Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Steve’s words made Li Du puzzled. “What? What do you mean, am I interested in?”
“I want to save it, then keep it as a pet,” Steve said hopefully.
Li Du laughed and said, “It will be too much trouble. It’s difficult, man. This is an adult manul, it is wild and hard to tame.”
“As long as I have perseverance and give it love and affection, I think I can tame it,” said Steve confidently.
Li Du did not know what gave him the confidence to say this. He looked at Elson and said, “Sir, you always protect this boy very well. He needs to know how hard it is to gain someone’s trust.”
Steve waved to his bodyguard, then pointed to his heart and said, “Of course I know. I struggle with life every day.”
Seeing him so confident, Li Du didn’t say much more. He merely shook his head and let Steve do as he wished.
Steve optimistically said, “I hope you’re not interested in this manul. You’ve got a whole family of pets. It’s time for me to have one too.”
The Ford brothers followed, and Little Ford, rubbing his hands, said, “Manul? This animal is very interesting. Let me take it.”
Big Ford shook his head. “I’ll do it. Look at the poor little thing. It looks like it is meant to be with me. Don’t you think it is looking at me?”
Steve said, “When manuls are looking at something, they are usually preparing to catch prey.”
Li Du could not bear listening to them anymore. The group of people was looking and chatting, while the manul, which was already in a panic because it was stuck in the mud, became even more frightened after seeing them.
However, he knew what the group was thinking. The men, envious of his obedient and capable pets, aimed to domesticate the manul they met.
The reason they were so enthusiastic about the manul was that they had asked Li Du why his pets were so obedient and attached to him.
What could Li Du say? All he could do was waffle about how he got the little ones.
His listeners concluded that when he got his pets, they were all in danger. Ah Meow, for instance, was captured in a hunting trap, Ah Ow was newly born, Ali was abandoned by his mother and so on.
It was an experience they had taken to heart, to see the manul in peril, and they thought it was a good start to taming the animal, just like when Li Du got his pets.
The three people began to quarrel about who the manul should belong to and who should rescue it.
Li Du looked at them and wanted to laugh. The manul was about to sink in the swamp completely. The mud had almost reached its neck. If they continued arguing, they might as well prepare a graveyard for the poor animal.
The manul cried out in terror. Li Du could not watch quietly anymore, and shouted, “Stop arguing, just rescue it quickly!”
The three men finally realized that they needed to act, and Steve took a shovel from his bodyguard, stepped on a stone, and began digging mud.
This little swamp was a bit of an oddity, located in a crevice of a large rock, which was very rare in the taiga.
The mud moved slowly, and Steve swung the shovel fast enough to hollow out a circle around the manul. Then he switched to a larger shovel and thrust it under the animal, dragging it out of the mud.
The manul was completely covered in mud, leaving only a fat, furry head.
After being rescued, it desperately shook out its fur, trying to get rid of the mud, which was so smelly that the crowd retreated to escape.
Steve ignored the stench and kept smiling at the manul. “Come, little chubby fella, come here to me, come to Daddy…”
The manul shook off most of the mud and started to run. It did not even look back, and desperately ran into the trees.
Steve was anxious. He waved and shouted, “Chase it! Get it back!”
It was the pet he had been waiting for, and he could not let the manul escape, not after all the trouble he had gone to in order to rescue it.
A group of people ran after the wild cat, but although the manul had short legs and could not run as fast as other felines, it was still much faster than humans.
In addition, the poor manul was frightened out of its wits. At this moment, it was doing all it could to run away as fast as its legs could carry it. Finally, it vanished among the trees.
Steve ran after it, shouting, “Don’t run! Come back here! Ha…Haa..!”
Elson followed, also shouting, “Steve, don’t exercise too hard! Stop! Be careful with your heart!”
Li Du shook his head, not knowing what to say.
He took the others to find a flat spot to light a campfire for lunch. There were swarms of mosquitoes flying around. Li Du soon had his exposed skin full of angry red welts because he was not careful enough.
However, his body adapted to the mosquitoes’ venom, and though he was covered with bumps, they were not painful or itchy.
To be in Siberia was to suffer. If they had been somewhere else, maybe they would have found food from the wild. There had to be something edible around here as well.
Li Du thought about it for a while. He wanted to find some food, not because they didn’t have enough to eat, but for fun. It would help the team connect with the area.
Many birds lived in the taiga, and some of them would build their nests on the ground There were no snakes and few rodents, so the eggs were usually safe.
Unfortunately, these birds did not expect they would encounter a group of enemies today, combing the ground in search of bird eggs.
Brother Wolf and the others were field survival experts. They did not search blindly but first looked up in the air to find birds, then followed their tracks to find the nests.
The taiga was still cold in April. Most of the birds had not come back yet from the warmer regions where they had overwintered. They did, however, spot some black Siberian grouse.
They soon found the nest of a grouse. This bird would lay up to a dozen eggs in a clutch, each of them about the size of a chicken egg.
There were six eggs in this nest. Brother Wolf wanted to pick them up. Li Du stopped him and said, “Take four and leave two for the mother bird.”
Brother Wolf and the others rolled their eyes. They took four eggs, and the two birds sitting on a branch above them screamed. Li Du did not know whether they were calling them shameless or praising them for their conscience.
There were not many nests in the taiga, and looking for eggs was fun.
Li Du released Ah Meow and Ah Ow to search for birds’ nests, which would surely improve efficiency. Relying on their eyes alone to observe, the scope of the search was too small, and the probability of finding nests was too low.
After searching for a while, they came back with two bags of eggs. At that time, Steve and his people came back. Seeing Steve’s disappointed expression, Li Du asked, “Where is your pet?”
Steve gave him a sideways look and said, “Are you making fun of me?”
Li Du laughed and said, “How would I?”
Steve laughed, “Yeah, why would I let you?”
He went to open the door of the car. Inside was a cage, and the hapless manul was shivering inside it.