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The Seagull and Me (standard:romance, 1707 words)
Author: Mookoo LiangAdded: Feb 14 2006Views/Reads: 1897/1554Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
I'm submitting this story on the Valentine's Day in 2006 to celebrate ....
 



The Seagull and Me 

by Mookoo Liang 

======== 

I started grazing cattle when I was twelve or younger. In those days I
was still an elementary school student. I went to a small-sized school 
not too far from my house every morning. But when school was over in 
the afternoon, I returned home and naturally turned to be a "cowboy." 

I would graze an old cow and a newly bought young one by leading them
down the hillside, so they could eat the green grass along the banks of 
a brook. Usually, with these animals browsing freely over there, I 
would enjoy myself watching the beautiful sunset; meanwhile, I would 
hear lots of birds singing loudly, or amazingly, in the woods near the 
hill. It sounded as if the birds were in a hurry to return home, or as 
though they were arguing about their nests or something. 

From that resounding "orchestra" presented by them at sunset, I could
tell what kinds of birds they were. I recognized such birds as crows, 
sparrows, baitouwong (white-headed bird), wuqiu (black bird with a 
distinct Y-shaped tail), banjiu (turtledoves), etc. Among these flying 
creatures, I loved wuqiu the most, for they were supposedly friendly 
with farmers. As for banjiu, I also like them very much, because they 
looked like the doves my neighbor Uncle Jiang had had. 

Sometimes I would come across Uncle Jiang's nephew Minghui while he and
I were grazing our own cattle. Brother Minghui had moved from a distant 
town to live with his uncle here in the mountain village. Very soon he 
became my best friend, leading his ox to the sides of the brook more 
and more often. We chatted and laughed together; we sang together the 
songs "Cuckoos," "Sweet Family," "Little Lambs Are Going Home," etc. 
But the most exciting thing for us to do was to look for birds in the 
woods. 

When we were tired from playing, we would both lie still on the grass,
watching the colorful clouds in the sky and, particularly, the setting 
sun that was being swallowed up by the mountains in the west. 

"How marvelous it would be," I once said excitedly to Minghui, "if only
I were a dove!" 

"Oh, no!" His reply impressed me, "A dove is just nothing. I wish I were
a seagull, instead. A seagull isn't confined to these mountains; it can 
fly a long way, playing between the sea and heaven!" 

My goodness! What did a seagull look like? I was very confused at once. 

And time flew! I graduated from the elementary school and started going
to junior high. The junior-high school was several kilometers away from 
my house. I had to spend more time commuting to school. And I needed 
much more time for studies. My father no longer wanted me to graze our 
cows; such a job had become my younger brother's duty. However, during 
the long summer vacation for students, I felt like grazing cattle 
again. I felt it most enjoyable to graze our cows along the small 
stream as I had usually done before. But now Brother Minghui had gone 
somewhere far away as a seaman. 

When I was in the second year of junior high, one of my favorite
elementary-school teachers Mr. Zhang moved to Pingdong, in southern 
Taiwan. I missed him so much that I sent him a Christmas card made by 
myself. A few days later, I received a surprisingly beautiful card from 
him: It was a picture of the ocean, with a fiery sunset as the 
background, with two ships moving in different directions on the 
colored waves, and with quite a number of seabirds flying . . . Well, 
are they so-called "seagulls"? I asked myself. 

I was too excited to sleep soundly that night. Closing my eyes, I
couldn't help murmuring to myself: If only I would become a great 
sailor when growing up! Yes, I really wished to sail across the biggest 
oceans in the world someday. 

Then, time flying fast, I graduated from junior high. I passed a
particular exam and was therefore admitted to Provincial Teachers' 


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