Cute Animal Video Needles China's Censors

'Grass-mud horse' sounds like something a whole lot dirtier

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 12, 2009 8:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two months after it first appeared as a cartoon on a Chinese website, the grass-mud horse is everywhere; videos of the adorable alpaca-like creature have drawn millions of hits, and stuffed animals are for sale. But the grass-mud horse is not a children's cartoon; it's a filthy pun that slipped by Beijing's censors, reports the New York Times—which declined to print the translation.

"Grass-mud horse" is a homonym for "fuck your mother," the Times of London helpfully points out, and the video of children singing about the mythical creature has become an emblem of resistance to censorship. "Its underlying tone is: I know you do not allow me to say certain things," said one professor in Beijing. "But I am singing a cute children’s song—I am a grass-mud horse!"

The mythical creature is all the rage in China.
The mythical creature is all the rage in China.   (YouTube)
City Farm, Vauxhall
City Farm, Vauxhall   (©distillated)
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These children are singing an innocent song about a grass-mud horse - or a far more vulgar song, depending on the Chinese pronunciation.   (YouTube)

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