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Sichuan man chooses to live in a cave for 25 years

(People's Daily Online)    17:42, August 10, 2016

A 43-year-old man in southwestern China's Sichuan province has been living in a cave for 25 years, Chengdu Economic Daily reported. The man, named Zhang Meikui, claims that he was evicted by his father, which is what initially led to him taking shelter in the cave. His father, meanwhile, denies Zhang's version of events.

Zhang said he found the cave while scavenging for mushrooms after being kicked out by his father. The cave is just a few kilometers away from his house. Living in the cave, Zhang makes a living by selling eels and herbs that he finds on the mountain. He eats peanuts and fruit that he buys from the market, and drinks the mountain's natural spring water.

Zhang's bedding and clothes are all fabric that has been discarded by other people. He sleeps on a pile of rags and covers himself with worn-out articles to keep warm at night.

Zhang washes feet before going home.

"He left home when he was 18," Zhang's father, Zhang Tinglu, said. Zhang's father also said that Zhang used to come home every now and then until a few years ago, but now he hasn't been back in two years.

Zhang said he was evicted because his father blamed him for eating too much, while Zhang's father remembers that Zhang began acting strange after recovering from a serious fever in his teens. The ultimate reason that Zhang ran away, according to his father, was a quarrel with his aunt.

"We told him to come home numerous times over the years, but he always refused," said Zhang's mother, who claims to have invited him home at least 20 times in just the last two years.

Zhang's father said that Zhang refuses to come home because his brother has built a new house, which Zhang believes is his property. But according to his father, Zhang's brother is the one who paid for the house. Zhang said he would not return home unless his brother moved out of the house. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Hongyu,Bianji)

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