I was so close to death that time.


One day in my childhood I went to my neighbour’s to play with a toy newly bought by the family. The family ran a small grocery store. There on the counter was a bowl of rice dressed in chicken soup. It smelt so delicious that my little mouth watered. The neighbour’s son, my playmate, was holding a spoon in his hand. First he helped himself to a spoonful of the meal. Then he turned to me, asking, “Would you like to have a taste of it, Qinzhou?” The answer in my heart was yes, but mother had told me time and again not to take others’ food. So I said that I would not taste it. Just at that moment, his mother came out of an inner room. I still remember the expression on the lady’s face when she saw her cute son holding that bowl in his hand. She was both anxious and angry.


“Did you eat it, you idiot?” she asked, her tone rising.


The boy nodded.


“Oh Lord, what the hell were you doing? I have put rat poison in it!” the mother yelled.


Without delay the boy was sent to hospital, where the doctors worked frantically to remove the poison from him.


I could have been poisoned.


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