Quick update, and help us name a mystery carcass

The first days back in class after a break are always a little rough. Mr. Lù and Mr. Sòng made it a little more interesting on what they probably didn’t realize was Boxing Day by placing the still bleeding head of an as-yet-unidentified former animal on the electrical utilities box near the entrance to our complex. The rest of the just-barely-dead carcass was in a plastic shopping bag on the back of Mr. Lù‘s bike.

I thought it was a dog, but they said no, it’s an animal we don’t have in America called a pāo zi (I’m 90% certain that’s what they said). I’ve asked around, and some Chinese friends came up with páo zi (狍子), which is some kind of deer, but since when are deer carnivores? (warning: the photo‘s kind of gross). Mr. Lù bought the whole thing at the market around the corner for 50 kuài (about $6.75). He said he’s going to make stew. One person thought it might be a 黄鼠狼 (“yellow-rat-wolf” a.k.a. weasel?), but there was disagreement over whether or not you can eat those (the southerner stated matter-of-factly: “If it’s an animal, you can eat it”). Take a look at the photo and the links on the Chinese words (linked to google images) and tell us what you think it is/was.

It finally snowed this morning! We had a white Christmas, if you count a week of near-impenetrable fog. Now it’s after lunch, dry, and sunny, but the snow sucked a lot of the pollution out of the air (it made the sky a weird yellow colour for an hour or so today).

Jessica is sick, and has been for a while now. There’s this nasty bug going around that makes people cough all night for two weeks. One local said it’s just because it hasn’t snowed that everyone is getting sick (because the snow will clear the air of all the pollution). Jessica has medicine (both kinds!) and is getting better.

We just had two days off from class for of Christmas, which included a Boxing Day Christmas party with friends, and next week we get three for New Years, so we’re going to take it easy for a little while and have some fun. Maybe run around town for a bit. All these days off make coming back to class hard, because spending all this holiday time with foreigners in English takes your brain out of Chinese gear, and getting back into gear always takes a bit of effort.

11 thoughts on “Quick update, and help us name a mystery carcass”

  1. haha wow, it’s hard to say.. the teeth and the tongue make me think it might’ve belonged to some kind of small dog? maybe a ferret or something, but it’s got a pretty messed up eye. perhaps some questions are better left unanswered..

  2. It’s a Chinese Water Deer. They’re deer but instead of having horns they have canine teeth… A white-tail with Chinese characteristics. Same-same but different.

  3. So there really are deer with canines then? I googled it and it matches the skull and what was in the plastic bag better than any of the other suggestions. I’m gonna go get the guy to ‘spell’ it for me in Chinese, stick that in google, and figure this out once and for all! =)

    And where on earth did you learn about Chinese water deer? They look like saber-toothed Bambis!

    Happy New Year! by the way.

  4. Your guess is still sounds best to me, but I went and asked some of the other guys standing around the bike repair corner, and they got in an argument over what it actually was, and were still going when I left. Some were trying to tell me it was a 狸子 or a 狸猫 (google-imaged both), but what kind of dictionary entry is “(dog) / wild cat / see 狸猫, 狸子 leopard cat”?

  5. I googled “Deer with teeth” or something like that and it came up. I thought it would be funny to pretend I totally knew what it was. The thing is pretty freaky. Happy New year to you too!

  6. man…how on earth did you ever hear of thundercats? i cant believe someone took time to draw that. and why have a sword that shoots? why not just have a gun? i’ll admit, at first i was cynical about yet another cartoon telling some half human half cat beings out there saving the world… that is.. until i learned that they actually exist. check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_4Ju6ZqKPU&NR=1.
    you can thank me later for the 2 minutes you wasted watching that

  7. Dude, I used to watch Thundercats, back in the 80’s, you know, before you were born. See what you 90’s children missed out on? So sad…

    Anyway, until we get ‘Chinese water deer’ confirmed for sure, I’m calling it a thundercat.

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