The modern dilemma over whether it’s okay for young boys to play games based on warfare was seemingly put to the test in Taiwan recently as two very young boys happened upon a real and unused grenade near the park they were playing in.

The event, which was reported in Searchina based on New Taipei media, resulted in the military getting called in and opened up a slew of legal and sociological debate.

Finders Keepers
On 28 February, a third-grade elementary school boy was playing war with his friend in a park in New Taipei City when he found a grenade sitting roadside near a junkyard by the park.

Upon picking up the ordnance the lad found its safety pin curious and wondered what would happen if he pulled it out.  However, a friend talked some sense into him saying, “It might explode and blow us both to bits if you pulled it.”

Hearing that, he decided to leave it be. They put it in a cardboard box and hid it in the park expecting it’s rightful owner to come looking for it. However, well into the next day it still sat there unclaimed. They then decided to take it to the local fire department for fear that it could hurt innocent people.

Lost and Found
At about 6pm on 1 March, the pair rode up to the station on their bikes with the explosive device and brought it into the crew on duty. Thinking it was a toy or some prank the firefighters casually took the grenade from them, but quickly noticed that it was the real thing.

After a moment of speechlessness, they called in the police for further inspection. Inspectors found that the grenade was undamaged and the safety pin was still firmly in place. However, they also deemed it to be a potentially lethal explosive and ordered the fire station and its immediate surroundings evacuated.

The bomb disposal unit of the Sixth Army Corps rushed to the scene where they again confirmed that it was a real grenade. They placed it in a blast-proof container and took it away.

As the authorities are looking into why a grenade was left on the side of a road, netizens praised the wherewithal of the children to understand how a grenade worked and not to pull the pin. Some accredited their habit of playing war games with teaching them how to behave safe around such weapons.

Although it has become increasingly lax and perhaps soon to be virtually non-existent in Taiwan, some are blaming the tradition of mandatory conscription for allowing such weapons to be leaked. On the other hand a few people posed an interesting legal issue: If no one claims the grenade in six months, isn’t it the legal property of the boy?

Meanwhile in Japan, netizens were overwhelmingly surprised that they were reading a story about Taiwan and not their own Fukuoka Prefecture, a place uniquely famous as the number one location for both beautiful women and grenade attacks.

Source: NicoNico News via Hachima Kiko (Japanese)
Image: Wikipedia