每日跟讀#755: Langlang the stray pilgrim finds a home in the mountains
Chiayi City’s Dongnanyu Syuanhuang Temple undertook a pilgrimage to Alishan’s Shoujhen Temple for the sixth consecutive year on Friday, setting off at 10 in the morning. When the group arrived at a 7-11 convenience store in Jhongpu Township in Chiayi County at around 1pm, they were joined by a stray dog, who would keep up with the pilgrims, sometimes lagging behind, sometimes running ahead, but at all times wary of them, keeping its distance and not allowing them to get near or pet it.
The little stray kept on like this, trotting along with the pilgrims as if it were an emissary of the gods, but after walking over 10km along the mountain road in this way, the pilgrims noticed that the dog, whom they’d nicknamed “Langlang” by this point, was showing signs of tiredness. They swept Langlang up and put him on the back of the truck accompanying the pilgrimage, giving him the chance to rest up and catch his breath. As night fell and the temperature dropped, people cobbled together a reflective coat that would keep Langlang warm.
Perhaps because he was now well-rested and his stomach full, Langlang’s strength returned. Having been treated kindly by the temple pilgrims, Langlang was now quite content to let them pet him and carry him along with them, and in no time Langlang had officially become accepted as part of the pilgrimage group. By the time the group arrived at their destination at midday on Saturday, he was a paid-up member of the team.
According to Wu Tien-chieh, the director of the Dongnanyu Syuanhuang Temple, the pilgrims had marched up the mountain, taking turns to carry the temple deity, and during the entire 160km journey there and back they had not stopped to rest once, with the exception of the time spent at the Shoujhen Temple and times to eat meals. Everyone in the pilgrimage had shown real devotion and commitment, Wu said, and nobody flagged at all. This year, he said, over 70 people had attended, 20 more than the 50 or so who had gone along the previous year, and this year they had the addition of a canine pilgrim, Langlang.
The group returned on Sunday, and somebody had already decided they would adopt Langlang, the dog who joined them on their trek up the mountain.
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/12/25/2003728115