Wednesday, 21 August 2013

What's in a ball?

Bet you, there's a ball in this lion's mouth.
Lion guarding an old Chinese building next to
 51 Cuppage Road.. Below, close up of the ball within its mouth.
WHEN I was a reporter with The Citizen, an interviewee told me that stone lions, those guarding the entrances of buildings, usually have a ball in their mouth. And if one is somehow able to take it out from their mouth (without destroying the lions of course), than you are sure to have good luck.

But those lions are not recognised as guardians for nothing. They certainly guard that ball in their mouth zealously. There's certainly no way one can remove the ball. Credits to the sculptors who carved the perfectly rounded ball in the lion's mouth. You put your hand in and you can actually roll that ball around in the lion's mouth. How tantalizing!

I used to have a rubber toy -- a dog holding on to a ball. Dad bought it at Change Alley -- each time he visited the place he would try to buy something there for us. He had to go down to the area for business almost every day. So it was always in great trepidation that we waited for Dad to come home in the evening.

Anyway, the dog was yellow all over but the ball was multicoloured. And each time I played with the toy, I wished I could remove the ball from its paws so that I could have a new ball to play with. Such an attractive ball it looked to me then. The size was just nice for the game of "Rounders" as well. Not sure whether you have played "Rounders" Singapore style -- but it was played like baseball without the bat. You are thrown a small ball which you have to bat with your hand and then try and do a home run before the ball is caught. If you haven't reached a base and got hit by the ball, you are out of the game.

The toy was subsequently "donated" to the church, along with a lot of old clothings and other toys. But I think it was rejected by the child it was supposed to be given to because I happened to see it at a dark corner of the church's hall -- all forlorn and the ball still secured in its paws.

Somehow, balls which are easily "obtainable" -- like the bright pink one in plastic netting that mum bought for us to play with (as a ball) -- are always not as attractive and appealing as those which are not easily obtainable like the one secured in the dog's paws.

Or the one in the lion's mouth.

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