“The Good Earth”

“The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck, published in 1931, is a story of hardship, love, riches and death set in China in the early Twentieth Century. Buck grew up in China, the daughter of US missionaries and then moved back there after college. She knew the culture of that era and after reading this book you will too. I found some parts hard to read because of the lack of worth and respect ascribed to female children and women, but it was enlightening.

Being a well known classic I thought that I had read this long ago. Recently, I picked the book up off my shelf and upon review saw nothing familiar. I always write the date I purchase a cook inside the cover and I saw that I had owned this book for sixteen years. It is dogeared and had a boarding pass inside which I often used as a book mark while traveling. It remains a mystery as to whether I had read it before and forgotten the whole story! Regardless, I am very glad that I have read it now and if you have not, I recommend that you do.

Pearl S. Buck has won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature. By the time of her death in 1973 she had published more than seventy books. It is available in audio and also graphic adaptation editions.

What is your opinion of “The Good Earth?” I am sure that most of you have read this story of a family that depended upon the earth for sustaining their life and lifestyle.

Pangolin

Ever hear of a Pangolin? Me either, until recently. We might never have known about this unusual animal had it not been for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeping China since December of 2019.

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These unusual mammals are scaly anteaters who curl into a ball when threatened. Various species live mostly in Asia and Africa. As potential transmitters of COVID-19 and because of deforestation they are gravely endangered of becoming extinct. Pangolins eat ants and termites and believe it or not people eat them! They are the most trafficked non-human mammals in the world both for their meat and their scales. While the scales have no known medical value they are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The meat is a delicacy in China and that is where the transfer of the virus comes into play.

These shy nocturnal animals are now more endangered of being killed needlessly in the wild because of the fear of COVID-19. Recently there was a Pangolin Day to recognize this danger and to inform the world of these harmless animals’ plight.