The Great Beast Arrives
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Strength seldom loses to weakness. But wisdom is often as mighty. The old woman knew as much. She could not defeat the beast in a challenge of power but, like most humans, she was cunning and had learned a trick or two.

When, on the last night of the year, the sea froze into a solid wave, she waited. The beast would come soon, she knew as much. This time, however, she wouldn’t run and hide in the hills. No, this time she would wait, and armed with a little knowledge, just enough to give her an edge, she would prevail.


According to tales and legends, in ancient times, every year on the eve of the Chinese New Year, which is the end of the lunar year, there was a fight against a mythical beast called Nian. This beast had the body of a bull, the he...

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