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.