Saturday, 19 July 2008

Swallow Lovers (Reposted with Permission)

Note: Special thanks to Ken Lai for permission to repost this piece in its entirety. Ken's blog is accessible at:

The traditional love story of "Butterfly Lovers" is the Chinese version of "Romeo and Juliet", in which the human lovers turned into butterflies when they died.

"Swallow lovers" is the story of two real swallows. They are the hottest news during last Valentine in China. Almost every Chinese news agency has carried this story.

The story began with a literature-historian, Fan Xiang Yu (范翔宇) who found a motionless swallow on January 31, 2008, hid behind a building pillar in Bai-hai City. It was a cold day with temperature of 3 degrees Celsius. Fan wanted to find out if the swallow is still alive or not. He had poked the bird gently. It was dead many hours ago apparently. When Fan moved the dead bird, a sight had caused a deep breath out of him. The wings of the dead swallow embraced a smaller female swallow, also dead.

Fan guesses that the bigger swallow is a male bird. It tried to fend off the cold for the female bird with its wings covering the female. Both were eventually freezed to death.

Fan took pictures of the swallows before giving them a decent burial. Then he wrote a story with poem and put it in his blog. The blog titile is: 《燕殇——两只燕子至死不渝的故事》(Swallow obituary: The unwavering love of two swallows).

"Yesterday the swallows were flying in pair,
Today they died embracing each other,
Very sad!
Very Beautiful!"


Fan's poem laments that the swallow lovers' last act makes many human vows and promises on love look pale.

This blog message has generated over 10 thousands views within 3 days after it was posted. Readers are all touched by the amazing love of the swallows. Fan said "Swallow Obiturary" is a fable for human emotion and sensibility. The attention drawn by the story is the best footnote for it.

May the swallow lovers rest in peace and be reincarnated into higher level beings in their next life.

Ken Lai

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