- Publisher: Mardibooks
- Available in: Ebook
Dog thieves steal the beloved pet of a prosperous middle-class Chinese family. The daughter of the family, 17 year old Yan Zhao is devoted to her dog Mao mao, a 160 lb Tibetan Mastiff, and is determined to rescue him with the help of a young policeman, Kuam, recruited by her father, an influential businessman.
Mao mao is driven to a dilapidated Fur Farm near the Mongolian border where he is confronted with the brutal reality of dogs being half beaten to death then skinned alive. His ancient war-dog subconscious kicks in and he overpowers his captors and escapes into the countryside through which he begins his long journey in a mostly hostile environment.
Constantly in touch with Yan, Kuam follows the dog’s trail starting from the Fur Farm and gradually narrows the distance between them.
After life-threatening encounters including setting fire to a Dog-meat restaurant Mao mao begins to approach the Village where he lives. Yan overhears her parents quarreling over the fate in store for Mao mao, now that he has become news. She calculates from the distance of the Village and goes out to search for him while Kuam approaches from the other direction. A gang of youths on motorbikes corner Yan in the main Park as she tries to rescue a small dog they are tormenting. At the same time Mao mao arrives and scatters the youths to protect Yan. The Police arrive and Yan and Mao mao have to face the consequences, as a largely hostile crowd demands that the Dog must die.
It was dark by the time Kuam arrived home and parked in the reserved carport, a welcome perk that went with the job. Not having children and his wife working part time, they were able to afford a modest duplex apartment in an area not too far from his station. An added bonus included a small fenced yard where they could grow a few eggplants and tomatoes and he could drink beer and play with his dog whenever he had some free time.
He turned off the ignition but remained in the car while reflecting on the day’s work. He was intrigued by his own thoughts without being able to focus on any particular aspect. Which was it? The loathsome fur farm? The affluence of the new modern villages. The escaped dog? The girl. A warm, intangible sense of well-being spread from his sternum up to his lower throat at this latter thought, causing him to stay in the car for a while longer. But as he got out and walked to the front door the feeling had not entirely gone away.
His spaniel, Quing, enthusiastically greeted him as he entered the hall. Perhaps because of the fur farm experience he bonded with the dog for longer than usual, much to its delight, being generally starved of real affection until the return of his master.
Kuam could hear the television on in the next room and it wasn’t long before his wife came through on her way to the kitchen.
‘Hyeee, how was your day?’ she chirruped, giving him a peck.
‘Oh just the usual, two deaths and…’
‘Quing!’ She shouted at the dog. ‘Down boy! Down! Go to your basket. Now!’
Quing, his brief moment of ecstasy cut short, beat a retreat to the utility room where he curled up in his basket; and hoped.
‘What’s up Doc?’ she trilled, carrying on through to the kitchen. ‘You don’t look too good.’ He watched her as she applied hand cream to her immaculate fingers.
‘Well if you’d been where I’ve been you wouldn’t look too good either.’ Said he, following her through and taking a beer from the fridge.
‘Oh and where was that – am I allowed to ask?’
‘A fur farm. Up Mongolia way, two of the workers were killed while trying to…’
‘Pleeease no details!’ She squeezed up her face in anticipation of gruesome analysis.
‘Two of the workers had been killed and they suspect it was one of the dogs they’d filched from the street. In which case as far as I am concerned, they got exactly what was coming to them.’
‘Well I suppose someone has to do the job otherwise how would us girls get our fur coats!’
‘Just kidding,’ she said, trotting upstairs, ‘Can we eat out tonight?’
Read more about Simon Langton on his wikipedia page.