Still Not My Year


Rats! It’s not my year. It is the Chinese Zodiac year of the Rat. Although technically, squirrels and rats are both rodents, so it is kinda my year, …….sort of, …..so to speak, …….technically. However, it is also not my year cause I was born in 1962 which was the year of the Tiger.

“What’s this?”, you say. “A squirrel, a rat and a tiger?” Well, I would very much like to explain it all to you but this requires a fairly extensive understanding of Chinese history, culture and religions. Unfortunately, I am a banana. Yes, a banana. A banana is slang for a Chinese who knows more about Western culture than Chinese culture and language. Still don’t get it? A banana appears yellow on the outside but is white inside. Anyway, this banana tried to do extensive research for this post but merely got confused and went bananas. What little kernels of information I could figure out is recorded for you below.

1. The Chinese calender appears in cycles of 12 which are represented by animals and is in the following order; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and lastly, Pig.

2. It is claimed that there was a competition before the Jade Emperor between the animals to decide the order. The story attributes the Rat with cunning. He fooled the tiger into thinking the competition was on another day and during the race, he rode on the back of the ox until just before the finish line and then jumped ahead of the ox.
(Personally as a squirrel, I would say that all is fair in love and war. As a Tiger, I am disgusted that the Rat was not disqualified for lying to a fellow honorable contender. As a banana, I protest the idea of praising the Rat for cheating.)

3. It is believed that a person’s character, choice of mate and pre-dispositions are determined by the Zodiac year of birth, together with certain modifiers. The first modifier is Yin and Yang. The second modifier is the five heavenly elements, wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Finally there are combination elements too.

4. This year is the year of the Yang Earth Rat. Some people refer to it as the year of the Yang Earth fire Rat.

5. Me? I am a Yang Water Gold Tiger.

6. What does all that mean? I don’t know cause I am a Banana.

7. Summary: I am a nutty-squirrel-Water Gold Tiger- Yellow and White Banana.

No such thing? I enter as evidence, a picture of a Tiger-Squirrel which apparently is Princeton’s mascot.

And How about the Year of the Rat? Will it be a good year? I cannot tell but if I know my distant cousin, the Rat, he is going to be unbearable to live with this year. He will be living it up and will expect to be fed meals three times a day…..thank you very much.

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