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“wenzili,wenzili!” in an early morning of the next day, a loud shouting was heard outside the hut. They were my neighbor friends, who rode on a buffalo back and came to fulfill their commitment.|
Our destination was Dashahu, where there must be tremendous fun, as they repeated again and again before.
Sure enough, it was in flooding season. A spectacular scene appeared in front of mine. The lake was full of endless lotus. Millions of pink flowers sparsely inserted in the leave sea as if pieces of rubies were decorated in dark green velvet. The waving leaves driven by gusts of breeze insistently generated stirring booming sounds.
“Wenzili, let’s go down the water and pick up the lotus seeds!” my friends proposed loudly.
“Yes, but how can we do without boat? Will we drown?” said I cowardly.
“Oh! No, definitely not. Although it seems to be as vast as a sea, actually, the water is very shallow just covers our waist. ”one boy said.
“Besides, the bottom is very flat, unless you tramp to a lotus-picking hole.” the other pointed out.
“Lotus-picking hole?” I inquired.
“Yes, it is a hole dug by someone for lotus root before.” They explained.
“If you still scare, you may ride on our buffalo back, we’ll go down the water. Ok?” the old brother asked.
I nodded to them and did my best to try the buffalo ridding.
With their help, I finally had climbed on the back. Looking down the water, I found they all undressed and were stamping ahead like two wading birds.
Just a moment later, they all disappeared in the lotus sea, left a trace of turbid water and hail behind.
I didn’t want to lag behind, and raised up the yoke rope in hand, shouted to drive the buffalo ahead. Sure enough, no sooner than the beast trotted up, I also rushed into the lotus sea.
It was the early autumn, there were numerous lotus leaves supported by petioles (stems) above our heads just like someone kindly shaded us with countless umbrellas.
Like green jades, the lovely seedpods were nodding and bowing everywhere.
Under the leaves, my friends fully stretched their aims and picked up the seedpods as swift as combine harvesters.
Since the buffalo I rode was too clumsy to drive and I could do nothing on its back.
Seeing my friends’ success, I could bear my situation and made up my mind to free from the hindrance.
I quickly stripped myself and slid from buffalo’s back, then, jumped into the water in complete nude.
I immediately realized I was wrong. Picking up lotus seeds in water is by no means as easy as I imagined. Like rose stem, there were lots of thorns on the petioles, which laid above and beneath the water and spread everywhere.
As if tramped on caltrops, first on my soles, legs then thighs; even bottom and berry burst out lot of sharp pains.
Thank to so many seedpods surrounding me, the picking “high pleasure” immediate drove any pain away.
Soon after my action, my hands were fully occupied by the seedpods and I had no idea how to carry on. Took a quick glimpse to my friends, I found an interesting scene.
When they picked the seedpods, they left the stems about one foot long and tied up the far ends together, then, split them as two parts and let them striding across their necks.
It’s really a good idea to free from their hands. I copied their way in hurry.
After a while, I heard a splash toward to me. One of my friends came and told me:“Wenzili, I suggested you to pick more old seeds rather than tender ones, since the old lotus seeds could be good substitution for rice”.
He was right, when the seed getting old, not only it contains more starch, but also can be reserved easily. Therefore, the old seeds were more helpful to us in that famine year.
When I tried to pick up a dark blown pod, its toughness made me puzzled again.
“Oh, come on, it’s very easy.” found my awkward performance, he came across and showed me the way again. Firstly, he tied up his trousers legs and held its waist in one hand, then, he bent and swayed the old pod in another hand.
To my surprise, all dark seeds inside the pod automatically fell into his trousers.
“When the seeds get ripe,” he explained,“the connection between seeds and pod is very week, therefore, a minor shaking is enough to separate them.”
Had leant this advanced technology; I spared no effort to fully use my trousers. Just a little while, two of my trousers legs were bulged.
I was very enthusiastic and excited, because I knew this harvest might help my parents and sisters to get rid of at least one week’s hunger.
[ Last edited by wenzili at 2010-1-8 05:58 PM ]