A six-year-old HIV carrier, has been living alone since his parents died of AIDS.
The boy, known as A-Long, does his own washing, cooking, studying and he also rears some chicken. He lives in his parents' house at the foothill village of Malu Mountain in Liuzhou in Guangxi Province, China.
Ah Long has an 84-year-old grandmother, who visits him quite frequently and cooks for him. The granny has also planted some vegetables near the house for A-Long.
A-Long does not know what AIDS is. All he knew was that his friends never want to be near him, doctors did not want to treat his wounds and his only family member – his granny – refused to live with him.
He was also rejected by the nearby primary school. The only companion the boy has is a dog called Lao Hei. Due to his complicated family background, the Welfare Department has declined to take care of the boy.
He receives 70 yuan (RM33) monthly subsistence allowance from the civil bureau but it is not enough.
After A-Long's story was published in Chinese newspapers, a couple announced that they would adopt the boy. However, it has yet to materialise.
A-Long lives in a hut on Malu Mountain that has no windows and leaks when it rains. His new blanket was given to him by a kind-hearted soul.
Six-year-olds like him normally have many mischievous playmates, but not A-Long. His parents suddenly moved to the mountain far away from the village.
A-Long has had his dog "Lao Hei" for a few years. Lao-Hei is at his side whenever A-Long is up and about. They are each others closest friends. He thinks that he leads a good life because he has Lao Hei. Even though his family has met with misfortune, A-Long has not shed any tears. Lao Hei sometimes sleep with him and guards the door.
Mrs Li gave a basketball to A-Long. He plays with it for an entire afternoon on the uneven, dusty ground. Social workers sometimes visit to give him cookies and crackers.
A-Long's grandmother visits him to bring him donations from the village committee. He will receive 70 yuan from November onwards. The amount increases to 100 yuan from next year onwards. His grandmother visits every few days. A-Long shows her his lunch of noodles. She wanted to send him to attend first grade, but the rest of the parents protested when they learnt of his condition. Social workers say that it is still best for relatives to adopt him.
Despite his small stature, A-Long frequently explores the hills nearby. He brings home firewood whenever he sees logs on the ground.
Boredom is a constant enemy for A-Long. Only when his grandmother visits does he has company.
His parents built this hut six years ago, but their death left A-Long all alone. At six years old, he has learnt to cook, wash, rear chickens and gather firewood.
His dinner consists of rice and vegetables without salt or any other garnishes. Leftovers are given to Lao Hei. Recently, A-Long received 20kg of rice and 5kg of noodles from a kind-hearted person. A-Long goes on guard whenever strangers go past. He is afraid they will steal his chickens.
In the evening when the temperature dips, A-Long boils water and takes a bath in the chilly wind.
The future is unclear for A-Long. No one knows what will happen.
(When the going gets tough, the tough gets going! Wish him good luck! Hope with a dog named Lao Hei helps.)