时间:2023/5/23 10:13:54  作者:席梦麟女士  来源:徐赐阳中国  查看:869  评论:0

Chapter 4    好神奇,大自然也会吟诗









Chapter 4  How amazing, nature can hum verses!


Spring tour coincides withtadpolefishing,

Cold food season produces steamed buns non-stopping,

Pure Brightness Festivaldyes the sleevesyellow,

Grain Rain enablesMulberry leaves to grow.




The news that the spring outing day is finally settled excites the whole class much more than the Excellent Student of the Year prize announcement. The beauty and vigor of spring is imagined in every child's mind and booming in their small chests.




The flowers, grasses and birds are the heralds of spring for sure.In addition, the small silkworms that have just climbed out of the silkworm seeds, like numerous small black lines, are looking for the breath of mulberry leaves. The crystal clear river is full of newly born tadpoles whose gray heads are struggling to directing their thin little tails in the spring water for fun. The increasingly straight reedsseem greener over night, whose roots are dwelled by snails, lazily dancing in the wind. The bright and energetic atmosphere is dispersed all around the island for the time being.




Nowadays, children can travel the whole Shanghai for spring destinations, but in the 1980s and 1990s, students go to Yingzhou Park without exception. The only exception lies in the way they go to the park, as for junior high school, they will apply for a bicycle ride, while kids in the lower grades will be led by the class teacher take the bus. No chartered bus is available at that time, thus all the bus stops will witness the children queuingtogether with other passengers.As a result,the passengers on that particular daywill be offered the seats by the youngsters who volunteered to stand by, regardless of gender or age. It thus even reminds one of the Lei Feng Memorial Day last month. The unfortunate child who has car motion sickness, nevertheless,will immediately rushed back to the team right after the sickness gone.




Tadpole catching, although not belong to the school's project, is the favorite of all kids. As these baby frogs or toads are still too young, there is no way to catch them by nets. In fact, a small bowl or even a bottle of empty drink can achieve the purpose as long as most of them are not afraid of people. It is well known that there is a prescription in the Chinese medicine practitioners: raisethe tadpoles in the cold boiled water for three days until they are clean enough for one’s stomach, then swallow them alive. It is said to be a good prescription for sputum poisoning and swelling. In fact, the courage of taking such prescription is one thing, and the willingness to raise such creature is another story.




However, the raising process is not always happy. For example, if there is a wounded tadpole in the group, the unlucky baby will be eaten up by its companion within one day.Soon a little one that seems to be healthy and innocent a couple of minutes ago will be repeat the tragedy. Every now and then, one come to realize that it is no the mother these creatures are looking for but some food to survive. Anyway, it follows Darwin’s summary of the nature evolution that “there is always a pair of ruthless scissors,” which coincide with Adam Smith’s analogue of “ invisible hand”.




Later in the middle school education, one starts to understand that everything has to follow the principle of energyconservation. Thus the growing and livingwill absorb and sacrifice the dying to preserve prosperity on the whole. Therefore, the memory of the deceased will be dignified and emphasized in this windy and sunny season. The spring ritual from the ancient times might have originated from such conclusion. The tomb-sweeping scene of this season is about to begin.




The cold food festival initially is different from the pure brightness festival, whose merging gives birthto a dessert other than sweet green rice ball, whose popularity is far less than the steamed rice bun that was passed down from the Song Dynasty.




The Chongming steamed bun, know as Yuanzi in its dialect, is a food that can apply to each festival and event celebration. The making process follows several steps. Firstly, the glutinous rice, after grinding into flour, should be rolled repeatedly into bun skin before shaping into little wine cupsthat can fill the stuffing. The fillings are broadly divided by salty and sweet taste, as for the former,radish and pickled alfalfa take the main role, while for the later,red beans and sesame take the lead. Moreover, the most critical part of making a Yuanzi is the manual process of pinchingthe outer skininto a ball by sealing the flour cup at last. Four flavors are differentiated bythe shapes as well as the marks left on Yuanzi. The round shape represents sweetness from red bean paste, while the round with a sharp edge means sesame, and the oval the radish, the oblate the alfalfa. The rich family will additionally use a small nail-sized boxwood seal to mark at the top of the Yuanziwith a different name or a different number of points. Last but not least, the bottom of the dessert will be attached with a piece of green reed leaves for easy handling. The mouth-watering Children will not be satisfied until two to three buns have been taken.




"No willow crown on head in Qingming (Pure Brightness) will be cursed into a pig or dog in your next life" is a rhyme well known throughout the country. Therefore, boyswho have soldier dream will wear the self-made willow crowns, imitating the hero they admire in TV dramas, ambushing in haystacks for a war game. The girls, however,for fear of encountering caterpillars on the branches, will not join the game. However, it does not prevent them from transferring the enthusiasm to honey picking from the rapeseed flowers. The golden yellow flower shows its sweet honey to the bees as well as the children. Those who taste the rawhoney need only gently suck the honey from the flower heart. However, the price of the stolen honey is heavy as well. The face, sleeves, and even the collar will be contaminated with the golden pollen grains, which can only be wiped clean with the help the mirror.




The arrival ofGu Yu is often accompanied by the pattering rainy season, sounds like jubilant and satisfying silkworms that are well fed. The mulberry trees are especially fresh after rain, so the wild silkworms, hiding in the leaves back for fear of getting smashed by the birds, are easilybrought home unintentionally. However, the comparatively ugly wild silkworm is said to be able to eat up the innocent domestic wormswithout notice. Therefore, releasing the wild to the wildand keep the domestic home will be the ideal solution.






        This is the April. As the one eats the Qingming green rice balls on the table, indispensably look at the pot for the coming Yuanzi. While one walks home,the idea of picking some blossomsto place on the table for decoration is undeniable. Moreover,one still has to run into the rain to fetch the food for the silkworm in spite of the heavy rai