学习啦【英语美文欣赏】 编辑：韦彦 发布时间：2016-09-30
A Good-luck Dumpling
In the second of those tumultuous years, I was labeled one of the "reactionary gang." What I feared most was not being queued up among this gang of so many, but the vicious practice of being publicly denounced on a truck in front of my own house. Well, fear or no fear, the lot fell on me soon enough. When the truck drove to the gate of my own house, my mother, who was already in her eighties, spotted me on the truck. Her lips trembling and eyes shut, she first leaned against the wall, then collapsed, weak and limp like soft mud on the ground. Meanwhile, my wife just stood there dumbfounded like a blockhead, forgetting even to help my mother up.
There and then I was afraid Mother would leave me forever. Thank God, she somehow managed to survive.
On the eve of the Spring Festival of that year, I was unexpectedly released to return home.
As I stepped into the house, Mother looked me up and down with unbelieving eyes before she threw herself on me and caressed my face. Then burying her head in my arms, she wept bitterly while my wife and children stood sobbing at a distance.
"Daughter-in-law, let's start making dumplings for the Festival!" Mother said to my wife. Instantly the whole family began chopping meat and kneading dough. In no time, all had gathered around the table to make dumplings. Just then an idea dawned on my mother, and she suggested, "I say, let's put in a coin and make a good-luck dumpling. Whoever eats it will be blessed."
I agreed to make Mother happy, hoping that the coin would fall to her. With all my heart I wished her a long life.
Mother took a blue cloth parcel from the wardrobe, unfolded it and picked out a copper coin of the Daoguang period. With shaking hands she put the coin on a dumpling wrapper, added some filling, and made one which we used to call a good-luck dumpling. During the process, Mother secretly made a mark on the edge of the dumpling before mixing it with the rest. She pretended nothing had happened, but the trick didn't escape my eye. I bore the mark firmly in mind.
Mother boiled the dumplings all by herself. The nearly cooked dumplings floated onto the surface like a herd of lambs. I spotted the marked dumpling at first sight.
When she scooped up the dumplings, Mother deliberately put the good-luck dumpling on top of the others in a bowl and pushed the bowl to me, saying, "Help yourself, Take as many as you like while they are hot.” A ware of warmth surged over me and my nose twitched. I had thought it would make Mother happy and give her a lovely surprise if she ate the good-luck dumpling. But I could not figure out how to get her to eat it for she could easily identify the dumpling.
I then thought of my wife who had lived with me for twenty years and was getting on fifty. She was almost worn out with worry as I was denounced. Taking the opportunity when she went to the kitchen for chilli oil, I put the good-luck dumpling into her bowl. Who could have expected that she would recognize the dumpling as well! Back from the kitchen, she took a glance at her bowl and then gazed at me with tears brimming in her deep grateful eyes.
She kept silent and ate a few dumplings; then she said," These dumplings have stuck together."She stood up and shook the bowls one after another while shifting hers withmy mother's. Obviously Mother didn't notice the shift and went on eating with her eyes on me the all the time. "Ouch!" suddenly she cried out. The coin had hurt her teeth.
"Oh, Granny is blessed! She got the good-luck dumpling! " my wife shouted like a child.
" I. . . . How come?" Mother was puzzled. Just at that moment, something fell out of her mouth onto the plate with a clang. It was none other than the coin.
So I joined my wife and children in a chorus, "Granny is blessed! Mother is blessed! "
Mother burst into laughter, and then into tears, as my wife and I shared with her all her sorrow and joy.
Moonlight over the Lotus Pond
It has been rather disquieting these days. Tonight, when I Was sitting in the yard enjoying thecool, it occurred to me that the Lotus Pond, which I pass by every day, must assume quite adifferent look in such moonlit night. A full moon was rising high in the sky; the laughter ofchildren playing outside had died away; in the room, my wife was patting the son, Run-er,sleepily humming a cradle song. Shrugging on an overcoat, quietly, I made my way out, closingthe door behind me.
Alongside the Lotus Pond runs a small cinder footpath. It is peaceful and secluded here, aplace not frequented by pedestrians even in the daytime; now at night, it looks more solitary,in a lush, shady ambience of trees all around the pond. On the side where the path is, thereare willows, interlaced with some others whose names I do not know. The foliage, which, in amoonless night, would loom somewhat frighteningly dark, looks very nice tonight, although themoonlight is not more than a thin, grayish veil.
I am on my own, strolling, hands behind my back. This bit of the universe seems in mypossession now; and I myself seem to have been uplifted from my ordinary self into anotherworld. I like a serene and peaceful life, as much as a busy and active one; I like being insolitude, as much as in company. As it is tonight, basking in a misty moonshine all by myself, Ifeel I am a free man, free to think of anything, or of nothing. All that one is obliged to do, or tosay, in the daytime, can be very well cast aside now. That is the beauty of being alone. For themoment, just let me indulge in this profusion of moonlight and lotus fragrance.
All over this winding stretch of water, what meets the eye is a silken field of leaves, reachingrather high above the surface, like the skirts of dancing girls in all their grace. Here and there,layers of leaves are dotted with white lotus blossoms, some in demure bloom, others in shybud, like scattering pearls, or twinkling stars, or beauties just out of the bath. A breeze stirs,sending over breaths of fragrance, like faint singing drifting from a distant building. At thismoment, a tiny thrill shoots through the leaves and lilies, like, a streak of lightning, straightacross the forest of lotuses. The leaves, which have been standing shoulder to shoulder, arecaught shimmering in an emerald heave of the pond. Underneath, the exquisite water iscovered from view, and none can tell its colour; yet the leaves on top project themselves all themore attractively.
The moon sheds her liquid light silently over the leaves and flowers, which, in the floatingtransparency of a bluish haze from the pond, look as if they had just been bathed in milk, orlike a dream wrapped in a gauzy hood. Although it is a full moon, shining through a film ofclouds, the light is not at its brightest; it is, however, just right for me a profound sleep isindispensable, yet a snatched doze also has a savour of its own. The moonlight is streamingdown through the foliage, casting bushy shadows on the ground from high above, jagged andcheckered, as grotesque as a party of spectres; whereas the benign figures of the droopingwillows, here and there, look like paintings on the lotus leaves. The moonlight is not spreadevenly over the pond, but rather in a harmonious rhythm of light and shade, like a famousmelody played on a violin.
Around the pond, far and near, high and low, are trees. Most of them are willows. Only on thepath side, can two or three gaps be seen through the heavy fringe, as if specially reserved forthe moon. The shadowy shapes of the leafage at first sight seem diffused into a mass of mist,against which, however, the charm of those willow trees is still discernible. Over the treesappear some distant mountains, but merely in sketchy silhouette. Through the branches arealso a couple of lamps, as listless as sleepy eyes. The most lively creatures here, for themoment, must he the cicadas in the trees and the frogs in the pond. But the liveliness is theirs,I have nothing.
Suddenly, something like lotus-gathering crosses my mind. It used to he celebrated as a folkfestival in the South, probably dating very far hack in history, most popular in the period ofSix Dynasties. We can pick up some outlines of this activity in the poetry. It was young girlswho went gathering lotuses, in sampans and singing love songs. Needless to say, there were agreat number of them doing the gathering, apart from those who were watching. It was a livelyseason, brimming with vitality, and romance. A brilliant description can be found in lotusGathering written by the Yuan Emperor of the liang Dynasty:
So those charming youngsters row their sampans, heart buoyant with tacit love, pass on toeach other cups of wine while their bird-shaped prows drift around. From time to time theiroars are caught in dangling algae, and duckweed flow apart the moment their boats are aboutto move on. Their slender figures, girdled with plain silk, tread watchfully on board. This is thetime when spring is grating into summer, the leaves a tender green and the flowers blooming- among which the girls are giggling when evading an out-reaching stem, their skirts tucked infor fear that the sampan might tilt.
That is a glimpse of those merrymaking scenes. It must have been fascinating: butunfortunately we have long been denied such a delight.
Then I recall those lines in Ballad of Xizhou Island:
Gathering the lotus, I am in the South Pond, / The lilies in autumn reach over my head; /Lowering my head I toy with the lotus seeds. / Look, they are as fresh as the wasterunderneath.If there were somebody gathering lotuses tonight, she could tell that the lilies hereare high enough to "reach over her head"; but, one would certainly miss the sight of the water.So my memories drift back to the South after all.
Deep in my thoughts, I looked up, just to find myself at the door of my own house. Gently Ipushed the door open and walked in. Not a sound inside, my wife had been fast asleep for quitea while.
Qinghua Campus, Beijing July, I927.
A View of Huanglong
One of Sichuan's finest scenic spots is Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) , which lies in SongpanCounty just beneath Xuebao, the main peals of the Minshan Mountains. Its lush green forests,filled with fragrant flowers, bubbling streams, and songbirds, are rich in historical interest aswell as natural beauty.
Legend has it that sane 4, 000 years ago, when great floods threatened the people of centralChina, Yu the Great resolved to tame the mighty rivers. He journeyed inland in a boat, butwas soon stopped by the torrential current. Fortunately, a yellow dragon appeared and borethe boat upstream as far as it could go. Yu succeeded in controlling the flood and went on tofound the 500-year Xia Dynasty, but the exhausted dragon could not return to the sea, anddied at the foot of Xuebao Peak.
Viewing Huanglong from a distance, one might imagine that the noble serpent for which thearea was named is still lying on the hillside. Actually, this "yellow dragon' is a geologicalformation unique to this karst region; its yellow color is due to a layer of calcium carbonate,and the tiny, clear pools that line its back took like scales. The dragon is surrounded try, sprucetrees and assorted rare flowering plants in blue, white, red, and purple.
On the hilltop stands the Yellow Dragon Monastery, a Taoist retreat hilt in the Ming Dynasty(1368-- 1644). A karst cave lies before it, and a stone tablet was erected behind. All but thetop of the tablet has been eroded by calcium carbonate, and the inscriptions have becomeunreadable. Every year in the sixth lunar month, the local people, along with Tibetan, Qiang,Hui, and Han visitors from neighboring provinces of Qinghai and Gansu travel to the monasteryon horseback for a temple fair. They set up tents and celebrate wish songs and dances far intothe night.
Many of Chinas famous landscapes, such as those of Guilin in Guangxi Province and the StoneForest in Yunnan Province, are also built on karst formations. But each has its own character.
Giant pandas, takins, and pheasants roam the forests of Huanglong, along with many otherspecies of animals and birds. Huanglong and nearby Jiuzhaigou will soon be made a naturepreserve to protect the area's ecology and to allow scientists to observe these rare animalsin their own habitats.