Check out this postcard from another pen pal from China! When I started pen-palling in 2011, many of my friends lived in China. In case you’re curious, I used PenPal World, which is an awesome site to connect internationally on! Anyway, this is a card from China Post itself, endorsing the Year of the Snake – 2013! I was able to deduce this with a little help from Kanji Writer and the depiction of the snake here. In short, the snake is characterized as being an analytical thinker, calm, materialistic, and passionate. Pretty ironic considering how negatively denoted they are (even more ironic is that snakes are considered to be suspicious and overly careful… whereas common culture suggests that snakes are the ones to be suspicious of!) Do you remember the post I made about the Year of the Rat and the big race? The snake has its story in it too! It is said that during the race, the snake latched itself to the hoof of the horse. At the finish line, it popped out and scared the horse, robbing it of the lead and securing sixth place. It’s also said that the dragon and snake, who were good friends, arrived at the same time, but because the emperor saw the dragon first (who wouldn’t – it’s a gosh-dang dragon), the dragon was granted the fifth seat. A goal of mine is to be able to share the stories of all twelve zodiacs and feature them all on this page. Guess retirement is not on the table quite yet, then! Thank you so much for this super cool postcard, Mark! (Check out for the story of the rat and the race to become zodiacs!)