The Bamboo Horse is a Wolf
Title: The Bamboo Horse is a Wolf (竹马是只狼)
Author: The Meow After Sleeping In (睡懒觉的喵)
Published: September 2011
Written by well-known online author, The Meow After Sleeping In, the title of this book borrows from the literal translation of 青梅竹马: green plums and a bamboo horse. It refers to childhood sweethearts or a boy and girl who grow up together to become a couple.
From the very beginning, we learn that Yan Xiao (颜笑) has gotten married to her “childhood sweetheart.” But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies like you would expect. Nope, she’ll let you know that if you are so unlucky as to be captured by him, then it would become a nightmare of nightmares. And, unfortunately for her, she meets that wolf at the age of five.
Most of the story is about how the main male character, Wen Yi (文奕), comes back from studying abroad and uses roundabout ways to prevent Yan Xiao from dating others; eventually tricking her, with assistance from her mother (the “Empress”), into marrying him. The reason she is so reluctant to be together with him is kept hidden from the reader until nearly the end, leaving you wondering what actually happened three years ago for her to forever relegate him into the friend zone.
At the root of it all, this is one of those black belly (腹黑/two-faced, scheming) stories where the main female character is tormented by the main male character, who appears to be nice and friendly, and is generally very smart and competent. Personally, I dislike this type of story where the female is weak and is taken advantage of. But at least the female lead is fairly smart in this one, just not as cunning nor ruthless as the male lead. There’s also a handsome second lead thrown into the fray too, who I, as a sucker for second leads, was rooting for for most of it; it’s too bad he had no chance from the beginning.
With 24 chapters and an epilogue, it’s a decently short read. While, there is a looming question the entire time (which I found to be annoying), there’s little angst and everything moves along at a decent pace. While it leaves something to be desired, it’s quite fun to read while Wen Yi fumes in jealousy when his plans to capture Yan Xiao’s heart falls short time and time again, with some retribution to boot.
Read or Not: Read for black belly antics. Skip otherwise.
Here’s a short translated intro:
The year she was five, Yan Xiao mistakenly becomes hated for all eternity: When she was playing with toy cars with Wen Yi, she accidentally smashed one onto his forehead.
Wen Yi, who’s feature had been broken, cried as he bawled, “Don’t you know that I won’t be handsome anymore if a scar’s left there? Don’t you know that no girls will come play with me like this? Don’t you know that…”
Yan Xiao cried back in rage, “What are you crying for? If it’s a biggie, I’ll take you as a husband!”
Thus, twenty years later, tragedy occurs —
With that heroically, threatening, handsome face, Wen Yi pushes up the fringe on his forehead and protests coquettishly, “This scar was caused by you. Take responsibility!”
Yan Xiao, “I remember it didn’t leave a scar back then.”
Wen Yi, “Uh-huh…I smashed this myself. But it’s still your fault. You must marry me!”
Yan Xiao, “…”
The facts prove that shamelessness has no bounds.