49 pages 1 hour read

Ha Jin

The Bridegroom

Fiction | Short Story Collection | Adult | Published in 2000

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Stories 4-6

Story 4 Summary: “A Tiger-Fighter Is Hard to Find”

The producers of a television series called Wu Song Beat the Tiger receive a letter from a provincial governor which praises their show. The governor points out a flaw as well, which is that the tiger the hero defeats looks fake. The governor hopes the producers will fix this weakness so that the show might go to Beijing to compete for a national prize.

The producers decide to reshoot the tiger-fighting scene using a real tiger to make the scene look more realistic. They obtain a Siberian tiger, which they keep in a cage behind the office building.

The production team heads to the edge of the woods to shoot the tiger-fighting scene. The medic gives the actor who is to fight the tiger, Huping, a bowl of liquor. He drinks the bowl in one swallow. They then shoot a tranquilizer into the tiger. Director Yu tells Huping, “Remember, once you are in the scene, you are no longer Wang Huping. You are the hero, a true tiger-fighter, a killer” (57). 

The tiger’s cage opens and the scene begins. Huping fights with the tiger until the tranquilizer begins to take effect and the tiger grows weak.