Told by Yang Xiu-gong.
It is interesting that in this story not only are the animals and birds personified but inanimate objects as well; the needle, the rope, the washing dolly, the acorn and even the cow dung. In a subsequent tale where the goat, the table and several other things broke into human speech, the man declared that they were "possessed", and proceeded to destroy them. In this story no people are involved, so the question of "possession" does not arise. In fact the objects concerned were all ordinary things to be found in or around a Miao house. The washing dolly was a heavy object made of wood, rather like an Indian club, and used for beating the washing laid on a stone in a stream of running water. Individually they could have done nothing about the wildcat but collectively this miscellaneous collection proved most effective. The story may well have an allegorical meaning.
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