HONG KONG: Exorcising a Dragon

When bulldozers began clearing ground for a parking lot last November, Hong Kong government engineers expected no obstacles greater than some boulders and a few scruffy trees. They reckoned that the parking site, on a hill atop the tiny border village of Lok Ma Chau, would enable busloads of tourists to view China conveniently from the hill's observation post.

What the surveyors had failed to detect was the baleful presence of an invisible cliff dweller—a dragon widely believed by local villagers to have lived there at least since the Sung Dynasty (A.D. 960-1279).

According to the village patriarch, Man Hing-lap, the...

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