Breezing through the pages of History

We do not die, we do not experience, we just feel and get carried away.


4. Dong Feng - The Battle of Chi Bi (circa. 208 AD)

To whom it may concern,


Words cannot adequately express my reaction to your 'offer of employment'. However, perhaps the following tale will provide some paltry insight into my feelings on this matter.

In 208 AD, China was in turmoil. The Han dynasty's light was guttering and any number of warlords and kings vied for supremacy. Chief amongst these, at that time, was Cao Cao. Cunning and ruthless, he had conquered the north and the Han emperor was his thrall. Intent on unifying the land, Cao Cao's next step was to subjugate the southern kingdom of Wu, led by the Sun clan.

However, his ascent to the heavens was not unopposed. Chief amongst Wei's enemies was Zhuge Liang, strategist for the kingdom of Shu, all-round genius and charming gentleman. When word got to him that Cao Cao had demanded Wu's fealty, he persuaded the indecisive Sun Quan to grow some pubes and stand up for his countrymen. Zhuge Liang got him so fired up, Sun Quan assembled all his ministers and generals together and chopped a table up in front of them.

Well, Cao Cao didn't like that. He had done joinery at school and violently objected to the abuse of wooden furniture. So he built a load of ships, put his best dudes on them and headed down the Chang Jiang towards Chi Bi.

However, massive numerical superiority is not always enough. For starters, Cao Cao's dudes were no sailors - they were used to slaughtering peasants on dry land, not on wet water. Let's just say, the river ran green and chunky. To counter this, some cretin had suggested lashing all of Cao Cao's ships together, to minimise their rocking motion. That was all Zhuge Liang needed.

He instructed one of Sun Quan's top dudes, Huang Gai, to 'defect' in a boat loaded with explosives. Zhuge Liang reasoned that the fires generated by the initial explosion would eventually devour Cao Cao's entire fleet, all lashed together like they were. There was only one problem. At that time of year, the prevailing wind would blow the flames towards Wu's fleet, not Wei's. Basically, if I didn't come to the party, Zhuge Liang would burn his own beard off.

Here's what Zhuge Liang did. He built an altar. He built an altar and he prayed. He prayed and made offerings. You know, rice wine, meat, incense sticks, that sort of thing? He didn't write me a letter, declaring that my salary would be negotiable, based on experience. He didn't include a stamped addressed envelope. He got down on his knees and he prayed.

It is, therefore, with sincere regret that I cannot accept your derisory offer of employment. I will not be single-handedly destroying the fleet of your great enemy, nor will I be ushering squalling brats through your piss-pot museum.



Dong Feng


PS: My elder brother, Tai Feng, is very keen to visit your museum. Your insurance does cover massive typhoon damage, doesn't it?

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...