"Guess How Much I Love You"

Veronica Lee

PureInsight | January 10, 2005

Fadu and her mother at a NGO meeting of United Nations in 2004 when she was 4 years old [Photo from Clearwisdom.net]

[PureInsight.org] In the summer of 2003, a young mother and her two-year-old baby girl came to stay with me at my home for a few days. They had come to attend 2003 Washington, DC Falun Gong practitioners' cultivation experience sharing conference and the area's public activities to call for the end of China's persecution against Falun Gong. One afternoon, while the mother was preparing for her press statement to be read at the public rally on the next day, I sat with her little girl on the sofa, reading her a famous children's story Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.

The story is about a young rabbit named Little Nutbrown Hare that goes through a series of declarations regarding the breadth of his love for Big Nutbrown Hare, but the young rabbit is fondly secured by the elder rabbit's more expansive love. Because the little girl has not started to learn English, I translated the story into Chinese for her. I translated Little Nutbrown Hare as "baby rabbit" and Big Nutbrown Hare as "father rabbit." As I translated, "The baby rabbit said, 'I love you as far as my arms can reach!' Father rabbit told the baby rabbit, 'I love you as far as my arms can reach,'" the little girl interrupted and corrected me with a confident smile. "No, it's a mother rabbit. There is no father rabbit!"

My heart sank for I immediately understood what she meant. This little girl does not know what father is. Her father was killed when she was only 15 months old.

This little girl is Fadu. In July 2001, Fadu's mother Zhizhen Dai learned from a report on Clearwisdom.net that her husband, Fadu's father, had been slaughtered in China after he was taken into the Chinese police's custody because he refused to renounce his belief in Falun Gong and courageously stepped out to speak for Falun Gong. His body was found inside a thatched hut on a roadside many days after he was murdered.

When I looked up towards Dai's direction, she was wiping tears from her face. Obviously, she, too, heard her baby daughter's innocent words. Who would have guessed such an affectionate and delightful bedtime story that had sold 11 million copies worldwide becomes a cruel reminder of the loss of their family member as a direct result of Jiang Zemin's all out attempt at eradication of Falun Gong practitioners in China? How much more children's books that are written for children with both parents alive and well must they avoid to prevent more tears and sorrow?

But how can Dai stop thinking of her husband? Fadu is a splitting image of her deceased father. Everyone knows a baby's first word is usually "Dadda", "Pa", or many other words that sound like "daddy" or "papa." When Fadu's father was killed, she was only 15 months of age. It must have broken Dai's heart repeatedly when Fadu learned to utter the word "daddy."

For many of us, this is but one sad story to read and then forget after a while, but for Dai and baby Fadu, they must live each day for the rest of their lives, knowing they can never have their loved one back again. Fadu's father would never have a chance to say to his baby rabbit, "Guess how much I love you? I love you as far as my arms can reach!"

All of sudden, I remember a children's rhyme:

All the King's horses
And all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again!

[1] Clearwisdom.net: How Shall I Tell My Little Daughter about Her Dad's Wrongful Death? http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2001/12/26/17164.html
[2] Clearwisdom.net: Little Fadu's Fourth Birthday (Photos) http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2004/4/9/46890.html

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