柯淑华:古榕村的故事

The Gurong Village’s Story

The Mountain,was called Henglingshan,and we can’t know what dynasty it was when it was named.The Village,was called Gurong Village,all the cottages of which were built of brick walls and grey tiles.There was an old banyan,and probably it stood there since the village came into being.The graver of time engraved the trunk indelibly,and the mottled cracks recorded all of the little village’s difficulties and hardships.Whenever the autumn wind swept the fallen leaves,the trunk calmly accompanied the village to spend days and nights.

The village was at the foot of the mountain and was in the high mountains’ arms around it.From generation to generation,the village people lived here.They felt at ease and justified.They never entertained high hopes of the colorful world.At this common village,the rough singing of the people who played Huangmei Operas could be heard everynight,which was the brief comfort the village people had sought in the pained days.In the daytime a village girl’s shadow could be seen to cut firewood or pick weeds.She was a hardworking girl.Although she was not very goodlooking,she was industrious and kind-hearted.Because of these she gained people’s indentical praise.She was named Shuixian,which means the narcissus flower in Chinese.Just like her name,she was amiable and optimistic.Her eyes flashed and were very lively.

One day, a rich man from Anhui came here to buy a wife.He talked about silvers and things liked that.What he said made the village girls wriggle,and they hoped to walk out of this closed village.Now lots of young men of this village had gone out to have a look,and they chatted a lot with gusto when they got back,as if they were the happiest ones in the world.After the girls heard there,they indulged in flights of fancy.This time,the chance arrived at last,and they had lived too hard and too tired.They even complained why they were born in such a village.

Shuixian made a fire in the kitchen.The fire twinkled,and the red tongues of the fire flickeringly blended into pale blue spirals.She was lost in thought:It was all because she herself was born in such a family.Father liked smoking and did nothing.And she had a young brother who was only three years old.The heavy burden of life was completely carried on by her.She wanted to leave the family to seek her own happiness,but many times’ decisions were denied in the end.She could not bear to see the little brother starving.Ordinarily,she had to receive Father’s scolding and whipping.Her clothes were given by the neighbours.When she saw others wear new clothes to spend the New Year,her heart was distressed as if it was stinged by bees.Bitter tears came into her eyes.Hearing some one call her,she swept the tears and rushed out.

People said she was the best choice.And she also was glad to accept their simple idea.Because their idea was for her good.That night,she lay on the bed.She tossed and turned in bed,and was unable to sleep.Youth,the unlimitedly beautiful youth!Now the hazy passion was just stirred,and only the heart which was beating intensely could indistinctly felt it.A series of ideas hit her head,but she could not get them into shape.The time was too short to let her take a decision,but one was clear that she had to go to Anhui.

The next morning,She specially planted a narcissus flower on her hair.The rich man’s eyes swept her up and down,and she was not afraid at all. She rejoiced from the bottom of heart that she would leave the peasnat family and go over to a man’s houses soon.She jumped on the bus to be driven towards Anhui without hesitation.

Saying goodbye to the ordinary and dirty paths,the simple houses and the rough roads,she felt much dependable.The yellow leaves of the old banyan fall in profusion,and only the naked branches were left.The curled fallen leaves were lift by autumn wind,sipinning and floating over the road.Her face wore a naughty smile……

The bus came to a stop at a village of Anhui.There was a house by the road.The brick walls’ facings had peeled off,and they looked like having been covered with manges.Turning the houses stood there inexplicably,the road was divided into two branches.She stood over there and could not move a little as if her feet were nailed on the ground,and she immediately came to realize that she was cheated.She wanted to abuse the animal who was in front of her and had not paid Father a cent.While she herself was willing to follow him.Heaven,you had played tricks on me!But no.It was she herself who had bet the fate the youth.She wanted to abuse him,but did not make a sound.All the anger was written on her face.

Two months later,they came back to visit Father.She tried to conceal the sufferings that could not be expressed,and she had realized the beast in human form.When she wore fashions and appeared in people’s sights,people looked her with praise and envy eyes.This sprinkled warm sunlight on her wet heart,and the injured heart got a little comfort.She felt intoxicated and forgot the condition of reality.She described how wonderful their life was to Father against her will,and left for Anhui again the next morning.People got to know that Shuixian’s husband was a cheat.He had promised her father twenty thousand yuan,but in fact he had run away and had not paid her father a cent.People all scolded her father,and it was he who had sent his daughter away before dawn.He also regretted very much.At that time he saw Daughter off,he wore a shirt stained by oil,looked worried and sad,and his heart could not be calm for long.After an extremely controdictory struggle of thoughts,he tried to be seemed to be not give a damn.How could he face the village people?And his conscience would plague him for it.

A heartbreaking news was heard that her husband was involved in the eddy and carried away by the cruel floodwater when he was fishing.Her life got worse,and it almost liked a pool of stagnant water.In the hard days,she didn’t know what was happiness.She had to worry over food,and had to go from place to place to make a living.She had to struggle for existence on the verge of starvation.The endless days to be suffered were gnawing at her heart.Her heart was broken……

She left,and still lived in a village.The expectation of childhood had come to nothing,and the dreams she had had had turned into froth.She left,taking the village people’s ignorance and having no alternative along,and only left poverty,regret and sighs……

The autunm wind cleaned up the trunk,and the old banyan still looked at the village’s people kindly.The former sounds and smiles had disappeared quietly,only to find a helpless and cold face.Oh,old banyan,how many dreamlike stories had been seen,and how many joys and sorrows had been heard.

古榕村的故事

柯淑华

山,叫横领山,不知是哪朝哪代取的名字;村,是个古榕村,一色的土墙灰瓦;榕,是棵古榕树,大概有了这个村子也就有了它。岁月的刻刀深雕着树干,斑驳的裂痕记载了小村庄的风风雨雨。每当秋风扫着落叶时,树干则静静地伴着小村庄度过朝朝夕夕。

在山脚下的小村庄处在四面高山的怀抱中,村民们祖祖辈辈都住这里似乎心安理得,从不奢望那五彩缤纷的世界。就在这个普通的村子里,每晚能听到那粗犷的黄梅戏曲调,那是村民们在苦涩的日子里寻找一点短暂的安慰而已。白天则看到个村姑砍柴、摘野草的身影。她是一个勤劳的姑娘,长得不怎么样,但为人勤劳、善良,赢得人们一致好评。她叫水仙,正如名字一样,她的性格很随和乐观,一双小眼睛忽闪忽闪的挺有神的。

一天,一个安微的“阔佬”来这里买老婆,说什么三斤白银,说得村姑们都蠢蠢欲动,巴望能够走出这个半封闭的小村。现在古榕村已有些年轻小伙子到外面去看了一下,回来时津津有味的谈论着,仿佛他们才是世上最快活的人,姑娘们听了也想入非非。这次机会终于来了,她们活得太累了,甚至有点埋怨自己为什么出生在这样的村里。

水仙在灶膛里生火。火光忽隐忽闪,红色的火舌颤抖着交融成淡蓝淡蓝的螺旋圈,她陷入了沉思:全怪自己出生这样的家庭,父亲好吸烟不做事,家里还养一个三岁的小弟弟,生活重担全压在她一人身上,她想赶快跳出家门去寻找自己的幸福,但许多次肯定后又被否定了,她不忍心看着小弟弟挨饿。平时还要受父亲的责骂、抽打,穿的衣服都是东挪西凑借来的,看到别人过年时穿着新衣服,心就像被蜜蜂蜇了一样痛,眼角自然地冒出了辛酸的泪水,听到有人喊她,就抹干眼泪冲出去。

有人说她是最佳的选择对象,对村民们朴实的想法她也是乐意接受的,村民们是为她好。那天晚上,她躺在床上,翻来覆去怎么也睡不着,青春,无限美好的青春!这时,朦胧的情欲刚刚萌动,只有激烈跳动的心里模糊感觉到。她的脑子里闪出一连串想法,但就是理不出一个头绪。时间太短促了,一时拿不定主意。只有一点是明确的:一定要去安微。

第二天早晨,她特意在头上插了一朵水仙花,“阔佬”的目光在她身上扫了一圈,她一点也不害怕,心底暗暗庆幸自己这么容易就跳出农门,就要“登堂入室”了,就毫不犹豫地跳上了去安徽的车。

她心里踏实多了,告别了那平平常常的肮脏难看的小路,那简陋的房屋和高低不平的马路,枯黄的榕树叶纷纷下落,树干变得光秃秃的,蜷曲的落叶被秋风掀起,在马路上旋转、飘荡,她有脸上藏着调皮的微笑……

在安徽的一个村里,汽车停了下来,路边有一座房子,墙面已经剥落,像长满了疥癣一样。公路拐过这所莫名其妙矗立在那儿的房子,分成了两股岔道。她的双脚仿佛被钉在了地上,心里乱成一团,马上意识到受骗了……真想骂眼前这个畜生竟然没付一分钱给父亲,而自己又心甘情愿地跟着他,老天,你戏弄了我!不,是自己拿青春同命运作了赌注。她想骂但没出声,愤怒都写在脸上。

两个月后,他们回来看望父亲。她尽量掩饰内心难以诉说的痛楚,看透了这个人面兽心的东西,穿着时髦的衣服在村民眼前晃过,人们向她投以赞许、羡慕的眼光,这给她湿漉漉的心房洒进了温暖的阳光,受伤的心灵得到了一点抚平。她陶醉了,完全忘了现实的境况,违心向父亲倾诉生活如何的美好,第二天一早又去了安徽。村民们终于知道:原来水仙的丈夫是个土包子,是个骗子,原本说好给她父亲二万元钱,事实上一分钱也没给就溜之大吉了。人们纷纷责备水仙的父亲,是他天没亮时把女儿送走的。他也悔恨当初自己穿着油迹斑斑的衬衫目送着女儿,神情忧伤、悲凉,心里久久不能平静。他经过极其矛盾的思想斗争后,努力装出一副满不在乎的样子,他将如何面对家乡的父老乡亲,还要受到良心的遣责。一个令她伤心的消息,丈夫在捞鱼时被无情的大水卷进了漩涡,她的生活更糟了,简直如同一潭死水。在残酷的、备受折磨的日子里,她不知道什么是欢乐,反正以后还要为无米之炊发愁,为经济拮据奔波,还要在饥饿的死亡线上苦苦挣扎,还有煎熬漫长的日子揪着她的心、她的心碎了……

她走了,还是活在农村里,那儿时的期待已化为乌有,曾经的梦想已成为泡沫,她走了,带走了村人的愚味,无知、无奈,留下贫瘠,留下悔恨,留下叹息……

秋风荡涤着树干,古榕树安详地看着村里的人们,从前的笑声已悄然逝去,只有一张无助、冷漠的面孔。古榕树啊,古榕村啊,看过多少如烟如梦的往事,听过多少悲欢离合的故事。



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