How To Make Yourself Dead Author: Haunted House

This is not a story about ghosts and gods, but it shows that humans are actually more terrifying and cruel than ghosts. Even a docile animal like a sheep can turn into a wolf under the influence of humans.

As Thomas More wrote in his book Utopia: "Sheep, which were originally docile and modest, have become greedy and ferocious, even to the point of devouring us, and they are ready to tread down our fields, houses, and cities."

The origin of the matter came from the fact that I got a long-awaited one-week vacation. I packed my luggage and necessary items, said a brief goodbye to my colleagues, and left the city. I have always longed to travel freely like Ji Yan, and finally got a short opportunity to change my life. Naturally, I was very happy. Of course, it was a pity that Luo Lei could not accompany me. As the person in charge of the column, she could not leave. But she still reminded me that July 15th was approaching, so it was better to be careful when going out.

But when I was hesitating about how to squander this time wealth which is the most ordinary but the most precious to city people, a classmate from college suddenly invited me to his village. He was an ordinary student from the village, not as outstanding as in ordinary romance novels, nor did he know a rich girl who appreciated his talent, and he would not put his arm around someone's shoulder and yell "Do you love me or not? I have nothing". Of course, it is even more impossible for him to have a passionate love. In short, he may disappoint everyone, he is just an ordinary rural teacher.

In fact, he didn't have to go back, and he didn't really want to, but this was a promise – the whole village chipped in to support him to go to college. Maybe you would say, isn't there a student loan? But how can we who grew up in the city understand the self-esteem of not accepting charity and the helplessness between the future and dignity? Once we accept the money, it will undoubtedly leave a mark on ourselves. If we contact them more often, we will be accused of greed, and if we are unfamiliar with them, we will be accused of forgetting our loyalty. What's more, the meager money is only for the poorest families or students admitted to famous universities. My classmate was neither penniless nor did he do very well in the exams, so in comparison, he would rather accept the donations from the villagers, or it would be more appropriate to say that it was a deal. In the end, he promised to come back and educate those kids with big eyes and snotty noses. Although college life has changed him to some extent, he still made the decision to go back when looking for a job.

"Men should not make promises casually. Once they have been made, they must be fulfilled to the end, unless I die." When I asked him the reason, my classmate answered with a smile.

Three years have passed in a flash. Since he took the initiative to invite me, it seems that he is at least doing well now. I have always been tired of visiting those so-called artificial landscapes. Anything that has been processed has lost its soul. According to some people, it is like making oneself dead . The objects are no longer living things, and the scenery is no longer living scenery. Just like a well-made specimen that is almost lifelike, it is always a specimen.

His village is not very far from here, which is one of the reasons why I am willing to go. After all, a week's vacation is limited, and I have to allocate and optimize it. After six hours of high-speed train and more than two hours of bumpy bus journey, I saw the village in the night with fatigue.

Rather than a village, it is more like a huge green grassland. I almost thought I was in the vast Inner Mongolia. The sheep pens and grasslands built everywhere surprised me. Could it be that this place is also suitable for raising sheep?

When I was confused, a tall man in plain clothes came over from not far away. The shadow behind him was very long, like a black sword, piercing into the village.

It was not until I approached him that I recognized him. It was not because it was dark, but because his appearance had changed so much.

When he was in college, he was very thin. Although he was tall, he often hunched over like a shrimp. His sunken eye sockets always carried an indescribable sadness and depression, like a ball of thick ink that could not be dissolved. But now he is full of confidence and pride, or to put it bluntly, he has the air of a nouveau riche. I suddenly became very curious about what had happened to him in the past three years.

"Ouyang, I've been waiting for you at the entrance of the village for a long time." He strode over and took my bag with one hand, but for some reason, I refused. First, the bag was not very heavy, and second, I never had the habit of letting others carry my bag. He didn't mind, and still happily pulled me forward.

His hands were so strong that they almost hurt my arm, which had almost atrophied from long-term typing. When I walked in, I only smelled the fragrance of the grassland and the smell of sheep, which was like a soap. There seemed to be very few people here, which I found a little strange, but they looked much richer than other villagers. I looked around casually and found that every family lived in a house like a building or villa in the city, and there were no longer bicycles or tractors parked in the courtyard, but motorcycles and cars instead.

It suddenly occurred to me that this village is a relatively poor place. How could so much have changed in just three years?

"All this is thanks to these lovely sheep." My friend took me to a place where the buildings were more formal and magnificent than other villagers' houses. I looked up and found that it turned out to be the local village committee. I was surprised and had more questions.

"What's going on?" I asked as I followed him in.

"I'll take you to see the village chief first." He didn't answer me, but happily pulled me in.

It was more spacious inside, and the decoration was even more luxurious than the newspaper office I was working for, and it could compete with the city government. At the corner of the floor, I saw the local village chief introduced by my classmates, a middle-aged man with a round fat head and a short stature. His bald forehead was shining under the light, and he had a cigarette in the corner of his mouth and his hands behind his back. He was chatting with another person. The village chief was wearing a suit, but it was not very decent. The long corners of his clothes and the stacked trouser legs made him look like a comedian. The open suit was not a decent shirt and tie. What made me laugh and cry was that it was actually a sleeveless white jacket. The scene was no less than seeing a person eating rice with a knife and fork.

The man who was talking to the village chief was wearing a pair of gold-rimmed glasses, with bulging eyeballs with more white than black, and a long and narrow face and a pointed, smooth chin without a single beard, which kept nodding like a chicken pecking at rice. He had a dark black briefcase under his armpit, and the two seemed to be discussing or reaching some agreement.

"Then it's settled. The price can't be reduced. Mr. Wu, we are also a poor village. Everyone depends on these animals for food and livelihood." Although the village chief's words were very humble, his tone was like a superior scolding a subordinate. The one called Mr. Wu only nodded and said hello. When he saw us coming, he immediately said goodbye. When he left, he looked at me, hesitated, pushed his glasses on the bridge of his nose, suddenly raised his head, snorted from his toothpick-like thin nose, and walked out. I was just thinking that this person was unreasonable, and my classmate pulled me in front of the village chief.

"This is my best classmate in college. He's the one who works as a journalist in the city that I often mentioned." The classmate introduced him happily. I extended my hand out of courtesy, and the village chief also extended his hand, but he just flicked the ash off his cigarette.

"Oh, so you are a big reporter. Xiao Liang often mentioned you to me. This time you come, you must report on our village well and do some publicity." Then he said a few more polite words, and my classmate led me out.

"Did your village get rich by raising sheep?" I remembered that although my classmate studied computer science in college, he preferred to go to the library to read books on biological crop breeding, and he was quite knowledgeable about it.

"Yes, but not all. I'll take you to see it right away." There was mystery on his face and I couldn't guess what it was.

When I came downstairs, I saw a car driving out of the village. It seemed to be the car of Mr. Wu.

My classmates took me to a huge sheep shed with a cable-stayed triangular roof, which was conducive to heat dissipation. The ground was also very smooth, without any cracks or potholes, and mostly flat and sloping. I guess it was for the sheep to excrete feces. The sheep shed was in an inverted triangle with a road on each side that could accommodate one and a half people. The fence was 10 to 15 centimeters thick. I touched it and found it was made of concrete and bricks. The bricks were gray bricks, far better than the red bricks used in today's cities. It was warm in winter and cool in summer. It seemed that sheep lived more comfortably than us.

"Whether the sheep pen is constructed reasonably has a great influence on the growth and development of sheep. For a long time, farmers in our area have been raising sheep by grazing, using grass as mat and fertilizer as fertilizer. Some sheep and cattle are kept in the same pens. The pens are damp and there is insufficient sunlight. Sheep often get sick, growing in spring and summer, getting fat in autumn and dying in winter. Therefore, it is very important to design the sheep pen reasonably. The basic requirements for sheep pens are ventilation and dryness, hygiene and cleanliness, cool in summer and warm in winter, and they are mostly located in the center of the pasture, which makes it convenient for grazing and the sheep are not easily infected with diseases." He talked incessantly.

"Although I don't know much about farming, I'm afraid these are just the most basic rules of raising sheep. How can this explain why the sheep here are selling so well?" I thought of Mr. Wu from before, and suddenly felt that he looked familiar.

"The man you saw is a businessman from the city. He wholesales fat mutton in large quantities. Not only him, but many people from all over the country come here. In three years, this village has become a wealthy village known far and wide. Many people have turned their arable land into grasslands. The farmers whose ancestors had their backs to the loess and their faces to the land for generations have thrown away their hoes and started raising sheep. People around them have followed suit. Unfortunately, they can't raise sheep as well as mine." He spread his hands disdainfully – this was a habitual action he had in college, and he loved to do this whenever he was very happy or victorious.

"Your sheep?" I asked curiously.

"Yes, my sheep." His face changed expression and he clenched his teeth tightly, as if he was holding hatred, as if we were not talking about a sheep, but his son, or simply a part of his body.

"My sheep are not only delicious, but also highly praised by everyone who has eaten the mutton here. They are also much better than other mutton. They even have much better reproduction and growth abilities than ordinary sheep. Generally, adult sheep can be fattened and marketed in 60 days, but mine only takes 40 days." My classmate continued to speak slowly, but the night wind suddenly made me feel cold all over. Since entering the village, I always felt like a pair of eyes were staring at me. Moreover, the owner of the eyes did not seem to be a human.

"Do you know why I called you here? As the village chief said, I need more people to know about this place. You are a living billboard. I have investigated and found that your newspaper has a good influence. As long as you help me a little more and do a report about the breeding industry here in the newspaper, the village and I will never treat you unfairly. We can even let you have a piece of grassland and a flock of sheep here." He sounded like he was begging, but his tone was firm and there was no need to refuse.

I calculated in my head that such a flock of sheep would have at least a hundred or eighty of them, and there would even be a piece of good grassland. It sounded very tempting.

"I want to know more about how you raise sheep. And aren't you going to be a teacher? Where are those children who should be surrounding you like elves? Where are those students who are eager to learn?" I asked loudly. Xiao Liang was stunned for a moment, and suddenly laughed out loud. The laughter echoed in the empty sheep shed and grassland.

"Good question. I can tell you that if they are really as you said, then I and them, including my ancestors and parents, and even my descendants are no different from the lambs to be slaughtered in the sheepfold." I was very confused by his words, and Liang seemed to see through it. He sat down next to the sheepfold, leaning against the wall of the sheep shed, and I sat down too.

"In the first year, I did come back to teach well, hoping that they could go to elementary school, middle school, high school and university like me, and even fly abroad to study. But soon, I found out that I was wrong. Even a so-called prodigy like me could not play a bigger role in the village than a breeding sheep.

One of my students' family raised sheep. At that time, raising sheep in the village was just like raising chickens and ducks, just for food and clothing. Moreover, the poor mountains and bad water here, the grass was dry and yellow, and the breeding technology lacked scientific management, so the sheep here were thin and dry, and the wool quality was poor. The student was called back by his father to graze, and he didn't study. I ran to his house indignantly and asked him why he didn't let the child continue to study, but he scolded me instead. "He suddenly smiled bitterly, turned around and asked me, "Do you know what he said?" I shook my head of course.

"Who do you think you are? I let my son herd sheep so that he could at least learn a trade. Even if he is not so good, he can still be a shepherd. What about you? You spent so much money from the village to send him to a crappy university, but you are still in such a mess? How can the village benefit from you? After hearing what I said, I naturally argued with him. He couldn't win, so he pulled the child out of the room and let him make his own choice.

The child lowered his head and put his hands behind his back. I placed almost all the ambitions of my first half of life on him. I hoped that the principles and sacrifices I upheld would be rewarded, but the result was that the child said with his own mouth that there was no hope of studying and asked, "Teacher, please let me come back."

I don't know how I walked out of the house amid the abuse and ridicule of the child's father, and how I floated back to my room like a ghost. I thought a lot that night and almost felt that I was worse off than a sheep. But later I figured it out. Instead of waiting for those children to grow up and come back to build here, it would be better to make this village rich by myself. "Liang said firmly.

"But you have to know that raising a person is different from raising a child. It will take many years to see the results." I refuted him.

"Of course I know, but instead of pinning your hopes on others, it's better to rely on yourself." Liang continued, and then lit a cigarette. Surrounded by the smoke, I suddenly found that the sheep behind me actually walked to our side, closed their eyes and sniffed the smoke, and barked a few times as if they were enjoying it very much. Moreover, although the other sheep were chewing on the grass, they ate very slowly, as if they had difficulty swallowing it.

"So I started raising sheep, but I found that even with the knowledge I learned from books, I could not change the long-standing poverty and ills of the village. Moreover, actual practice was far from the flat text in the books. When I was distressed, I remembered a story that I accidentally remembered in college. No, it would be more appropriate to call it a legend rather than a story." He suddenly smiled, and the pointed beard on his long chin made his face like a sheep in the moonlight. And then I discovered that there was a shallow purple granulation wound on his neck. The wound was not very sharp and narrow, and it did not look like a knife wound, but why was it on the neck?

"Do you know what day tomorrow is?" He suddenly changed the subject and turned to ask me.

I looked at the moon, it was very round.

"It's either the first or the fifteenth day of the month." I answered casually, not understanding why he asked this.

"Do you know the God of Animals? The birthday of the God of Animals is July 15th." He said mysteriously. I have heard a little about the God of Sheep. It is said that all livestock in the world have the same ancestor, that is the God of Animals, so July 15th is the birthday of the God of Animals.

"People who obtain the God of Animal Husbandry will have smooth sailing no matter what animals they raise, and will be far better than other people." Liang said again.

"You got the beast god?" I shouted in surprise. Liang nodded, but then shook his head.

"What's going on?" I continued to ask.

"Rather than saying that I got the God of Livestock, it would be better to say that it taught me how to raise sheep well." Liang smiled proudly.

"I followed the guidance of the legend and sat alone in the wild on July 15th three years ago. It is said that on that day alone, animals cannot be killed and must be treated well. In addition, on that night, it is said that the animal god will come to the farmer's home to see how their livestock are doing. If the farmer does not abuse them, if the animal god is happy, then the family will naturally prosper. Otherwise, plague will occur and disasters will continue.

I hope to meet the God of Animals on that day, because I want to know how to raise sheep better than ordinary people.

But when it was almost three o'clock in the morning, I suddenly fell asleep for no apparent reason. Because I was leaning against the sheepfold waiting for the animal god, my head naturally tilted inside. I was afraid of falling asleep at first, so I took a book to read. As a result, the book covered my face and I fell asleep unconsciously.

In the middle of the night, I had a dream. I dreamed of the animal god. I asked him how to raise sheep differently from others, but he replied that he would know when he woke up.

I was woken up by a pain in my neck.

When I woke up and touched my neck, I found it was covered in blood. It turned out that a sheep saw the paper and immediately came over to eat it, and accidentally bit my neck.

Of course I felt very unlucky, so I had to go back to recuperate, and I forgot about the matter of the beast.

But soon, I found that the sheep that bit me suddenly grew much fatter than the other sheep, and its fur was pure and bright, and it looked quite energetic.

Finally, I realized that maybe feeding them meat could make the sheep grow better." Liang continued.

"You're crazy." I looked at the person in front of me in surprise.

"Yes, I am crazy. If you have the same experience as me, growing up in discrimination and poverty, you might go crazy too. I do this for everyone. With my promotion, people here soon all engaged in sheep farming. No one is willing to work hard anymore and hope for no natural disasters or man-made disasters in the next year, but can only get a pitiful 1,800 yuan to support their family. Everyone is rich, and all the farmland has been requisitioned for grassland. Those who don't want to raise sheep can leave. Pasture requires a lot of land. The village chief and I confronted the villagers. Many people didn't want to raise sheep, so I had to rely on the power of the village chief to force them away and buy their land at a low price." There was a coldness on Liang's face that I had never seen before.

"What's the difference between you and the enclosure movement of the 16th century?" I stood up and Liang stood up too.

"Of course it's different. They are doing it for the interests of the nobles, while I am doing it for the livelihood of the entire village." He fought back in dissatisfaction.

"Forget it. I don't want to talk about it anymore. You should find a bed for me to lie down on for the night. I'll leave at dawn."

"What about the report?" Liang asked me without giving up. I looked at him and shook my head. He also sighed and suddenly felt relieved.

"I knew you wouldn't agree. That's fine. At least I know there is at least one person who follows his principles in life and has not changed. Let's have breakfast tomorrow morning before leaving. The mutton here is still very delicious. You often treated me to mutton hotpot when I was in college." He looked as if he had returned to a few years ago. I couldn't bear to refuse, so I agreed.

Lying on the bed, Liang had already walked out of the room, but even here, I seemed to be able to smell the unique smell of sheep and hear the bleating of sheep. Unable to fall asleep, I had to get up again, and suddenly found Liang's figure at the door. He hurried over, and seemed to be holding something in his hand, which was shining.

I followed him closely, but he quickly walked to a place far away from the village entrance, a low square that was out of proportion to the tall buildings in the village. It was very dilapidated, as if a gust of wind could blow it away.

Liang walked into the room, and I followed him and looked through the gap in the window.

I saw Liang walking towards something, which seemed to be a sheep, but it seemed not to be, because the thing lying on the ground was much bigger than a sheep, and its eyes were filled with lifeless light, looking straight at Xiao Liang.

Liang walked over, put his hands together, bowed deeply, and said something. Then he actually raised his hand, and it turned out to be a sharp knife.

He slowly cut at the thing, but it seemed to have no sense of pain and did not move at all.

Liang's movements were like those of waiters who slowly cut a thin slice of duck meat from a Peking duck. After a while, he was holding a piece of skin-like meat in his hand, and then he continued to put his hands together, stepped out, and disappeared into the night.

When he was far away, I entered the house.

It turned out that it was a black sheep, and it was very large. However, the sheep's hind legs had been cut to the point where only bones were left, but there was no blood, and the sheep did not move at all.

"What on earth is this?" I couldn't help but ask.

"It's a beast." Liang's voice sounded behind me. I turned around and found that he was holding a knife in his left hand and the piece of meat in his right hand.

"I actually knew you were out there, but you need to be very pious when cutting the meat, so I just pretended I didn't know."

"You said this is an animal god? How could a god look like this?" I asked in surprise.

"So what do you think God looks like? This is all I know. It can only be considered a part of the Animal God, or it can be said that it is a deal between me and the Animal God. In other words, it is a commodity.

I told you, three years ago I knew to feed the sheep with flesh and blood, but that alone would only make the sheep slightly better than those raised by ordinary people. But I was not satisfied, so I continued to investigate the matter of the Animal God, and finally I realized that if I wanted to raise the sheep to their current state, I had to feed them the meat of the Animal God and mix it with the grass.

Perhaps sincerity can bring good luck. I met a blind master who taught me how to communicate with the animal spirit. Finally, I got this black sheep. You can see that it feels no pain and does not bleed. Every time I cut off a small piece of meat, I can feed thousands of sheep. And as you can see, this place is suddenly rich, just like the endless wool on the sheep. "Liang continued.

"Since it's a business deal, what do you pay?" I asked him.

"Sacrifice? I don't know. The God of Livestock just said that nothing should be done too thoroughly and one should not be too extreme. Who cares? Maybe the more people raise livestock in the world, the better it will be for him." Liang replied.

"A blind master? Is he tall and thin, with a breath of death about him?" I couldn't help but ask him, because I suddenly remembered someone.

"Oh? You know him? Although he is blind, he moves freely and doesn't look like one at all. If I hadn't looked at his eyes, I would have really doubted it." Liang said with a smile, but the hand holding the knife moved closer to me.

"So what are you going to do with me now? Are you going to chop me up and mix me with the grass to feed the sheep like the black sheep?" I asked. Liang stopped moving, hesitated, and the corners of his mouth began to twitch. When we were in a stalemate, suddenly there was a loud shout in the distance.

"Fire! The pasture is on fire!"

Liang and I rushed out of the house without thinking, and sure enough, there was a flame not far away.

"Sheep! My sheep!" Liang rushed over like a madman, completely ignoring me. I followed him to put out the fire, but when I ran to the village, the pasture was almost burned out, and all the sheep in the sheep shed were burned to death. The air was filled with the choking smell of burnt meat.

Everyone seemed to have lost their souls, not caring about treating their burns and the soot on their faces, and sat on the ground in frustration. They seemed to have lost all sensory functions and could not hear anything.

Suddenly, I heard the sound of a car running. Although it was faint, I could still distinguish it. However, Liang and the villagers did not react.

A red car drove towards the house where the black sheep was imprisoned.

That car looked so familiar, and I finally remembered that it was Mr. Wu’s car.

I immediately called Liang and rushed towards the house, and sure enough, the black sheep was gone.

"It's gone, all gone." Liang collapsed on the ground against the house. I knew there was no point in saying anything at this moment.

After dawn, I said goodbye to Liang, who had not yet recovered from the blow.

"Will you ask the animal god to give you another black sheep?" I asked him.

"No, all the grasslands have been burned, but the land seems to be much more fertile and may be more suitable for growing crops. I will study hard and take it slow." Liang seemed to have returned to the past.

"It's not scary if a sheep eats a person, but don't let it eat his heart too." I smiled and patted his shoulder. He also smiled and punched me back.

When I was leaving the village, I remembered that a year ago I wrote a report about Wuliang butcher reselling spoiled mutton, and the butcher behind the scenes was a guy named Wu De.

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