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Through the Window - chapter 2 (youngsters:adventure, 1569 words) [2/2] show all parts
Author: WaltAdded: Apr 23 2013Views/Reads: 8681/1843Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
In Chapter 2 Jerry begins the adventure with Li

Chapter 2	Grasp bird's tail 

“Sir, I would like to do my presentation from my desk if I may. Perhaps
everyone could move their desks a little so they can see me.” Jerry 
glanced at the window. It was shimmering, just as it did yesterday. “I 
will give each of my talks with the name of a move from tai jiquan, 
then I will demonstrate that move at the end of the class and everyone 
can try it. My story will have the customs of the 19th century China 
woven into it. I will tell the story from the perspective of a 
beautiful girl named Li. Li is our age and attending school at the end 
of the school year. Li has been promised to marry a man she never met, 
but she wishes to marry someone else: her former teacher!” That got a 
few sighs from some of the girls. “I will pretend to be doing a live TV 
report from China.” Jerry glanced at his typed notes from last night. 

“Let us begin our journey back in time to a small school near the
village of Xiaoping. 

The title of my presentation today is – Grasp bird's tail.” 

Jerry cleared his throat and glancing through the window, began talking:
“Li was devastated. She was certain her heart was physically broken. 
Her one true love was not in the classroom. When the old man in charge 
of all the schools in the district said that he would be their 
replacement teacher for the remaining 12 days of the school year 
because Instructor Cheng had suddenly left to become a monk, Li almost 
burst into tears. How could Cheng do this? He had to know that this 
fifteen-year-old girl was madly in love with him. In two months, she 
would be sixteen and they could be married. She stared, misty-eyed at 
the ancient man who was now talking about the geography of Europe. What 
did she care of Europe? – she had a much more serious problem than 
Genghis Khan ever had with European rivers and forests. 

Li had been in love with her teacher for the past two years and she was
certain that he loved her. Cheng could never show his love of course, 
for a teacher was forbidden to fall in love with a student. That 
situation was within days of changing when Li would finish her 
schooling, and then becoming sixteen, she would be free to marry the 
older man. Li was determined to marry Cheng, even though it would be 
against the wishes of her family. She did not care - it was her life 
and her happiness. 

For the past several years, ever since her father announced that she
would be marrying a distant cousin, Fang Lu, Li had lived in terror of 
the man she had never met. How could her father do this to her? She 
begged her mother to intervene but her mother said she had to defer to 
her husband's wishes. Besides, she told Li, Fang Lu was a nice boy from 
a good family. That her mother had not seen this cousin in eight years 
did not give Li any hope of what the man would be like. He could not be 
as handsome and kind as Cheng, she knew that in her heart. 

Her father tried to cheer Li with plans for the wedding, for although
they were not wealthy farmers, her father promised a sumptuous wedding. 
He would kill four or five ducks and a young goat for the main dinner. 
The parents of Fang Lu would be travelling three days just to come to 
the wedding. Three days in a horse-drawn carriage was an impressive 
journey – a much longer trip than Li had ever made. That she would be 
returning to her new home with the Lu family another long three days 
frightened her almost as much as marrying the strange man. She would be 
many miles from her friends and family, perhaps never to see them 
again. O, how could her father do this! Marry her to some older man she 
had never seen. 

Cheng too, was older than she was, but that was different. They loved
each other, they knew each other. The teacher often wore the fine silk 
vest she had made for him. He would sit with her as they ate their 
lunches. He would tell her about far-off places and strange people, 
things he wanted to see. He had heard stories about North America and 
hoped to travel across the sea to that wonderful place. She wanted to 
experience all these places with him. Life would be wonderful. She 
pictured herself walking through the markets with the tall, thin man. 
They would buy fruits and melons, honey and spices from faraway lands. 
In the evenings, Cheng would read to her from his books as they sat by 
a pond filled with lotus flowers, watching the herons fly home to roost 
as the sun set in the pink clouds. 

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