The village of Sun Yap downed tools for 15 minutes today to celebrate Xiang, a 6 year-old child prodigy who has become the country's youngest apprentice. Xiang will take up full-time employment at the nearby Happy Shoe Industrial Plastics and Meat Rendering plant next week.
"It is a dream come true, we always knew he was special", said his father, speaking from their 4-foot square concrete apartment. "When he was four, I returned home early from a 25 hour shift to find he had assembled 1,500 clothes pegs from the raw parts I had left under my sleeping mat. They were perfect, he'd even asked his younger brother to flog him during his work, to provide extra motivation. We were so proud". His interest in menial labour was sparked by his mother: "he used to watch me hand-rolling AA batteries in the early dawn, he was such an inquisitive child. He was trying to help me scoop in the acid from as young as three!" his mother exclaimed.
A heavily-armed supervisor at the factory explained why Xiang was such a promising young protégé: "Xiang's nimble fingers are perfect for stitching, soldering and carrying dangerous chemicals in open containers. He is a real asset to our labour force. And he has a natural ability to heal really quickly from minor industrial accidents: you can barely see some of his facial scars".
Xiang faced tough competition in his quest for the apprenticeship, competition that left many of his peers grotesquely disfigured. "Xiang is a real grafter, he never lets obstacles such as poor lighting, exhaustion or chemical burns hold him back. There have even been days when we haven't needed to whip him", the supervisor gushed. "If he keeps up this good work, he might even find himself working for one of our 'Blue Chip' companies, such as Apple or Primark".
But young Xiang has his own ambitions. "One day, I would love to be responsible for stitching the hair on Disney dolls. They say that the materials hardly ever cause tumors, but I've been told I'm too old for toys".