|First Part of My Family Tale (standard:Creative non-fiction, 4598 words)|
|Author: Mookoo Liang||Added: Feb 14 2006||Views/Reads: 2408/1676||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|As the title indicates, this is the first part of my family tale, very true and very personal. I hope you'll like it.|
First Part of My Family Tale by Mookoo Liang ==== I ==== When dad and I arrived at our "old house," a little cottage located half way up the mountain, both he and I were somewhat excited. I had not come back here in a few months, so I was longing to see it again. But dad visited this place almost every day; working on the land surrounding the cottage was just the same old familiar routine for him. Could he be excited too? Perhaps he was not really excited. Yet obviously he was very pleased about my idea (and act!) of visiting the old cottage again that afternoon. When I said I missed our "old home" very much and asked if he would like to go together with me, dad said "Let's go!" immediately. Dad couldn't care less for the old cottage, the land surrounding it, and all the plants he grew over there. His fondness for those things was expressed in his eyes, and I noticed it while we both were walking across one of the terraced fields. The terraced fields were originally created for growing rice. Now rice became rather cheap, and dad was over seventy --- too old to grow rice. These level fields were also used for growing bananas, grapefruits, and betel nuts, just like some sloping fields on the hillside. We walked and talked in a leisurely way. Dad suddenly stopped, pointed to a banana tree with some brown leaves, and sighed, "It's very odd that recently banana trees are dying one after another. That must be a new type of disease that the chemicals fail to deal with." He explained to me why he had to substitute something else for the diseased bananas. If he planted a new banana in the very same spot where a banana had been killed by disease, that new tree would be infected and die soon. "Mostly I would put a betel nut in the place," dad added. "I'm getting old and weak. Growing betel nuts involves less labor." For quite a few moments neither dad nor I spoke. I thought of the fact that, in order to have a better job, all his children had already moved out of this mountainous area. Even dad and mom lived in a new house several kilometers away from this single and solitary cottage, so that they could obtain, as his children suggested, some next-door neighbors. Standing in the shade of trees, I watched dad cutting off brown banana leaves. He was adept at using a banana knife, which he usually hid somewhere in the field after work. And right in the middle of the field, dad had previously set up a garden sprinkler --- by tying a revolving tap at the top of a bamboo pole. He walked toward the pole and moved it a little further to water more betel nut seedlings. His blue shirt was partly wet now, as I could see, with more sweat than water. I looked around for anything else that I would have missed so much. The rugged mountains with different kinds of trees gave me a vivid picture, so familiar and so special, so amazing and so meaningful. Such a landscape could be seen from various "standpoints." To get more "good views," I moved around and looked in different directions. As I turned to the west, I noticed that the sun was sinking. Is the daytime always shorter in the mountains? I looked at dad again. He had stopped working and was walking toward me. "Dad," I called out. "Why not take a rest?" "No problem." "You must have spent a lot of time working here. In these and those fields, fruit trees are tall and weeds are few. How could you make it, dad? You have even set up such a perfect piping system!" "Oh! No water, no crops. Like vegetables, some fruit trees need special Click here to read the rest of this story (465 more lines)
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