that I’ve done for you, you owe me, at least this one favor!”

 

10

 

Yong ‘s life by any means had not been an easy one, still he felt he owed his Uncle a debt of gratitude for his upbringing, education and shelter for  all these years.  He therefore had little choice but to accede to this unfair demand and shoulder the full blame for Min’s crime.

“I’m not an entirely unreasonable man however, “His uncle hemmed and hawed.  “That is why I’ve facilitated your escape. The authorities will look the other way till morning. This letter will give you the proper introductions to my friend Fan Wei who owes me a favor.  He lives in the Sekor district in Dara province. The journey will be hard on you I dare say, as it crosses much hostile territory and is close to the border, a far, far place from here. He will take you in all right; he owes me and he can use you in his employ till such a time that this thing blows over.  Is that agreeable to you?”

“Of course Uncle,” Yong fell on his knees, “I’m forever indebted to you for your mercy.”  What other response could Yong give?

 

11

 

Shortly after leaving all that he had known behind, armed with a letter, Yong made good his escape under cover of night.

His arduous trek eventually took him to the foothills of a great mountain range. Looking up, he observed the snow cowered peaks and just below that the expansive span of dense forest stretching as far as the eye could see. Subsequently, his desperate gaze searched for accessible paths. He knew that crossing these mountains will be the last leg of his journey. From then on a far easier topography but harsher climate still awaited him. His provisions for sustenance were nearly exhausted, save for a small portion of dried bread and moldy cheese. Meanwhile though his foot-gear was threadbare he would still persevere, he was sure of it. He was only armed with a staff and a short knife for protection; fortunately though he had been spared from encounters with bandits or carnivorous beasts.

 

12

 

The snaking, narrow, rocky mountain paths with a sheer precipice on one side, led him ever upward for many a day, then one fine afternoon he found himself at the maw of a huge cave.   As the weather looked rather ominous, he entered the cave to seek shelter for the night.

 

13

 

With intermixed trepidation and eagerness in his heart, his feet carried him further and further in. As it was still daylight, he took advantage of the scant light streaming in. Eventually he arrived at a large opening, a huge chamber bathed in plenty of light.  Up ahead, his eyes beheld the source; an unexpected huge opening that looked out onto a distant forested mountain.  Incredibly a person clad in strange priestly garments was seated at a bench table, brush in hand, quite engaged in painting on a silk cloth. Unable to believe his eyes, he tentatively advanced until he was right behind the seated stranger.  Leaning over he observed a most remarkable painting. It depicted the scene outside of the opening so perfectly, so lifelike.  An exclamation escaped Yong’s lips as he marveled at the artistry.

 

14

 

 He took hold of his senses however and pulled back; then quickly apologized, “Please excuse me for this intrusion, but what an amazing ….” He’d suddenly found himself lost for words.

The stranger had at first remained perfectly still and quite unperturbed.  Presently he half turned to glance at Yong.

 

15-Liong Xia

 

At once Yong bowed to the stranger who had by then risen to his feet and squarely faced him.  After his repeated apology for his infringement of the painter’s privacy, Yong formally introduced himself, and then exclaimed his deep admiration of the painting in progress. He rambled on without intending to for several minutes. A profusion of words and concepts mainly extrapolating on the points of the painting he admired streamed from his mouth; followed by other historical references and artists relating to the style and subject of the painting.

 “You seem quite knowledgeable of the arts” the stranger, who’d listened with unusual patience, finally smiled.  He then introduced himself as Liong Xiá and further inquired, “But what is this person Zhang Shen Yao you’ve made mention of?  I am not familiar with that person.”

Yong could hardly believe his ears, “Surely you jest, sir?” He politely smiled.   “He is a legendary artist, known far and wide in the realm.”

  

16

 

But the stranger simply shook his head. In the ensuing silence, Yong was obliged to offer more explanations; and so, he succinctly told the account of the story of Zhang Seng Yao’s painting of Dragons:

He was a famous painter, during Wei-Jin the South and North Dynasties who excelled in painting animals, birds and particularly dragons.

According to legend, the Emperor had ordered him to paint dragons on the wall of AnLe temple.  After he drew four dragons, Zhang invited the emperor to take a look.

“But the work is incomplete! “The emperor was displeased, having at once noted that the dragons were drawn without the pupils.

 

17

 

“The absence of the pupils is purposeful, “Zhang quickly explained, “as they are the essence of the dragons.  To do otherwise would bring the creatures to life and usher in unwarranted consequences.”

The emperor, thinking this to be a high exaggeration of an egotistical artist, demanded Zhang complete his work. Zhang Shen Yao was therefore forced to do as he was bid. No sooner did he complete the eyes of two of the dragons, lightening flashed and thunders roared.  There was a strange mist that filled the air and in that chaos the two mighty dragons emerged through the mist. In a flash they dashed through the cave’s ceiling to instantly disappear without a trace into the sky. When the smoke and mist cleared, the emperor saw that only two dragons remained on the wall.

“Quite an interesting account” Xiá nodded at the conclusion of Yong’s retelling of the story.  You have a flare with words, sir that enlivens the scene. Thank you for that.

 

18

 

“Nevertheless, “Yong added thoughtfully. “ As enduring as this legend is, and there are even supposed to be documented historical accounts of its validity in the Royal Library.   Now that I’ve said it out loud…. “Yong shrugged, doubting his original firm belief.  “Perhaps it’s nothing more than a high exaggeration to beguile or entertain the masses.”

“Who’s to say” Xia shrugged. “Then again…” He picked up and unrolled one of the scrolls then spread it across the table.

 

19

Yong was amazed at the lifelike painting of a bird… But what’s this? There were no pupils.

He looked up at Xie questioningly.

 

20

 

Xiá  smiled, “Would you like to know?”

“Yes,” Yong eagerly nodded.

At which point Xie took a brush, dipped the tip in ink and simply painted in the pupils.

 

21

 

No sooner had he done that then, to the amazement of Yong, the bird blinked, his feathers ruffled, and then instantaneously came to life and  simply flew away, escaping through the wide opening of the cave.

 

22

 

Yong knew at once that this was no ordinary mortal.  But his thoughts suddenly, for some reason, turned instead to the letter in his inner pocket.

“What’s this? “But then, when he reached for it, he discovered that it was missing.  Had he dropped it along the way?

 

23- Immortal Liong Xia

 

Yong, looking up and saw the very letter with its seal intact in the hands of Xiá.

“Are you looking for this? “ Xia looked grim as he glanced at the letter. Then suddenly he fixed his eyes on Jiang and asked, “You’ve never once had the temptation to open it to see what’s inside?”

“Of course not!  It was not addressed to me.”  Yong gave his frank response.

”Then again, this once, perhaps you should have.” Xia pursed his lips.

Yong understood at once the peril that awaited him at the end of his journey.   After all his survival would have been a bane to Gang with so much at stake. It saddened Yong however that his Uncle had so little regard for him. Then again, perhaps his Uncle’s love for his son was far greater.

Having decided quickly he knelt before Liong Xiá . He then pleaded to be his pupil.

 

24

 

Xiá smiled and nodded. Then he held out the letter which disappeared in a puff of smoke.

The End.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring Flowers and Ancient Wisdom

Spring Flowers and Ancient Wisdom

1-Blooms in Spring 2018 (4)

Ah, long at last the spring has arrived and along with it, our spirits soar to the sky amidst the colourful embrace of the blossoms.

2-Blooms in Spring 2018 (22)

Much like the blossoms, age old wisdom and their colourful reference always fresh, always true keeps us advancing on the right path towards an honourable and fulfilling life.   

3-Blooms in Spring 2018 (19)

Here are some pearls of wisdom put in writing by illustrious T’ang Dynasty Zen master named Zengetsu for his pupils:

04-Blooms in Spring 2018 (10)

 Living in the world yet not forming attachments to the dust of the world is the way of a true Zen student.

5-Blooms in Spring 2018 (25)

When witnessing the good action of another: encourage yourself to follow his example. Hearing of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to emulate it.

6-Blooms in Spring 2018 (21)

Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest. Express your feelings, but become no more expressive than your true nature.

7-Blooms in Spring 2018 (8)

Poverty is your treasure. Never exchange it for an easy life.

8-Blooms in Spring 2018 (16)

A person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully.

9-Blooms in Spring 2018 (5)

Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain or snow.

10-Blooms in Spring 2018 (3)

 Modesty is the foundation of all virtues. Let your neighbors discover you before you make yourself known to them.

11-Blooms in Spring 2018 (13)

A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value.

12-Blooms in Spring 2018 (26)

To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame can move him.

13-Blooms in Spring 2018 (6)

Censure yourself, never another. Do not discuss right and wrong.

14-Blooms in Spring 2018 (20)

Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave an immediate appreciation.

15-Blooms in Spring 2018 (1)

Live with cause and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful contemplation.

16-Blooms in Spring 2018 (14)

Blooms in the garden… Enjoy!

 

The End

 

A Man Without Avarice

A Man Without Avarice

 

01-

 

In the Halls of the Immortals, where the virtuous and brave dwell after their time spent on the mortal coil was done, there was great consternation. There were no more recruits from Earth, not in the last hundred years.

A conclave was called and the situation on the Earth was viewed, and reviewed. The problem was immediately apparent; greed and materialism had taken hold in every part of the globe. Nobody did anything anymore unless it produced material gain for themselves or, blocked their competitor from attaining an advantage.

One would assume that all this preoccupation with wealth would lead to a cornucopia of abundance, however quite the opposite was true. People, afraid of theft or jealousy, hid their possessions while the rest of the populace lived in abject poverty. Those who could not contribute to the economic engine or whose lives could not be gainfully exploited were cast aside with no further consideration. They were of no value, and therefore of no concern.

The Immortals, however, could not believe that humanity had deteriorated so far and chose to believe there was some semblance of virtue still in existence. Surely there was someone on Earth who had not been tainted by the rot of materialism. Keeping alight this hope they resolved to send an emissary to the mortal realm to find this exceptional being, and they commissioned a discerning member Briannhon, who could turn base rock into fine gold nuggets with his touch.

 

02-Immortal-Final-Painting-3--800

 

Dispatched to the Earthly realm, Briannhon wandered the four corners of the globe, repeatedly using the same method to test those candidates who seemed most likely to rise above their base instincts.

Presented with a likely applicant, the Immortal tested him. He would first turn a small pebble into a large gold nugget and offer it to him.

 

 

Most people quickly picked up the nugget and walked away. If they were a bit wealthier they examined the nugget then pocketed it and asked for more.  For those who held out for more, Briannhon then took a larger rock and turned that one into an even larger ingot of gold.

 

05

 

 The greed however was never satiated, they still asked for more and when, being disappointed in them, he did not deliver, they shrugged and went away with curses on their lips.

 Briannhon continued testing person after person, growing more disillusioned as time wore on.

 

06

 

Finally he reached a small village on the edge of human habitation but even there, far removed from cultural influences, they still exhibited the same greedy and materialistic traits.

Then one day he heard of a person who was commonly regarded as living totally outside of the norms of society, a man who had no regard for anyone or anything in the village. His mother had shown up one night out of nowhere, gave him birth, and then summarily died. Poor peasant looking to train him as a goat herder took him in and let him live and be nursed in the goat shed. When the orphan showed no promise the peasant cut his losses and cast him into the streets to fend for himself.  But with his will to survive, he persisted, endured untold hardships and humiliation, often   eating the garbage people tossed at him for amusement’s sake. As he had never been given a name, people called him “The Idiot”.

 

07

 

The Idiot was sifting through the latest deposit of waste at the garbage dump on the edge of the village.   Briannon called out to The Idiot and summarily elucidated his objective of finding the right kind of person and after a test for which he would be empowered to make this worthy individual rich beyond imaginings. 

“Are you interested? “, he then asked.

The Idiot had listened intently but pretended not to care.

 

08

 

When the Immortal turned a pebble into a golden nugget as a demonstration, The Idiot appeared to be unimpressed and continued in his search through the rubbish.  

Surprised,  Briannon turned a larger stone into a fine golden ingot as an  enticement.  The Idiot turned his head to see, then turned it right back again quite uninterested.

 

09

 

Briannon was encouraged to see this response.

Finally the Immortal turned the entire heap of trash surrounding them into fine minted ingots of gold, piled up one on top of another but all his efforts earned him was another scowl from The Idiot.

 

 

“You appear not to want gold, sir. What is it that you want after all?”

The Idiot a pursing his lips, he finally grunted, “What’s the use of all this gold?

 Better to sew your finger onto my hand. In this way I, too, can turn rocks into gold and enjoy endless wealth.”

 

12

 

The End.

 

 

2018 Chinese Animal Predictions

2018 Chinese Animal Predictions

 

Year-of-the-Dog-2018--800-size

 

1-2018 Predictions for the Rat

 

1-Rat-1200_Final-Painting

 

The Rat can achieve whatever they wish in 2018 for this is a propitious year for them.  So go ahead be positive but be candid.

 

Employment and Work Life

 

The Rat’s work life will be varied and busy with ample opportunities opening up in 2018. As a result this will improve both present and future income and lifestyle.   As it is the Rat needs to view 2018 as the year in which to lay down the foundations for their future.

A positive mental attitude throughout the year will be beneficial in securing those rewarding future endeavors. Moreover, the Rat is a gregarious creature with an abundance of friends and has an exceptional ability to work well with others.   This trait of demonstrating their keenness to work as a positive team member provides the Rat with ample respect from their workmates.

However, reward and enjoyment for their efforts may not be as immediate as the Rat would like it to be, but the Rat mustn’t get disillusioned. Practice persistence and determination for the rewards will be manifest all in good time.   Besides, with so many social and work connections, the Rat will have ample advice and support on hand.  If there are opportunities for growth or promotion, others will jump in with encouragement and a kind word in the right circumstance.  Furthermore, regular communication with contacts, including employment specialists, will be beneficial to discuss any desires for work experience growth or change.

For the maximum benefit the Rat needs only to be disciplined to avoid frivolous distractions and remain focused on projects and the task at hand. Be alert so as not to miss any opportunity to shine in terms of career and professional life.  Do employ those innate skills of creativity and innovation at the workplace particularly during hectic times. 

The second half of the year, from mid-August to November will deliver the best prospects.  However, April is also a favourable month for the best opportunities.

The possibility of travel is also in the forecast for the Rat who has business dealings or connections away from home base.

 

Finances and Investment

 

The time is ripe for the Rat to start planning financially for the future ahead.  The female Rat will not have as successful a fiscal year as their male counterparts, at least not in the first quarter of 2018. They must therefore exercise due caution and prudence in dealing with financial matters. They need to be especially vigilant with investments and when entering into a contract or significant transaction with a risk factor attached to it.  The careful perusal of documents and the asking for advice could eliminate the probability of financial losses.

All in all there will be a surplus in income and financial growth due to the Rat’s dedication in work. There will also be opportunities for income growth by turning a hobby into profit or additional work.

Love and Social Life

 

The Rat’s love life should be interesting this year.  And there is a good chance for the unattached Rat to meet that someone special this year and have that lasting relationship.

The Rat is a very sociable, likeable individual; meanwhile, when overwhelmed by the pressures of the day, the Rat should resist the urge to abstain from social circles. 2018 will be a busy time for the Rat, and they need to be careful not to neglect family and close relations. This neglect could result in tension and disharmony.  Regular communication, and sharing any concerns with intimate relations, will foster support and caring advice as well as help maintain harmony. Furthermore, organising and spending time with friends and family will bring much needed balance into the Rat’s life. 

Even though 2018 will be a productive and rewarding one for the charismatic, intelligent and gifted Rat, 2018 will not be entirely free of all problems.  Fortunately for the Rat, they have this innate ability to sense any upcoming issues or problems before they manifest and so effectively cope or escape any unfavourable situation.

 

Health and Well-being

 

The Rat must not neglect their health during 2018.  During the Dog year the Rat will have trouble feeling good in their own-skin and furthermore, their stress endurance will be put to the test particularly during the first two months of the year.

As the year will be a busy and varied one, the Rat should allow themselves periods of rest to recharge their energy levels. Regular exercise, outdoor activities and carefully reviewing of their diet will improve the overall quality of their wellbeing and longevity.

Overall, the year of the Dog will be a propitious one for the Rat; not only in professional progress but fiscally.   However, the Rat must remain alert, avoid tardiness and pay attention to others in particular with his personal life.  

The Rat is in affinity with the Ox; for your protection therefore, they can carry a key chain pendant of an Ox.

The End.

 

2- 2018 Predictions for the OX

 

2-Ox--Final-Painting

 

The year of the Yang Earth Dog will be a busy one for the Ox.  At the start of 2018 there will be some unexpected challenges and pressures for the Ox but don’t worry for the eventual rewards will come and it will be everlasting.

 

Employment/ Work-life

The Ox looking for new employment or change in vocation can take full advantage of many opportunities that will be made available in 2018. It goes without saying; a better job comes with financial benefits. The Ox should be prepared to work hard for it however, and at the same time maintain an open mind, to maximise a positive outcome.  If work is a priority this year, then April, May, September and November will be the ideal months for the Ox.

Keep in mind, all during the year the Ox will learn new things and engage in new projects. Furthermore, while taking on any new demands they will tap on hidden abilities and strengths.  It will subsequently avail the Ox to expand his work associate circle and they could find additional expectations placed on them and their workload greatly amassed. These challenges however will be easily met by the hard- working and tenacious Ox and they will enjoy the lasting benefits for many years to come.

Finances/ Investments

This year would bring financial stability to the Ox. They therefore would be able to settle down and pay off some of the long pending debts.

Unfortunately, 2018 is more likely to favor the hard working female Ox with success than their male Ox.  Good advice would be for the determined Ox with ambition to fight against negativity, resist being held back by anyone or anything and stay on course by avoiding deviations. The persevering Ox eventually will attain all the coveted and well deserved praises alongside substantial monetary rewards.

When the Ox enjoys an increase in income during 2018, they should resist the impulse to overspend or be frivolous.   The Ox will need to budget wisely and most especially if they plan to make any significant purchases, participate in the stock market, consider home renovations or travel.  The Ox is by nature a methodical creature, and this will serve him well when it comes to any financial papers including Tax Returns.

 

Love and Social Life

 

The Ox is devoted and faithful, so they need someone who can respond in the same manner and usually it is quite difficult for the unattached Ox to find a partner. Good news! The Ox’s love life would be flourishing this year and there are chances that the Ox might even find someone special through varied methods, one of which could be an online dating service. For the single Ox, if a wedding is in the forecast, then March, April, May, and September will be an excellent time.

2018, however, is not the best time for the married Ox to plan or have a baby, best to wait  a couple of years.  The Ox may plan pregnancy for the year of the Rat which will be a more perfect time.

 Home-life is very important to the Ox and the year of the Dog will be an active one with countless invitations to events and an increase in the Oxen’s social circle.  The organisational skills of the Ox, especially with regards to travel arrangements for a special family holiday, will be frequently called upon and appreciated in 2018. Although some Oxen are not fans of travel, there will be opportunities to visit and explore various countries both near and far.   The break in routine will bring many benefits to the Ox, and he will feel inspired with increased creativity.  There may also be occasions to travel for work which could cause some frustration.

Many Oxen will take up a new interest or participate in community activities which will ultimately initiate new connections and friendships.

There could also be an occasion when a relative decides to visit.  If the Ox experiences frustration over attitude, plans or viewpoint, they should take a deep breath and conscientiously master their temper their emotions.  The otherwise adverse situation will be averted or diffused by the quiet mind and open dialogue that had enabled all parties to express their thoughts and feelings. 

 

Health and Well-being

 

The Ox should make sure to reserve some time for rest and to enjoy life. The Ox must concentrate on various means to attain mental peace. Meditation can help you achieve the mental peace which you need desperately. Take a few days off from your hectic work schedule and plan a vacation. This would help you to bounce back with more energy and enthusiasm.

For the Ox who chooses to spend time working out, this is the perfect year to start a good regimen of going to the gym and working on their fitness. The Ox natives will have an excellent heath during the New Year, thanks to their efforts from the previous years for establishing a healthy lifestyle.

Overall, the year of the Yang Earth Dog will be a busy but favourable time for the Ox.  Travel, new friends and special occasions with the family will be enjoyed and appreciated.   There will be challenges at work but nothing that the resolute Ox can’t handle.   If the Ox learns to control his outbursts of anger and impatience, he will learn much and connect deeper with work-mates, family, and friends.

The Ox is in affinity with the Rat. For their protection, they can carry a key chain pendant of a Rat with them at all times in 2018.

The End

 

3- 2018 Predictions for the Tiger

 

3-Tiger--1200_Final-Painting

 

This is an overall excellent year for the Tiger and any extra effort will set in motion a solid foundation for future success. There will also be attractive opportunities in the workplace with possibilities to further Tiger’s knowledge and skills; they must therefore, seize every opportunity and follow through with implemented ideas. Remember, this is not a year for laid back attitude; the year of the Dog demands prompt action and hard work for Tiger to make any headway. One more thing, the charismatic and versatile Tiger needs also to foster patience as they tend to lose interest in a project or things if it doesn’t progress swiftly enough.

 

Employment and Work Life

 

It’s good to know that the unemployed Tiger will achieve much success in 2018. The employed Tiger meanwhile, who has been experiencing feelings of frustration at work, or feel they are in a rut, will need to look for new opportunities and take action.  Now additional pressures and challenges of a new vocation are to be expected. Still, the Tiger, by remaining flexible with an open-mind to acquiring new skills, re-training or advancing their knowledge via courses, will be poised to deliver the best results and ultimately lay the foundation for more future advancements.

Besides, all the hard work the Tiger has put in over the past few years hasn’t gone unnoticed by his peers or employers and it has gained the Tiger much credibility. Therefore they are more likely to be recommended and considered for advancement within the company. It will be in Tiger’s best interest, therefore, to be enthused, take on additional responsibilities at work and remain alert for any opportunity that might come up.  Favourable months for work advancements will be February, March, and July to mid-October.

 

Finances and Investment

 

Even though finances are considered generally good in 2018, the Tiger still needs to curb their expenditures and not be a spendthrift. There is a real probability that this year the Tiger could face certain sacrifices at the workplace and incur a lot of cost overheads on various accounts. One way to avoid financial stress during the year is to stick to a budget. Disaster might still visit the Tiger however and so it is imperative they remain firm and not capitulate when the chips are down, as things will rebound shortly before the year’s end. Meanwhile, do pay particular attention to monetary transactions and funds both at home and at work this year.

The female Tiger especially, needs to be more prudent with their spending habits and think twice before purchasing anything dear. They are hardworking and ambitious and they will fight to gain as much as possible. The risk of losing everything in a short time however, should always be at the forefront of concern with any financial transactions this year.

 

Love and Social Life

 

In 2018, the Tiger’s love life is poised to be interesting; particularly for ones considering searching for lifelong partner. Romance features quite strongly for Tigers during the year of the Dog and marriage could well be in the cards.

If the Tiger is already in a committed relationship, there will be many satisfactory occasions, and they will enjoy times spent with their partner. A word of caution:  The Married Tiger should resist the urge to cheat on their partner for it can have serious repercussions. They should instead remain loyal and be filial towards their spouse.

Home life will be rewarding and pleasurable for the Tiger during the year of the Dog.  They will enjoy participating in home projects, family activities or even just quiet times with loved ones.   There may be periods of disquiet and disharmony during the year however, and so it will be beneficial if the Tiger keeps an open-mind, is prepared to communicate, listen to others and temper his emotions. In the end the Tiger will appreciate all the support, encouragement and advice of their loved ones.

There’ll be opportunities to travel during the year; this will rejuvenate the restless Tiger and bring an enormous amount of pleasure.  Plan well, checking paperwork thoroughly if wishing to explore further afield.

April, June, September, and December will be socially active months for the Tiger.  Opportunities will arise where the Tiger will make new connections and friends.  Tigers are gregarious creatures that thrive on being the centre of attention, and they welcome this period of high social activity.

 

Health and Well being

 

Over all this would prove to be a good year for the Tiger.  During the hectic times however, the Tigers should adopt a healthy lifestyle and radically change their eating habits. They need to be in a proper shape physically and mentally anyway to achieve success in life. It won’t be a bad idea to start some exercise regimen and perhaps consider meditation; this will be one way to attain mental peace and to eliminate stress.

The Tigers are in affinity with the Pig/Boar; for protection and good luck therefore, they should consider having a   key chain pendant of a Pig or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Pig with them at all times.

The End.

 

4- 2018 Predictions for the Rabbit

 

4-Rabbit-2---1200_Final-Painting

 

2018 will be a year for action, growth, and progress for the peaceful, intelligent and loyal Rabbit.  Yes, ‘Action’ is the keyword for the year of the Dog.  Meanwhile, the Rabbit is poised to reap ample rewards, in both career and in personal life, from the previous year’s achievements.

 

Employment and Work-life

 

In the past years the Rabbit has worked hard to solidify their reputation and credibility with their peers in the workplace. Those Rabbits wanting to remain in their present position may find new opportunities, including promotion coming their way. Only patience is required when faced with unexpected delays in the workplace.

Any Rabbits wishing for a change in vocation should take the initiative in 2018. Time would move at a rapid pace for the Rabbit and they accordingly must set in motion specific and precise goals.  The Dog year will reward those who are enterprising, determined and, more importantly, those who take action.  Keep an eye open for opportunities, vacancies or anything that spikes an interest and seek advice also from employment agencies.  Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. So what are you waiting for? This is the right time for the Rabbit and the initiative will deliver not only a  sense of satisfaction, it might lead them towards their dream as well as the certainty of surpass income.    Most favourable months for anything work-related are March, May, June, and September.  

 

Wealth and Finances

 

Rabbit’s finances are looking very promising during the year of the Dog.  The hard -working Rabbit‘s biggest desire is to have everything they want and to be able to afford everything.

There is also the possibility of the Rabbit enjoying additional income in 2018, through cultivating and tapping into a particular skill they possess. The increase in revenue will enable the Rabbit to enjoy travel and any plans he may have to redesign or renovate his home.  It’s a given that the Rabbit does enjoy the finer things in life, and his home surroundings are essential for his peace of mind and equilibrium. The Rabbit would also benefit from increasing his savings, or open a savings account if he doesn’t already have one.   He certainly will appreciate this sound action in future years.

Now a bit of warning for the spendthrift Rabbit: Even though the Rabbits’ work ethic will deliver positive results in 2018 and maybe even provide them with a bonus or monetary gift, it’s advisable for them to refrain from frivolously wasting money, or they will risk losing everything, especially towards the end of the year.

 

Love and Social Life

 

For the single Rabbit, there is the possibility of connecting with someone special, and some may decide to settle down with their partner to develop their relationship.  Unfortunately the Rabbit is not going to experience the desired success in his love life. The native will have big chances of starting a new relationship all right, but it won’t last too long.

The married Rabbit will enjoy and appreciate his home and family life all during the year of the Dog.   There is also the possibility of some momentous occasions to celebrate such as a wedding or graduation, and the Rabbit will gain much pleasure from this.

 And oh yes, a flood of invitations will keep the popular Rabbit highly entertained and widen the Rabbit’s circle of friends.  For many people do enjoy the Rabbits’ Company and will wish to include them in their social circles.

 March, June through to August and November will be favourable months for socialising and making new friends.

A word of caution: As maintaining a close bond with his loved ones is also essential to the wellbeing of the Rabbit so he will need to remember to share his thoughts, feelings, and ideas with those closest to him.  He will benefit from their input and strengthen bonds. Remember the old saying that: compromise and trust are the 2 pillars to every successful relationship. Make sure to pay attention to both of them. Yes enjoy each and every moment of life but do not discount tensions in situations or disgruntled relationships.

Some Rabbits may also decide to relocate to a new home.  If the Rabbit plans well and brings into play their exceptional organisational skills, it will be a positive move.

 

Health and Well-being

 

In the Dog year, with all that activity, work and socializing, stress is a real factor for the Rabbit natives and they should reserve some time for a reprieve, taking care of themselves and changing their attitude.

It is important that the Rabbit stays fit physically and alert to various situations. This would the right time for them also to hit the gym and work on their fitness regimen. But they must focus more on weight loss.

The Rabbits are in affinity with the Dog. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Dog or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Dog with them at all times.

The End

 

5- 2018 Predictions for the Dragon

 

5-Dragon-2-1200_final-Painting-good-one

 

The flamboyant and assertive Dragon will experience a mixed year in 2018.  And although the year warrants caution, the necessary measure will also lay down the foundation for future successes. The key is to be positive.

 

Employment and Work life

 

The year of the Dog rewards those who take action. This is the time for the Dragon to move forward and not hesitate for too long when opportunities arise.  The Dragon that is content should still not sit on his laurels but seize every opportunity to further their knowledge and improve innate skills.  The acquired expertise will come handy for future ventures.

A Dragon who wishes a change in their employment or vocation may find many intriguing work and development opportunities in 2018.  Pay heed to any friends or work colleagues’ suggestions concerning possible vacancies that may in the end prove appealing. Favourable months for career developments are April, June and from late September to November.

 

Finances and Investments

 

Planning and budgeting all during the year in 2018 for the Dragon is a must.   This is not a time for any risk-taking ventures.  Caution is warranted in all financial matters and when presented with any financial documents or paperwork, the Dragon, however hectic their schedule, should be vigilant with perusing the fine print and questioning any matters that aren’t clear to them.

The female Dragon typically covets the social position more so than acquiring wealth, but this is one and the same. Their self-confidence will trigger their success, especially since the Dragon will attract to her side unique opportunities. They will be well advised to know their limitations however, as well as when to call it quits, for this ardent desire to have more can put them at risk of losing everything they have obtained until then.

 

Love and Social Life

 

The outgoing, and energetic, Dragon’s social life will be rather promising all during the year.   There will be many opportunities to connect with new acquaintances via travel experiences, and also from participating in community activities.  Careful planning can result in a family vacation that will be very beneficial and enjoyable for all. 

The busiest months for social events will be February, May, August and December.

  It’s possible some Dragons may feel overwhelmed and pressured and have little patience with the family in the year of the Dog.  To avoid disharmony and to maintain harmonious relationship, the Dragon therefore should communicate their concerns, thoughts or feelings especially with their loved ones. The rewards will come in the Pig year, which is 2019.

 

Health and Well-being

 

Despite the busy schedule, the extra hours at work and the business trips, the Dragon’s overall health will be excellent one this year. That is, so long as the Dragon can maintain a professional and a personal balance, with an emphasis on a healthy diet, rest, and exercise, in order to prevent being burnt out.  This is particularly important if the Dragon experiences lasting episodes of tiredness or generally lack of energy or motivation.  Remember stress is the only thing that can still affect or undermined the Dragon’s good health and well being.

The dragon is in affinity with the Rooster. For protection they need to a key chain pendant of a Rooster or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Rooster with them at all times.

The End.

 

6-2018 Predictions for the Snake

 

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The Snake can look forward to a very successful year in 2018. There will be no hurdles in the Snake’s run this year and everything will be smooth. It will also be a very spontaneous year.  The Snakes have many talents but they can sometimes lack the energy to fully participate and utilise their innate skills, therefore sound advice would be for them to just come out of hiding and take action.  The other thing for them to remember is to have faith in themselves and hone in on their own strengths.

 

Employment/ Work-life

 

The predictions are looking extremely promising for the Snake in the Yang Earth Dog Year. There will be plenty of opportunities for promotion or new responsibilities, but the Snake will need to be bold and go for it. Remember, action is paramount for any progress in 2018.

The Snake can also benefit from any job change. The year of the Dog will be an ideal time for the Snake to further any skills he may have which could lead to new possibilities. Moreover, recognition, credibility, and success will benefit those Snakes who have been working on long-term projects.

Favourable months for work are February through to April, September, and November.

 

Finance and Investments

 

The Snake natives must remain alert for any possible changes and quickly adapt to these new circumstances as these diverse situations are the norm in the year of the Dog.  This said; many Snakes will enjoy an increase in their income during the year of the Dog.   Nevertheless, they should be judicious and a bit cautious with their spending to enhance future security. They should budget and implement smart money management techniques and also find some new ways to accrue more funds. There may also be opportunities to make residual income from an idea the Snake is ready to launch. Ultimately, with proper money management, the Snake should enjoy a much-improved financial position in 2018.

Good news for the female Snakes also, for they can now look forward to finally reaping the benefits of their past year’s work. These results will be both material and moral.

 

Love and Social Life

 

Overall 2018 is going to be an interesting social year for the Snake and they will receive invitations to many events. Though the year may prove hectic at times, the Snake will fare best if they accept and nurture their connections. Meanwhile fun activities with the family and friends promise to be most enjoyable and fruitful provided some quality time is set aside for them.

Meanwhile, keep in mind that it will be an essential feat if the Snake restrains their emotions and contains any possible outbursts this year; for any emotional instability could lead them towards an unpredictable situation from which recovery might be difficult.  Relax, the Snake’s loved ones will be incredibly supportive all during these episodes and always be on hand for any advice or help the Snake may require.   

On the whole the Snake is afraid to have his feelings hurt and may act reservedly in social settings. Their interest in starting a new relationship may be zero this year and consequently, make it difficult for anyone to impress them. All is not lost however for there may be a cause for celebration at some point during the Dog year.  There is also the probability of some Snakes developing a meaningful and satisfying relationship resulting in romance.  The most favourable times for social activities are February, May, July and September.

 

Health and Well-being

 

This year the Snake will go through a hectic work schedule and typically they may be remiss in their health routine. Not to worry, for the Snake over the years had noted the adverse health issues encountered by the people close to them. Consequently, they are determined to deal with the precariousness of good health.

The Snake knows that they can burn-out reasonably quickly, and that health and longevity is dependent on regular respite during busy periods. Travel will also provide the Snake some time to rest and recuperate.   Participating in some low-impact exercise such as yoga or tai chi, and even meditation will be beneficial for the Snake providing them with mental peace.  It will help alleviate the stress.   By these means they will be able to recharge particularly during those busiest periods of the year.

 Overall, the year of the Dog will be extremely pleasurable and rewarding for the Snake.  He will find his efforts won’t go unnoticed as long as he steps out from his comfort zone and picks up his pace.  Don’t forget, Snake, to make time for family and friends and take care of your health.

Snakes are in affinity with the Monkey. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Monkey or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Monkey with you at all times.

The End.

 

7-2018 Predictions for the Horse

 

7-Horse-2-1200_Final-Painting_SaturationVery-good-one

 

The Horse will have ample positive opportunities in the year of the Yang Earth Dog in 2018. The notoriously independent Horse however needs to join forces with others in order to get the most from the year and reap ample rewards.

The horse will also experience lots of ups and downs in life this year.  The best advice would be to remember that there always are challenges in every step of life. The Horse by virtue of their character however stands to come out of it O.K.  Meanwhile, they should try and avoid overdoing things for this characteristic will not serve them well. Also they should try their best to keep cool in dealing with any adverse situations. 

 

Employment/ Work-life

 

The Horse can look forward to an auspicious year as far as work is concerned. The year of the Dog will reward those who make an effort and take action.  Similarly, any Horse who reveals and showcases their talents stands to be well-rewarded. 

Many employed Horses will find that they’ll be propelled forward as the year progresses, especially since all their efforts and initiatives are acknowledged and recognised by their work colleagues.  The Horse by nature is fiercely independent and prefers to work alone and be answerable only to their self.  However, to succeed in the Dog year, the Horse natives should go against their independent nature and instead strive to be part of a team. They should also make that extra effort to get to know their colleagues.  No worries, Horses are generally well liked. They are considerate beings and making that little extra effort to work alongside others should not be a problem for them. What’s more, the furtherance of their good reputation in 2018 will reap them ample rewards and benefits in subsequent years.

There are also excellent possibilities for advancement, new responsibilities, and significant promotion for the Horse who is content in his/her present work situation.

For that Horse’s looking for a change of employment or of vocation, they will find some intriguing possibilities in 2018.  Liaising with work colleagues, friends and human resource departments will benefit the Horse immensely in his search.

Favourable months are March, May, July and September.

  

Finance and Investments

 

Financially this will be a positive year for the Horse, and many will find a very pleasant increase in income along with some additional money from either overtime or other work. The female Horse especially, will be positively influenced by the propitious stars in this period. This is an excellent year to make investments for the good results are assured. They must be careful to keep their budget under control however and to not be a spendthrift. A good solution would be to keep a shopping list on hand and stick to it with no deviations.

Some Horses may have some substantial outgoings from projects they’re engaged in so planning and budgeting will reduce any stresses from unexpected mounting costs.

If the Horse needs to sign any documents, he/she must read them thoroughly and not be afraid to seek added advice if warranted.

 

Love and Social Life

 

For the single Horse, there will be opportunities to make new friends and even start a new relationship that could very quickly turn into romance.  This new love interest could lead to settling down, becoming engaged or getting married.   The year holds many exciting social possibilities with April, June, August, and September being the most favourable.

The Horse however needs to act with some caution in 2018; otherwise they will risk losing the current relationship or be faced with difficulties when trying to get involved in a new relationship.

On the whole, the married Horse will enjoy and value his home life during the year of the Dog.  Communication with loved ones will be valuable to help his/her understanding of any matters that are of concern, and a fresh perspective will also be beneficial in so many ways.

The year of the Dog is a perfect time for completing projects with his family, and in the long run, the Horse will be delighted with his new home and happy he made an effort.

Re-locating the home is also a possibility for some Horses.  Events will happen very quickly, and the move could prove a little challenging at times with the Horse questioning his/her motives and decision.   Some Horse’s may organise a family holiday during the year or even decide to hold a house-warming party.

 

Health and Well-being

 

The horse will be very active all during the Dog year and so need to maintain a certain level of balance with their energy levels. One way would be to resist wasting energy on unfruitful activities; however, they should still enjoy every single moment of life and make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.

The Horse natives are at risk of facing health problems and depression during 2018, due to the numerous responsibilities they are forced to take on.  So, ease up on tension, remain calm as much as possible, and stay within the natural flow of life.

Overall, the year of the Yang Earth Dog will be quite splendid for the Horse.  For maximum gain, they should curb their natural independent ways and co-operate and communicate with others.  They’ll be surprised at how much they will enjoy other’s input and support.

The Horse is in affinity with the Sheep/Goat. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Sheep/Goat or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Monkey with you at all times

The End.

 

8-2018 Predictions for the Monkey

 

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The Yang Earth Dog year will be a very prosperous one for the Monkey and along with it plenty of interesting opportunities will come their way. However, in order to take full advantage the Monkey must keep both eyes wide open, be alert, stay up to date with everything going on around them and communicate effectively with others. No need to hustle for things, just utilize that innate intuition to your advantage, stay calm and steady. Yes, you will get it all, but all in good time.

One more thing to remember, the Monkey should strive to leave the past behind and concentrate instead on looking forward. This way they will be able to grab all the opportunities coming their way with both hands and put them to proper use.

 

Employment/ Work-life

 

The Monkeys friendly nature and ability to be resourceful will serve them well during 2018. So long as they are willing to adapt, there could be some exciting new developments in the workplace which will offer opportunities for growth and advancement in their professional career.

It is imperative for the Monkeys to maintain close communication with their work colleagues so that they are informed when an opportunity arises.  Doing so will result in significant progress throughout the year.

Plenty of good opportunities are also in the forecast for the Monkeys who are seeking new employment or a different vocation.  However, the multi-talented Monkey will fare better if they keep an open mind and consider other types of occupation to utilise their skills.   They may find that this in the end will propel them in a new and exciting direction.  Favourable months for work developments are March April, October, and November.

 

Finance and Investments

 

The Dog year will bring financial stability to the Monkey’s life. Further, they will be able to settle down and pay some of the long outstanding debts.

The Monkeys will have plenty of money in 2018, but they will need to learn how to manage funds efficiently. Occasionally a large purchase or sudden shopping spree is a possibility in the Dog year, but this does not mean it will make a dent in their budget. If they continue to work with pleasure and efficiently, their income will continue to regenerate.

It’s always sound advice however to remain somewhat vigilant when considering any large acquisition and to peruse with care any accompanying legal paperwork.  It wouldn’t hurt if the Monkeys then engaged some professional help.  This way the Monkey can enjoy purchasing gifts, items for his home and on social activities throughout the year without any possibility of financial risk.  Lucky you!

 

Love and Social Life

 

The Monkey will have a very pleasurable domestic and social life and create many pleasant memories in the year of the Dog.  During this year there are big chances for the Monkey to have a successful relationship. This year will grow in a positive direction and the Monkey’s love life, married or otherwise, should also prove rather interesting.

As the Dog year progresses, the Monkey, who is in a new relationship, could find his feelings deepening and the relationship moving forward.   The single Monkey will have plenty of opportunities to meet a new love.

To avoid upsets or misunderstandings however, the mischievous Monkeys should be warned not to get too carried away with their antics. They will also enjoy an increase in invitations in regards to their interests or even work.  Favourable months for social events are February, March, July, and December.

The married Monkey can be assured that the love for their partners is as strong as in the beginning. The Male Monkeys should however be more careful not to be led into the temptations offered by their surroundings.

On the whole the married Monkey will enjoy his home life and family activities immensely during the year of the Dog. However, there may be some ups and downs when it comes to the relationships with extended family members. At such times the Monkeys are advised to keep their cool in order to properly handle the situation. To ensure that the Monkeys don’t make any hasty decisions, they should listen intently to the concerns of the family and take it in good grace that every ounce of advice, or issued warning, is for the Monkeys best interest.   Ultimately, the Monkey will appreciate their encouragement, advice, and support. 

In 2018 the Monkey native is sure to enjoy hobbies and interests that in the past have already been proven beneficial. The Monkey likes to make the most of his talents and skills, and he will find the time and get great pleasure for self-improvement throughout the year. One way could be to attend new courses to enhance their knowledge, efficiency and abilities.

 

Health and Well-being

 

Monkeys are usually healthy people, ready to conquer the world. Those Monkeys that feel the need to find inner peace in 2018 could consider activities like meditation, tai chi or yoga. It will help them relax and achieve physical strength.

The Monkeys are in affinity with the Snake. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Snake or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Snake with them at all times.

The End

 

9- 2018 Predictions for the Goat-Sheep

 

9-Sheep-2-1200_Final-Painting

 

The year of the Yang Earth Dog may be a bit challenging for Goats; nevertheless, it still has some positive aspects that the Goats can utilize.  If they can accept the fact that they can’t always be in charge of every situation and avoid taking things personally, then the valuable lesson learned may serve them well in the favorable year of the Pig in 2019. 

The Goat/ Sheep are bound to experience lots of changes in their life in 2018. They should remain calm and be composed when faced with these unstable situations.  Another good way to cope would be to deem these changes as good or else convert them into good ones.

 

Employment/ Work-life

 

The employed Goat/ Sheep are bound to experience a rather hectic work life this year; however on the plus side, there will also be a good flow of money. In 2018 there will be many attractive opportunities for the Goats to further their knowledge and to improve their skills. These will increase their chance at promotion or advancement at the work.   Meanwhile, any challenges or pressures encountered will strengthen their character and make a whole range of new opportunities viable.

The Goats ordinarily like to work as part of a team, maintaining close ties and communicating regularly with work colleagues. This situation will help ease the Goat through any pressures and rough patches. Avoid any arguments in the workplace and try to maintain warm relationships with co-workers. A Goat may find himself/herself feeling sensitive about a colleague’s difference of opinion.  To overcome this quickly, and to keep on track, the Goat will need to set aside any feelings of hurt and resolve the problematic situation as promptly as possible.  The year of the Dog will reward everyone for moving forward and taking action as well as not getting side-tracked and distracted.  This is particularly relevant for Goats, so pay attention!

Meanwhile, taking extra risk at the workplace can prove to be beneficial for the Goat/Sheep but to get that benefit they must be extra vigilant. Also, during these frenzied times they should go by instincts and plan their workload accordingly.  They will appreciate receiving support and advice especially from more experienced colleagues. 

The Goat, who wishes to change employment or vocation, will triumph over any competitors by utilising his/her existing skills rather than stepping outside of their comfort zone and learning something new. The unemployed Goat will manage well if he/she meticulously prepares for interviews.   Many made long-term gains will be by the Goat who remains consistent and focused.  Most favourable months for work opportunities are April, June, October, and November.

 

Finance and Investments

 

In 2018 the Goat natives will have plenty of chances to fill their pockets with cash; they only need to make sure not to miss any opportunities. This year is going to be amazing year for them.  That being said, they should still do things in moderation. Although the Goat is not particularly materialistic, he/she does have a tendency to be a spendthrift. There are no consequences to this during the year of the Dog but the Goat/Sheep should still aim at curbing their spending habits and set aside some money for savings.

Meanwhile, it makes sense for the Goat to pay particular attention to financial documents, by checking terms and conditions that involve an expensive commitment.

 

Love and Social Life

 

The Goat/Sheep should try and remain as close as possible to their family and friends and spend as much time as possible with them in 2018.

The Goat does value his/her home life, and with the possible additional pressures during the year of the Dog it will be beneficial for the Goat to be open about any frustrations, feelings or concerns they may have.  Regular communication will enable loved ones to have some empathy and understanding, and the Goat/Sheep will appreciate and value their support.

When it comes to the relationships, the Goat/Sheep would also need to be more patient and put in more effort for better communication. In love matters, the Goat’s attitude is not quite right.  The stress from the workplace might be partly responsible for the lack of a diligence in paying attention to other details of their lives.

Meanwhile the Goat is poised to enjoy some pleasurable social occasions during the year of the Dog.   He/she will, however, need to be mindful of how he/she interacts with friends for they may experience a lapse in self-awareness which could result in an indiscreet comment upsetting a close friend.

There could be an opportunity to develop a new interest or join a group; this could also be some work with a charity, adding a different quality to the Goat/Sheep’s life.   Favourable months for social occasions are May, July, September, and December.

 

Health and Well-being

 

The Goat natives have a tendency of neglecting their own health while taking care of the wellbeing of others. They must stay alert and quit their unhealthy habits. They need to take care of themselves and focus of their emotional, physical and psychological needs.

Overall, although the year of the Yang Earth Dog could have some pressures and challenges, if the Goat/Sheep remains observant and decisive he will discover some hidden benefits which will serve him/her well in the future.  Rewards for any effort and perseverance will come to light in the 2019 Pig year.

The Goat/Sheep are in affinity with the Horse. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Horse or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Horse with them at all times.

The End

 

10-2018 Predictions for the Rooster

 

10-Rooster-1-1200_Final-Painting

 

The year of the Yang Earth Dog will be a hectic and confusing one for the outgoing and well organised Rooster. The Rooster might encounter some difficulties in life and further, find it difficult to make the right choices in 2018.  However, to fare best the Rooster needs to remain flexible in all matters, stay away from negativity and maintain a positive outlook. Meanwhile they should try to enjoy life experiences, keeping in mind that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The Rooster should give it a hundred percent to whatever they do this year. Before the Rooster makes any decisions about a problem however, it is imperative to think hard about it and take into consideration all the possible outcomes. Once the Rooster native has decided on something then they should stick to it and don’t let anyone or anything change their mind.

 

Employment/ Work-life

 

Many Roosters that have taken a new direction in 2017 will achieve more significant results in 2018 if they embrace their new position and accept that the year of the Dog is not the year for reaching their work goals.  They must approach the year with the mindset that they need to expand their knowledge, skills, gain more experience and learn as much as they can about their new role, then this modesty will benefit them by furthering their careers in future.

In the interim, the Rooster must showcase their talents and not forget to connect and communicate with their co-workers.  And be appreciative of all the help received and support tendered by their work colleagues.

Flexibility is the key for those Roosters that are seeking employment or wish to change vocation.  They must step outside of their comfort zone and instead embrace any position.  When faced with a stiff competition the Rooster should scrutinize it and try to see the advantages instead of dismissing an opportunity.  Most favourable months for career developments are March, June, September, and October.

 

Finance and Investments

 

The Rooster could find 2018 an expensive year warranting effective money management.  They need to compare prices, especially when purchasing high-end products or entering into an agreement.  The Rooster should also thoroughly peruse the fine print of any financial documents in regard to an expensive purchase.  Careful planning and budgeting will also minimizes any stress.

The female Rooster especially, needs to learn to adapt to any situation and not be scared by the probability that their financial situation may suffer in 2018.  It’s important to remember that variety is an important aspect of life.

 

Love and Social Life

 

A busy, pleasurable social life is in the forecast for the gregarious Rooster during the year of the Dog.  They will enjoy many invitations and be able to showcase their fabulous conversational skills.  However, the Roosters can at times be tactless.  This year in particular they should be on guard and be mindful of saying something that they might regret later on.  Favourable and active months for social activity will be April, June, July, and November.

The Rooster’s love life should be interesting one as well this year. There are real opportunities that many single Roosters will fall in love with meet someone special this year and that someone could be a lasting partner.

In 2018 it will be a good thing for the Rooster to reserve some time to pursuing personal interests or learn a new skill. Enjoying some quality time with family and friends, perhaps a shared interest will also be highly beneficial.  Additionally, the Rooster will enjoy organising a holiday at some point during the year.  This vacation would be an opportunity to meet and connect with others.

The married Rooster places himself in a very central position in the home.   Those around him appreciate his ability to organise and stay up-to-date on all matters as well as his ability to communicate and be ready to listen and give advice.

The Roosters that are planning any home projects, such improvements or renovations need to remain flexible with deadlines and to be realistic with completing projects by a fixed time.  The year of the Dog will be hectic enough for the Rooster, and the Rooster will not fare well if he insists on high pressure tasks and specific deadlines.

  

Health and Well-being

 

The Rooster is, by nature, a thorough and meticulous being. Typically, 2018 will be challenging and extremely busy.  The result would be that, he/she could miss essential matters and fail in maintaining their usual high standards.   When the pressure builds stress can damage the physical and mental health of Rooster natives, if they don’t pay enough attention to it. Anxiety is also a risk for their health and the difficulties they encounter might manifest as exhaustion. The Rooster therefore should try for respite, or to meditate so as to manage effectively any stressful matters and to keep in check any rising emotions.

Overall, a positive year for the Roosters as long as they are prepared to be flexible and take timely breaks when the pressure builds up. 

The Roosters are in affinity with the Dragon. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Dragon or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Dragon with you at all times.

The End

 

11-2018 Predictions for the Dog

 

11-Dog-3--1200_Final-Painting

 

On the whole 2018 will be an excellent year for the Dog with many opportunities in both professional and personal life. There will be occasions however, when the Dog will face tough times. Those times when the chips are down, they must keep their morale high, stay focused, be determined and tap on their positive energy reserves in order to persevere and do well.  The year of the Dog requires action and so the Dog native needs also to let go of past frustrations and disappointments as this will hold them back.

 

Employment/ Work-life

 

When it comes to the Dog’s professional life in 2018, all is required of the Dog is, for him/her to remain focused, be confident and persevere.  They should keep in mind that this year is most propitious to opportunities for advancement and promotions at work.

2018 also holds promise for the unemployed Dogs seeking new employment. Along the way there may be some rejections, but this should not deter the dogs any, as this could hold the possibility that far more suitable positions may be available further down the line. 

Meanwhile, some Dogs will benefit from furthering their education or skills, especially if venturing into a new vocation.   Favourable months for career developments are March, April September, and October.

 

Finance and Investments

 

Financially the Dog natives should fare quite well in 2018. Due to the Dogs successes and advancement in his work situation, he will enjoy an increase in income with some Dogs receiving additional revenue from a new venture or extra work.

Typically, Dogs will be able to afford almost everything their hearts’ desires.

They will nevertheless show wisdom when it comes to impulsive spending.

A healthier bank account will also mean that many Dogs will decide to start some home projects, book a holiday or pursue an interest.  2018 will be a perfect time for the Dog to look carefully at his outgoings, set up a budget and, if he isn’t already, start to save for future security.

 

Love and Social Life

 

The Dogs can look forward to a busy home life during 2018. They are poised to experience lots of changes in their relationships; meanwhile, the married natives should be more careful, otherwise they will risk the dissolution of their marriage. They can fall in love easily enough, but their feelings can dissipate just as fast. Try spending quality time with family.  This could prove most beneficial.

The married Dog will also bring to fruition any long considered home improvement projects.  Careful planning and budgeting as well as not rushing to get the job completed will bring much pleasure and satisfaction to the Dog.  Additionally, they should communicate any concerns and plans with their loved ones for they will be most appreciative for all their support and advice.

 Those Dogs considering purchasing a new home in 2018 could feel it a challenging and time-consuming effort. Still, the end results will be well worth it for this Yang Earth Dog Year is poised to herald the start of a new, grand era for the Dog!

2018 will be a socially active year for the Dog during which they will enjoy making new contacts and form some strong, long-lasting friendships.

Many single Dogs can look forward to a new romance and be able to leave behind any past disappointments.  It will be time to enjoy a fresh start.  Favourable months for socialising are February, March, July, and August.

 

Health and Well-being

 

2018 the Dog natives will enjoy excellent health, so long as they monitor their eating habits and they do not indulge in excess. Nothing further needs to be said.

 

Finally, the Dogs are in affinity with the Rabbit. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Rabbit or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Rabbit with them at all times.

The End

 

12- 2018 Predictions for the Pig

 

12-Pig-1200_Final-Painting

 

The Pig will on the whole enjoy a peaceful time in 2018. The Yang Earth Dog year may pass far too quickly for the hard-working Pig but this may still afford him/her enough time to sow the seeds of a solid foundation to be reaped in 2019 which is the year of the Pig.

 

Employment/ Work-life

 

In the year of the Dog, Pigs will make many compromises in work-life in order to be professionally successful. There will be many obstacles in their way but if they persevere they are sure to succeed. Subsequent benefits of rich financial gains will be theirs along with an increase in responsibilities.

This year the Pigs will explore many new avenues in their professional life which will in the end pay them rich dividends. The year of the Dog is the perfect time for the Pigs to consider furthering their knowledge and skills.  Be alert and seize every opportunity to participate in courses or training that is relevant to work.  Signing up and dedicating time to study will bring fantastic opportunities for progress and future rewards.

The Pig will also make headway by showing enthusiasm in his/her workplace which could lead to prospects in other ventures, including mentoring new recruits.

 The Dog year will be a good year for the Pigs wishing to change employment or have a different vocation.  Making an effort to investigate available work opportunities and staying committed to making a move, will bring positive results for the Pig.  In some cases, the soft and open-hearted Pig may be disheartened when the job openings and interviews do not go as anticipated. However, if they logically and meticulously explore and asses the possible reasons for it, (for example, lack of a particular skill or displaying the wrong attitude,) then insight gained will be beneficial in their future attempts.  Favourable months for work progress and opportunities are late February, March, and October through to early December. 

There is a definite upsurge of possibilities in the forecast for the second half of the year. Just be patient, the snail’s pace will pick up momentum towards the end.

 

Finance and Investments

 

In 2018 there will be ample lucky breaks headed in Pig’s way. The Pig can also look forward to additional monies flowing in throughout the year from either a gifts or from extra work opportunities.

The Pig should seize these opportunities but make proper use of them. As it is, the Pigs do enjoy opulence and more exceptional things in life including fine food, lavish environment and holidays etc. They can therefore, in a short span, spend their entire earnings. 

Good advice would be for Pigs to exercise some self-control with their spendthrift ways this year. They should refrain from excessive expenditures and costly items that may lead to dire, unwanted situations in the later part of the year.  Try to be a bit more financially savvy and explore other options before making any decision. Better still, invest or increase savings or perhaps even pay off an outstanding loan.

 

Love and Social Life

 

The popular and sociable Pigs can look forward to an entertaining year in 2018. This is a good year to set aside time for sharing some pleasurable and recreational interests with family and friends. 

The Pig should have little worries when it comes to love matters. If the Pig native is involved in a relationship, with romance factoring on the horizon, this could result in an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Chances this year for single Pigs to end up in a marriage are quite high.

Favourable months for socialising, developing new friendships and finding love are March, April, July, and September.

It’s not all bed of roses however, for there is a probability that some of the Pigs that are already in relationships may experience a few ups and downs. The areas of contention will warrant sensitivity and careful handling from the Pig.  It is very important that they be reasonable and try and sort out any differences which could be a source of trouble.

 On the whole Pigs can look forward to a very pleasurable home-life. They will enjoy organising special occasions and treats for the family which will be much appreciated and make many happy memories for all.

There is a chance however that the married Pigs experience moments of discord within the family.  On those occasions they need to be calm and draw upon their peacemaker skills to quickly diffuse the situation before it gets out of hand. 

The Pigs that find themselves in personal crisis or pressured should not hesitate to ask the assistance or help from loved ones. They may appreciate the singular chance of repaying the Pigs kindness and many thoughtful ways.

 

Health and Well-being

 

To avoid any health issues, the Pig needs to focus on the positive aspects of life and forget any negative thoughts. The hard-working Pig should keep in mind that he/she is bound to be rewarded in the much quicker and more active 2019 Pig year.

Meanwhile the Pig can maintain a balanced life and recoup his energy by setting aside some time to relax and partake in hobbies. 

Pigs are in affinity with the Tiger. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Tiger or a Gold plated Chinese Animal protection Talisman of a Tiger with them at all times.

The End

 

Dog-in-the-Window--1200

 

Best Wishes for The  Year of the Yang Earth Dog  2018

An Ancient Book Finds its Voice

An Ancient Book Finds its Voice

 

1-book-on-pedestal--1200-a-tome

Once upon a time in town perched high up on the mountains there lived an illustrious man, MC, with a fair amount of holdings and a rather a large size family. He had vast fields that needed tending and he always hired seasonal help to till the soil, sow the seeds and later still, do the harvesting. On the side he ran a small grocery shop where his prices were fair and many were allowed to receive necessary supplies even without promissory notes, based on the honor system, if they happened to be short of funds that week or month.

MC was an honest and upright man that cared for many things and was well respected in the community.  An eccentric of sorts, he did have a wild side to him as well and if warranted, he was not above breaking stringent rules he felt were unjust.  His grocery store in time became the gathering place for the idle locals. For he never turned away company fair and foe, and all without exception felt welcome to simply gather around, specially on hot summer afternoons, to drink cool refreshments  or partake of the local coffee while they conversed, caught up in the newest hearsay or local gossip.

This happens to be the backdrop to our true story. (The initials are used to protect the identity of this individual.)

In this small town there was a historic chapel where locals often congregated to pray and hear sermons and seek advice from the spiritual leader. He was a tolerant, compassionate old man who at times went far beyond his allocated duties. For instance, he would still take time to gather food and distribute it to the needy outside of his congregation. He went beyond the far reaches of town to outlying villages and visited isolated abodes, to lend a hand and to help alleviate any suffering from natural disasters.

Once a week he would give a sermon to the local congregates. He was not particularly good at his sermons and contented himself if he did not put the gathered few into deep slumber.

In this holy place there happened to be a very old book, displayed in a nook in a far corner. The old relic rested there, unread and long forgotten.

One day, MC took notice of this book and after glimpsing inside and liking what he read; he decided to borrow it for a time to peruse the contents at his own leisure.

You see MC had one other advantage over the locals, he was somewhat of a learned man and he knew several languages, a skill he had acquired when during his youth he served in the Foreign Legion. Obviously he was a more interesting individual than the norm; yet he’d chosen to live a quiet life in this town on this island.  MC could also read and translate various languages and so understood well the contents of the book.

 

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The spiritual leader eventually noticed the absence of this ancient book but chose not to raise an alarm that might accidentally offend someone innocent. He had faith that things would eventually come to light.

Over time several anecdotes began to circulate in the town and it reached the ears of the spiritual leader. These were moral stories he knew quite well and suspected their true origin in the missing book. Still he bided his time till he was ascertained of the location from which these stories spread.

 Then one fine day he paid a visit to MC and, when they were alone, he, not mincing any words, abruptly queried him.

“Of course I took it” MC openly admitted, without hesitation or the least sign of remorse. “It was resting there idle in the far corner gathering dust and doing no good to anyone.”

The spiritual leader nodded thoughtfully. He’d been too bogged down with other responsibilities to give even a single thought to the contents of the ancient book.  Meanwhile it was as if the antiquity had found its voice.  As he considered how far and wide the stories had spread now, he could not help but feel elated and most grateful.  For it had enriched and motivated many good people and affected the simple folk as much as any weekly sermon could. After all, everyone loved a good tale and there was no one better than MC to tell it, for he turned even the most mundane facts into thrilling and delightful narrations.

The spiritual leader at long last smiled, and uttered words of his blessings.  Yes, he left the book with MC to continue on with his good mission of spreading the words of wisdom wrapped in tales from the pages of that ancient tome.

Fini

Gallery

New Year’s Customs and Superstitions

Originally posted on Notable Inklings:
New Year’s Customs and Superstition Slideshow of Seasonal Pictures from 2011 in Review. Click here: http://youtu.be/f6GqcoFT0Ao New Year’s Customs and Superstitions At one time in (Scotland .Ireland, Wales) the Highlands, traditionally on ”Hogmanay,” or New…

The Hunter and the Bobcat

The Hunter and the Bobcat

(original story by BoSt)

 

01-

Once there was a great hunter and his family who lived in a remote part of the Northern wilderness, a long distance from any other lodge and it was seldom that they saw any faces other than those of their own household.

He was nevertheless content living in isolation, for he had a fair wife and two healthy, boisterous sons. Each day they were left in the lodge while he went out hunting in quest of the game whose flesh was their primary source of food.

02

Game was very abundant in those days and his labors in the hunt and chase were often well rewarded. His two sons were still too young to accompany him and so all day long they were free to play make believe and discover things so long as they played within the confines of the lodge.

Observant as they were, they once espied a young man who visited the lodge during their father’s absence, and noted that these visits became more frequent as time went by.

03Brother-and-Sister800--Final-Painting

Curiosity winning over, once the elder of the two asked his mother in all innocence:

“Mommy, tell us who this tall young man is that comes here so often during our father’s absence.  Does the stranger wished to see father, but misses him? Shall we tell father when he comes back this evening so he can delay his departure time just a little?”

“Donquri, you little fool,” said the mother angrily, “this is grown up business, mind your bow and arrows, and do not be afraid to enter the forest in search of birds and squirrels, with your little brother. It is not manly to be ever about the lodge. Nor will you ever grow up to become a warrior if you tell fibs or all the little things that you see and hear to your father. Say not a word to him about this.”

The boys obeyed, but as they grew older and still noticed the visits of the stranger, their gut feeling being ill at ease, they resolved to speak again to their mother.

They now told her that they meant to make known to their father all that they had witnessed, for they frequently saw this young man passing through the woods, and he did not walk in the path, nor did he carry anything to eat. If he had any message to deliver at their lodge, why did he not give it to their father? For they had observed in other cases, that messages were always addressed to men, and not to women.

When her sons spoke thus to her, the mother was greatly perturbed. Fear took hold in her heart and she in great fury admonished them:

“You are still both young and have no real comprehension of things.  Hence, you should not interfere in adult concerns. If you insist with your meddling and cause trouble, I will be forced to be more severe. “She said, “I warn you both, do not speak of this to your father or me ever again!”

In fear they, for a time, held their peace, but still noted that the stranger’s frequent stealthy visits to the lodge persisted, they long at last resolved to brave any consequence and disclose this fact their father. Their loyalty to their father demanded it after all!

04--Final-painting-800

Accordingly, one day when they were out in the woods, by then having grown up and learned to follow the chase, they caught up with their father and quickly told him all that they had seen in the past.

They watched with worrying eyes as the anger manifested on their father’s face then grew unnaturally dark. He remained silent and still for a while, and when at length he looked up there was unholy fire flaming in his pupils.

“It is done!” he said. “My children I ask that you tarry here until the hour of the setting sun, and then come to the lodge and you will find me there.”

05-Fury-in-his-eyes---800

In two shakes of a hat he was at the lodge. The door flew open and he barged right in resembling a big fierce bear ready to tear all about him into smithereens.

But she was seated lone mending some tears in the children’s coats.

“Where is he?” He bellowed.

“Who?” She cried out in fear.

“You know very well who?” He murderously grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her senseless. “You broke your promise… Now I shall not beholden to my promise. I shall vanquish your kind one and all.” He growled at her.

She knew no amount of pleading will be of any use. He was heartless, a brutal hunter that had no compunction about killing entire species and wiping them from the mountains.  On that day he’d cornered her and her younger brother after killing her parents, the two little bobcat pups were shivering with fright.

06-

He was   about to deal both  a death blow when she had  stood in front of her brother  to protect him and swore by the Great Spirit of the Mountains, that if spared, she would serve this brute without complaint to the end of her days. The Great Spirit had answered her prayers, and turned her into a human. The hunter in turn had promised never to hunt her kind, so long as she stayed away even from her brother and served only him.  Tears streamed from her face remembering that cursed day and all the miserable days after that when she was not free and missed her brother terribly.  Her only solace was that her kind was left alone from then on to thrive and hunt in the mountain whereas all other predators faced extinction without mercy from the Hunter. Some species were hunted to extinction. Meanwhile her brother had grown up among other bobcats that adopted him. Missing his sister terribly, he’d eventually tracked her scent and found her for the bond of kinship was very strong.

07-Bobcat-3--800-Final_Painting

She was fearful for what the Hunter might do if he ever found out; still she could not help herself, for she loved her brother dearly. He called on her frequently and relayed to her all the news about her kind which somewhat mitigated her homesickness.

She pleaded and pleaded with the hunter for his mercy.  But he was bent on revenge and called on the Great Spirit to punish her.  The Great Spirit punished her for violating her promise by turning her into a horrid version of a Bobcat.  And so from then on she was barred from having any contact with her children as well as being shunned by her own kind. She was forced to live a horrible existence for the duration of her natural life, always lurking in the shadows.

Meanwhile, the two ingrate sons, that had more their father’s temperament than their mother’s, remained sporting away the time till the hour for their return had come.

When they reached the lodge the mother was not there. They dared not to ask their father whither she had gone, and from that day forth her name was never spoken again in the lodge.

In the course of time the two boys grew to be men and, although the mother was nevermore seen neither in the lodge nor on the paths in the forest, nor by the river side, she still lingered near the lodge.

Changed, but the same, with ghastly looks and arms that were withered, she appeared to her sons as they returned from the hunt, in the twilight.

08

At night she darkly unlatched the lodge-door and glided in, and bent over them as they sought to sleep. Oftenest it was her bare brow, white, and bony, and bodiless, that they saw floating in the air, and making a mock of them in the wild paths of the forest, or in the midnight darkness of the lodge.

Fuelled with false facts, with outraged bias against her, the sons viewed their mother as a terror that hunted their peace and lives.  They cursed her existence for according to them she made every spot where they had seen her, hideous to the living eye. The hunter never witnessed such; still he was frustrated and grew somewhat weary of his sons’ complaints. Finally his sons were resolved, together with their father, now stricken in years, to leave the country.

They began a journey toward the South. After traveling many days along the shore of a great lake, they passed around a craggy bluff, and came upon a scene where there was a rough fall of waters, and a river issuing forth from the lake.

09

In pursuit of them the mother came out of the woods in the form of a giant, grotesque, rabid bobcat. At this moment, one of them looked out and saw a stately crane sitting on a rock in the middle of the rapids. They called out to the bird, “See, grandfather, how we are persecuted? Come and take us across the falls that we may escape her.”

The crane so addressed was of extraordinary size, and had arrived at a great old age, and, as might be expected, he sat, when first described by the two sons, in a state of profound thought, revolving his long experience of life there in the midst of the most violent eddies.

10-

When he heard himself appealed to, the crane stretched forth his neck with great deliberation, and lifting himself slowly by his wings, he flew across to their assistance.

“Be careful,” said the old crane, “that you do not touch the crown of my head. I am bald from age and long service and very tender at that spot. Should you be so unlucky as to lay a hand upon it, I shall not be able to avoid throwing you both in the rapids.”

They paid strict heed to his directions, and were soon safely landed on the other shore of the river. He returned and carried the father in the same way; and then took his place once more where he had been first seen in the very midst of the eddies of the stream.

But the woman, who had by this time reached the shore, cried out, “Come, my grandfather, and carry me over, for I have lost my children, and I am sorely distressed.”

The aged bird, now questioning his earlier judgement, at first obeyed her summons, and flew to her side. He was a suspicious sort and seeing how hideous she looked in her grotesque bobcat form, once more doubted her story.  She had to have been an evil spirit in pursuit. She would harm then soon as she crossed the water. And so feeling rather noble he harboured a secret desire to harm this evil spirit and defend them. He carefully repeated the warning, expecting her to disregard it, that she was not to touch the crown of his head. Outwardly he begged her to bear in mind that she should respect his old age, if there was any sense of virtue left in her.

She promised to obey; but they were no sooner fairly embarked in the stream, that instantly the crane cast her into the rapids, and shook his wings as if to free himself of all acquaintance with her.

11

“Why have you wronged me?” She cried as she sunk in the raging stream. The woman disappeared, was straightway carried by the rapid currents far out into the waters, and in the wide wilderness of shore-less depth, without companion or solace, and was lost forever.

“I’m preventing you from harming any other, you foul creature!” He responded very much pleased with himself for doing the noble thing. 

Suddenly however the gust of wind derailed him and unable to find his bearing, he too plummeted into the waters.

12

“What a fool!” The hunter gritted his teeth for the loss of such a fine meal. They picked themselves off the ground and trudged along to find some other game to satisfy their growing hunger.

The mountain spirit could stand this injustice no longer, and in one breath, turned the hunter and his sons all to field mouse.

13Fieldmouse800-Final_Painting

They deservedly from then on live in fear and hunted by many.

Fin