For my cat [I] offer fish flesh
And with tenderness share my bed.
For my dog [I] mix chaff and bran
And with scolding chase [it] out to the courtyard.
The dog always walks with its head down,
Yet the cat sits with its legs spread wide.
Love and disgust in stark contrast,
Timidity and impudence [emerge] exactly where expected.
[After] a night of scuffling in the empty hall,
Suddenly came the report that the dog had caught a mouse.
[I] ask the cat: where were you?
Messing about with the urn, stealing meat paste and jerkies.
The dog, though out of place, cares for its master after all;
[But] cat, alas, who eats the bread of idleness, what use have I of you?
* From 艾性夫 Ai Xingfu (fl. late 13th century), Shengyu 剩語 (Wenyuange yingyin Siku quanshu 文淵閣景印四庫全書 vol. 1194, Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1987) 1.3b-4a;
 Red characters rhyme.
"Chunye yan taoliyuan" 春夜宴桃李園 by Leng Mei 冷枚 (1669-1742)
Image credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei
Detail of the hanging scroll above, showing a cat sitting on the table and dogs running on the ground
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