&#91FOUNTAIN&#93Chickens and pheasants

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&#91FOUNTAIN&#93Chickens and pheasants

Thirty million years ago, herds of the ancestors of present-day camels and llamas moved to the Andes Mountains from the Arabian Peninsula. Those that stayed on the peninsula evolved to be present-day camels, while the others that went to the Andes became llamas.
Thirty million years later, a male camel and a female llama met in a laboratory and gave birth to a “rama.” The experiment in artificial insemination produced an animal with no hump, like a llama, but with a long tail and short ears, like a camel.
Living creatures want to pass on their genes as they are, so they seek mates from the same bloodlines. But sometimes man intervenes. Before the Roman era, Hittites that rode thoroughbreds met Semites that had donkeys, and mules were born. There are many hybrids: a hinny, the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey, a zebroid, of horse and zebra blood, and a liger, born to a male lion and a female tiger. But sometimes these hybrids occur in nature as well.
Are the hybrids inferior to their parents? It depends on the circumstances and one’s point of view.
On one Internet bulletin board, a reader commented about dogs, “Mongrels are not good-looking and their fur is too heavy. But they are imperturbable and able to concentrate. They do not easily get eye diseases. These are the reasons that I like mongrels.” The poster said that he raised both purebred and mixed-breed dogs.
Recently, a strange thing happened in a farmer’s house in Okryong-dong, Gongju, South Chungcheong province. The household kept cock pheasants and hens in the same cage but the hen hatched some strange-looking eggs. The offspring have the head of a chicken and the feathers and tails of a pheasant.
Were the new “chicken pheasant” species to be propagated, a Korean saying, “chicken instead of pheasant” for a second-best choice would have to be changed a bit.
This is a time of conflicts between business and labor, between political parties and between liberals and conservatives.
I have no idea why they could not produce a interesting thing like a chicken-pheasant while they work in the same work places and at the same National Assembly and live in the same country. I am dreaming of our becoming a truly united people by overcoming me and embracing you.

by Lee Gyu-yeon

The writer is a deputy city news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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