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The old man's fish

by BlossomParker 3 months ago in Fantasy
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Spike remembered well the two kicks she had received in her adult life. The foot that kicked her wore brown high heels and flesh-colored stockings.

Spike did see this evidence in her mother's wicker basket of rags. From then on, Spike believed she had a memory when she was half a week old. She was placed in a wicker cradle that her grandmother called the "cradle". When she was half a week old, she was a little smaller than other babies and not as rigid as others. This is why Grandma insisted on keeping her tightly swaddled. Spike was a nasty baby that day, not eating any coaxing, opening her mouth and crying at the top of her lungs, and her mother could see her two tender red tonsils at a glance. The mother could not get out of the way if she could not coax Spike, and she coaxed herself to cry. At this time, the twenty-two-year-old mother aggrieved "thud" kicked to the nest, the nest became a non-invertible, several times rocked to tumble. The mother, who had kicked her foot in pain, was so aggrieved that the grandmother couldn't pull her, but after all, the strength of her foot was consumed, so the mother's second kick only took the nest farther away and hit the wall with a thud. The spike that was waiting to die was bundled up in swaddling clothes and naturally felt a devastating danger. She stopped crying at once and began to see the wind for the first time in her life. In the days to come, Spike had a few chills, how did his mother make such an unseemly move? She was a bit of a pain in the ass for both the older and younger generations. When Spike grew up, he was always a little bit of a bully to his mother, but inside he was full of pity. Pity is not a good feeling, and the person being pitied must accept the pity with a slight dislike of the perfunctory.

Grandmother had a hard time with her daughter for this reason. She felt that Spike's mother was too imbecilic and failed. The two kicks she gave Spike were a complete confession of her unworthiness to be a mother. As long as Grandma lives, Spike deserves to be safe. Once Spike's mom and Spike's dad hinted at picking Spike up, Grandma said, "Shame on you, little Spike this is a second life."

Spike's grandfather also said, "Spike won't go with them, Spike knows how to count."

Grandpa was a veteran with a disability allowance and special food supplies, and didn't have to stand in line to get meat and food. Grandpa's disability was so odd that it was said to be a broken nerve in his head and neck, his head would turn from time to time, and if you talked to him in front of his left side, he would twist his chin back to the right side, so Grandpa was always against someone and never agreed with anyone. People who were not familiar with him thought he was a very stubborn and unfriendly old man.

Spike's mother only nodded a little when she saw Grandpa, and when she mentioned him to Grandma, she said, "The old man didn't secretly buy Spike a snack, did he? The old man didn't go out and fight with people, did he?"

As far as Spike could remember, Grandpa never got into fights with anyone. Grandpa was such a brash old man, who would he need to fight with? His eyebrows were surprisingly thick and snow-white, and when his eyebrows went down, everyone had to be honest. Grandpa had a large number of medals of merit, and when he had a problem with someone, he put them all on his coat. It is said that Grandpa froze off three of his toes during the war, so he walked with a deep and shallow walk. Once the medals were pinned to his chest, he made a subtle metallic sound when he was in a hurry or when he was in a hurry.

Grandpa said, "Do you know who I am?"

That was enough, and the other side didn't dare to know who he was. If you encounter a foolish and daring person, Grandpa will add: "Ask around, which head of the province handed me a night pot when I had a flower on my leg."

Grandma and Grandpa were not in love, they could only be in love by doting on Spike. When Grandpa had a bad ear and told people that he had been an adjutant to a certain chief, Grandma would whisper, "What adjutant? It's just a horse-rope." It was only when Spike grew up that he realized that Grandpa was completely confused about the rights and wrongs of history, far less so than Spike, who was a child at the time. Spike's most common question when watching movies was "Is this the good guy or the bad guy?" Grandpa, on the other hand, had no idea whether he was a good guy or a bad guy in the war. It wasn't until someone took a closer look at his military service medals that they discovered this big question.

Thus we have the general image of Grandpa: a small but lean sixty-year-old man with a slightly limping majestic stride, his head constantly shaking, unable to believe you or simply denying you. He carries two-and-a-half-year-old Spike on his back, with a dozen merit badges pinned to his chest. Spike's top pocket was filled with fried rice, which she ate as she rode along with her grandfather. The nursery aunts froze for a moment when they saw such a pair of grandchildren approaching. Then they whispered, "Where are these old monsters and little monsters from?" After Spike reported his name, the aunts changed their initial impression of Grandpa, and they worshipped the old war hero, with all the military medals falling down the old man's clothes, with the two front lapels slightly longer on the left than on the right. Most of those military medals are dark and hard to identify, the aunts can read: "Huaihai Battle", "victory in the river", "anti-American aid" and so on.

After that, Grandpa appeared at the entrance of the nursery every day at 3 pm. If it rained, the old man had an umbrella in his hand, and when it was sunny, he had a parasol. In the summer, the old man served a tea jar filled with iced green bean paste, and in the cold, when he saw Spike after school, he took out a pocket-sized hot water bag from under his cotton jacket. The old man has nothing to say, there are words is ranting out. He only growls when Spike is angry. Spike had a reputation for telling Grandpa the names of the boys who pulled her pigtail, who scared her by hiding around the corner, who pushed her on the slide. But Grandpa was very general when he went to the nursery to make trouble for his granddaughter, never naming her. Grandpa's voice was not loud at this time, but it had a distinctive murderous quality; it was the voice that comes out of a battlefield when you've fought to the death and only have a few lives left to fight out to meet a white-knuckle battle. Anyway, Spike remembered that the veteran had a dying bravery at this moment, cursing is no longer cursing, but a magnificent, hoarse final cry.

Grandpa's shouting every other day finally suppressed all the children. Including the sons of the head of the provincial party committee. Grandfather shouted to "down your crotch, hollowed out your eyes! ...... die you a I enough, die you two I earn a! ......"

At first Spike did not understand Grandpa's words, but later understood it and was very embarrassed. She felt that her grandfather's life was a bit of a mismatch with hers, and his posture, tone and attire were very grotesque in the peaceful environment of the nursery. Grandpa had a good time entertaining everyone by acting out in a farce of his own making. Afterwards she did not speak to Grandpa, and when she did, she glared at him: "I don't want you to be my Grandpa! I don't want you to talk! I don't want you to control me! I don't want you to be my parent!"

I don't want you to take charge of me! I don't want you to be my parent!" All the other words were ignored by Grandpa, but the words "I don't want you to be my parent" made the old man wilt, and the spine of the spike on his back collapsed. This is where Grandpa's heart was weakest. Later, when Grandpa died, the most unpleasant thing for Spike to look back on as an adult was the words she often spoke to the old man. It was then that she realized how cruel children were and how well they knew how to take advantage of the pain of others. At that time, Spike had read an article about the domestication of elephants: a man would burn a hole in the elephant's ear and smear the wound with medicine so that it would fester forever, and once the elephant showed signs of rebellion, the man would use a branch to stab the painful hole. Spike did not understand how she perceived her grandfather's unhealing wound, perhaps it came out of her grandmother's words when she was angry with him, or her mother gave her a hint: grandpa was just a name, not a blood grandfather.

It was around the age of nine that Spike finally realized that Grandpa was an outsider. Back in the 1950s, the government had arranged for the marriage of some veterans, and matched her grandmother, who had been a widow for many years, with her grandfather. The old man Spike called Grandpa was not related to her by blood. But that is an afterthought, now Spike is still young, still naive and ignorant, grandfather for her, is a mountain, is the courage. It was an old horse, a warm water bag. In winter Spike's nest, there was always a hot water bag, but once the water leaked out and burned Spike's legs, Grandpa warmed up Spike's nest himself. Until Spike went to elementary school, her comforter was always warmed by Grandpa. Grandpa sat under the covers, listening to semiconductors with headphones on, and only after the covers were warmed up for an hour did Spike fall asleep.

Shortly after Grandma's death, something big happened outside. People flipped out overnight and broke into Spike's parents' house early in the morning and dragged Spike's dad away. After that, Spike's mom brought something in her purse every day and went to Grandpa's backyard to burn it. She burned pictures, papers, and books. Some of them she couldn't bring herself to burn, so she put them aside. Spike knew that they were some of his father's books or script scripts, all unfinished. Spike's mother put Spike's father's manuscripts in a large bamboo basket of rags, and it was at this time that Spike became convinced that the brown leather shoes and flesh-colored stockings in the basket were incriminating evidence: it was in them that his mother had kicked the baby Spike twice. Spike thought that her mother had wanted to kick her to death, but later came around and, fearing her own sudden resentment of the baby, stopped wearing those high heels.

Spike's mother handed the basket to her grandfather. Grandpa said, "Don't worry, which one dares to copy my house?"

Early that morning, Grandpa went to buy coal for the winter, and the raiders came. Spike asked them to copy first, and he ran to the coal station to call Grandpa. Grandpa rushed back and pulled open a drawer and took out a green felt with his merit badges pinned to it. He threw the felt on the table and said to the copycats, "Little bastards, where did the copycat come from?"

The family copycats were all under twenty years old, and most of them were foreigners, so they did not know that Grandpa Spike was not to be messed with; Grandpa Spike had lost his life in the early years of the war, and his life now had been lost and recovered many times, so he had earned it for nothing.

The copycat movement stopped for a moment. They were invincible before they met Grandpa. Someone said, "The old man seems to be a little bit of a man."

But the two lockpickers were so excited about picking that they didn't want to stop. They were picking the lock of the coal shed. Coal has become a valuable thing in this year, it is not uncommon for people to put locks on coal. When the two lock pickers could not stop, Grandpa used a wooden stick on the table with a heavy knock. He said, "Be a bandit in broad daylight and pick my lock, see if I don't break his claws!"

The people who raided the house were really a little scared at this point. It was rare for them to meet someone who dared to speak to them in that tone these days. One of the heads said to Grandpa in a conciliatory manner, "The old revolution should support the small revolution, if the family raid is not complete, how can the revolution be complete ......"

Grandfather said: "Day your grandmother!"

The head in front of his men to the grandfather such a scolding, a little negative, if this stop, he will have what prestige? He made a handsome little gesture with his hand and said, "Keep searching, I'll be responsible for anything that happens."

Grandpa said, "You guys try moving one."

The two lockpickers looked at Grandpa and looked at the head. Spike eyes on the old ancient lock, the door has been loosened.

The head said, "Pry."

Grandpa was silent. He pinned the medals to the left front of his shirt one by one, then unbuckled his pants, which fell to his ankles. He wore wide pants and stretched his legs into a chair, which were by no means like those of ordinary old men, ugly and strong, with two gunshot wounds that twisted all the muscles and sinews, leaving walnut-sized craters in the skin. The hair on Grandpa's legs was also much younger than his beard, eyebrows, and hair, black and dense. Two hairless gunshot wounds stared at people from the eerie legs.

Grandpa said, "Never seen it, have you? I was going to have this leg sawed off. I pulled out the grenade, pulled the pin, and said to the doctors and nurses: 'If you dare to saw my leg, I'll blow you up!'"

People saw the old man's teeth bared and his eyes red when he said "blown up". After a moment of silence, a 16- or 17-year-old female scribe said, "What happened?" When she asked this question, she unconsciously became an admirer of the veterans, and the other two girls joined in and asked, "Did they saw your legs?"

Grandpa said, "Who dares? No one dares to come near me. Two bullets opened up here." Grandpa patted the gunshot wound. "I dug myself up with a knife and dug out the shrapnel, big and small."

The girls said, "So you're an old hero, digging into your own flesh with a knife without anesthetic." They came up and shook hands with Grandpa one by one, saying how happy they were to shake hands with a living hero for the first time. While they shook hands, people jumped a little, red nose and eyes.

The lockpicker was grey, and when he came up to shake hands with Grandpa, he laughed and was grey.

Grandfather but said, "You lock picking craft is too poor, hammer, driver has no use, I picked more locks back then, a stick, so a bar." He inserted the hammer handle, his hand suddenly a spasm: "Look, look at this craft."

The lock did fall off. The door of the coal shed opened. Grandpa pointed inside and asked the head: "Look at it, right?"

The head shook his hands: "No, no, no."

Grandpa said, "It's good to look at it.

 Everyone said, "No, no, no."

Grandpa said, "How can we not see? I'm up early, I'm here, so at least take a look. The door was pried open, so why be polite? At that time I broke open the door, and went in with food, with food, with livestock, the wealthy man is not a bully, so he will not be alarmed. You really do not look?" Everyone said, "No, I won't." This time they answered neatly and forcefully.

As the people withdrew, Spike noticed a shoplifter. When he came in with the group, he saw two bars of soap under the bed and grabbed them and put them in his pants pocket. The thief was the last one to leave the house, dropping the soap with the same magic trick before he left.

Many years later, Spike thought about how his grandfather's mistake must have been revealed that day. If Grandpa hadn't pinned the medal to his lapel, or hadn't shown it at all, he would have been a flawless old hero. The main blame is Grandpa's ignorance, otherwise he would understand that some medals do not stand up to scrutiny, especially the two German Nazi medals, which Grandpa bought from a junk market during the war in the Northeast, and their original owner was a Soviet Red Army.

The head was a cunning character. For several months, no matter how busy and worried he was, he always thought of those medals of grandpa. He was already a very suspicious man, born in a time of great suspicion. He was proven right, everyone in this world is suspicious. His suspicion of those medals would make him wake up late at night for no apparent reason, and he would suddenly get lost on his bicycle during the day. Once he crashed his bike through a hole in a wall of woven mats with large letters. Climbing up, he pedaled off to Grandpa Spike's house. He gave Grandpa a military salute, saying he wanted another revolutionary war education; another scolding from a war veteran like Grandpa. He quickly coaxed Grandpa to take out the piece of green felt, pointed to a medal with foreign letters and asked Grandpa, "Which battle was this?"

Grandpa said he couldn't remember. It was a big battle anyway.

The head asked Spike for paper and a pencil. Spike saw the deep smugness that had suddenly added some wrinkles, some shadows to his young face. He put the paper over the medallion and scribbled it back and forth with a pencil, topping off the relief-like patterns and lettering. Grandpa looked at him with a pencil in his hand, scratching rapidly from side to side, and asked him what he was doing. He carefully folded down a medal and said, "To make a souvenir - can't make war, can't get a real medal, so it's a little heroic light."

When he said goodbye, Grandpa said, "No more tea?"

He said, "No, I'm not drinking."

Grandpa said again, "There is water on the stove, it will be turned on in a minute."

He said he was busy. Grandpa asked him if his prying skills had improved, and if he pried more, his hands would not be so stupid. The head said, "That's right, that's right." Grandpa gestured with his hand and said, "Just like this, against, a bar, to ensure that you open." He pointed to his granddaughter, "Little Spike can learn it all."

After the head left, Spike had some ominous feeling. A month passed and nothing happened. Grandpa gave her an egg in her porridge and seven or eight chestnuts roasted in the ashes as usual. Grandpa switched from giving out snacks twice a day to once a day, because the lack of food had worsened this winter. Grandpa's "disabled soldier card" only allowed Spike to eat two more taels of sugar, half a catty of vegetable oil and a catty of meat in January. Once Grandpa saw a long line in front of the fruit store, and when he inquired, the store came with oranges. He immediately took out his money and "disabled soldier card" and held it high above his head. The people in line cursed: "This old man is also considered disabled? He has arms and legs!" Grandpa pulled people down and looked into the line, only to find that everyone's limbs were incomplete and the disability level was higher than his.

Spike will have oranges this winter. Grandpa hung small, green oranges from the ceiling and took one out every day and gave it to Spike, so that Spike's happy time every day was the sour oranges that made her shiver.

When the oranges were dry and the skin hard as a cocoon, Spike's mother came back from the countryside and said that Spike's dad needed those manuscripts urgently. Spike's dad's situation is not much better, only the bad situation is stable, he can eat, drink, sleep and work in a stable bad situation. Spike's dad is currently picking rocks at a dam, and everyone is as politically challenged as he is. Spike's dad gradually became happier, because there was equality and comfort in having defective people living together, who did not mind anyone. Some of his desires were revived, such as the desire to read, write, play poker, play music, talk about ancient poetry, talk about women, and so on. For people like Suiko's father, "labor reform" had lost its initial sharp meaning and no longer hurt their self-esteem. It was at the beginning of winter that Spike's father first became interested in living a small life. For the first time, he felt that happiness is "willingness", willingness to be inferior to others, and then he was happy. The first thing you need to do is to be willing to be inferior to others. The first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of what you want to do. It was the first time that Spike's father had the idea of living at home after living for a long time.

She kept her and her husband's plans a secret. She knew Grandpa's temperament and told him that it would not be feasible to take Spike away from him. It is not reasonable to take Spike away before his grandmother's bones are cold, leaving Grandpa a complete orphan. When Spike's mother came to stay, the first thing she had to do was to remove Spike's polite, excessive politeness towards her. She thought sorrowfully, how nice it would be if Spike could behave and behave with himself. Spike never behaved well when he was with his grandfather, but anyone could see how close the old and the young were, a true grandparent.

Spike's mother dragged the large basket of rags out of the coal shed and sorted through Spike's father's manuscripts, page by page. The manuscripts were already dry and yellow, but they were unfinished. She suddenly heard a noise behind her and turned around to see Spike returning to the house. Apparently, Spike had planned to come to the backyard, and when he saw his mother there, he fled in haste. The woman's mother was gloomy and shouted, "Spike!"

Spike heard the shout so loudly that he was too frightened to answer it.

"Suiko! ......" shouted her mother again.

Spike pretended to have just heard, ran to the backyard, and stood squarely beside her mother. The mother told her to see if there was anything she liked in the rag basket, and if not, to call the rag picker in and take it away with the basket. Spike took a look in the basket and shook his head. Mother said, "These shoes are still in good condition, you are a little older, pull out the heel, you can wear them." Mother took charge of Spike and carried the brown high-heeled shoes outside the basket. "These stockings, they're real silk," she said, sorting through the tangled flesh-colored stockings, "they're not too torn, so I'll mend them for you later. What do you think, Spike?"

Spike nodded. She watched her mother's poor hands turn over to the bottom of the basket. The good sunlight was filled with the pungent odor characteristic of rags. After such a pair of poor hands, the rags would no longer be rags. Mother smiled in surprise: "Oh, it's all good stuff! I almost sold them as rags!"

So my mother just put my father's stacks of manuscripts into her square turban and tied the turban into a bundle. The rest of the rags had turned out to be good stuff, so they went back into the basket. Spike was conflicted about "growing up" when she thought of all the stripped stockings and brown high heels in the basket waiting for her to grow up.

Mom said, "This bag, you carry it. When you get on the bus, no one will notice what a child is carrying."

Spike asked, "Where are you going on the coach?"

"To see my father."

"When are you going to see Daddy?"


"...... Grandpa go?"

Mother paused for a moment. Spike saw his mother's mind whirling behind those clear eyes. Mother smiled and said, "Grandpa's not going this time. You're going to see Dad. What's Grandpa going to do? There's not enough food at Dad's place either, so what's Grandpa going to eat?"

When her mother spoke, she had a cross-eyed look that made Spike think of all the cross-eyed people in the world. When people talk, they pick out all the things that are wrong with Spike's dad. Spike thought that the head copyist must be somewhere at the moment talking to someone, chattering very loudly. Then they would come towards Grandpa. Spike didn't understand the basis for their coming to Grandpa, but she was sure that they were talking to each other about Grandpa.

At that time, Spike did not understand the meaning of "conspiracy", she only understood the image of conspiracy. The image was the exchange of words.

Her mother, with whom she was exchanging pleasantries, suddenly made a strange wink, held her lips together and said "shhh". Then Spike saw her grandfather come into the backyard and fetch a piece of coal from the coal shed. Spike immediately questioned his mother in his mind: You're lying to us, right? Why did you hide the truth from Grandpa when you were just going to see your father?

The next day Spike was still in his last class when his mother arrived. After a short exchange of words with the teacher, she let Spike out of school early. Spike followed her mother to the coach station and took a look at the big clock in the waiting room. Grandpa had just arrived at the school gate. He would stand there in the middle of winter looking at the children coming out of the school gate one by one. He would stand there, his heart very sure, waiting for the children to go home from class to finish their lunch and go to school in groups. Grandpa would wait until it was dark and the late school children poured out of the school gate again.

Suddenly she said to her mother, "I didn't bring my things."

Her mother said, "I've got it all for you. Here are all your clothes, and here are your books and toys."

Spike had nothing worth bringing, and her mother had taken it all for her. Spike thought that her mother had stolen all of Spike's things like a thief; she had stolen Spike with her things under her grandfather's nose.

Spike said, "I still have more than ten oranges."

Mother laughed and said, "Forget it, you call that an orange? That's called a fossilized orange!"

Spike thought to herself, "That's easy for you to say, go buy me some fossilized oranges. But she never talked back to her mother; she never got to know her mother well enough to talk back. She didn't squeal. The winter was pervasive, penetrating her cotton jacket and pants, finally reaching her feet and coalescing in her ten toes. The toes that had accumulated throughout the winter began to bite at the spike, and the spike's senses were bloodied with bites.

Mother said, "The bus is coming, go to the bathroom." She stooped down and pulled up the legs of Spike's cotton pants, and slipped Spike two sheets of softly crumpled scrap paper.

Spike walked towards the toilet. She stopped at the toilet door and looked back. Her mother was now facing her with the back of her head, reading the timetable on the wall.

Spike ran all the way down an alleyway before she realized what she had done. She had done something like a wild child. She ran like a wild child in trouble, spreading her legs and face. As she ran, she found herself covered in sweat. She wanted to go to the toilet, but she didn't dare to, and the two sheets of scrap paper in her hands became even softer, exactly like the cotton hand towels she used years later. All the toilets she met along the way, Spike ran past with a grit of her teeth and a parting of her face. When she reached her grandfather's door, a bubble of hot urine poured into her cotton pants. So Grandpa saw Spike in the evening, steaming hot.

Spike's mother did not write to Spike all winter. Her daughter broke her heart. She bets with her daughter: see if you can live without your mother. Spike's mom became Spike's little girl friend at this time, competing with Spike on an equal footing to see who would wimp out first and who would surrender first. Spike's dad still wrote a letter to Spike once a week, saying that in winter when the water freezes, you can fry a lot of fish with dynamite; you can catch a lot of rabbits and hedgehogs with rabbit traps; you can saw down a willow tree and there are dozens of eggs in the bird's nest, and those eggs are fried into a pocket egg that smells so good that you can't even live. Spike's replies never responded to her father's descriptions. She felt that her father's attitude toward the world had changed, and his actions had changed; he knew to scourge and destroy. After that, the world was left to her father as an eating place. Spike, of course, did not know that winter was indeed only a food for his father's group, because the whole blank, harsh winter was a huge appetite, and nothing could be filled in to shrink its space, and nothing could fill the desert-like hunger.

Spike's letters to her father became shorter and shorter. She had nothing to say about her regular life, and her "underground life" was nothing to tell them about. How in the world could parents understand their children?

When the bamboo forest began to sprout, Spike's heart, which had been gripped all winter, slowly let go. No one came to bother Grandpa, nor did his parents bother Spike. Spike was free to go around wearing cotton shoes with soles that were made into soles, stepping on some family's briquettes, stealing some family's dried turnips, and blocking some family's sewers. People are still you knock me down I knock you down, a revolution to overthrow another revolution, large-character posters small-character posters, write more people also wrote the font, misspellings have also been recognized. It was this world of white paper and black characters that made Spike and her friends yearn for wordlessness and word blindness.

They then often went to the bamboo forest in the suburbs. The large bamboo forest was a large area without characters. Spike saw the oldest girl bending down to pluck a bamboo shoot; she held the tip of the shoot exposed on the ground with both hands and sat backwards with her whole buttocks hanging in the air, the bamboo leaves rattled and the forest shivered for a while before the shoot was pulled up. Everyone soon followed the older girl's example and pulled out all the bamboo shoots that were exposed on the ground. By lunchtime, every school bag was filled with bamboo shoots. The older girl laid a sheet of newspaper on the ground and put all the bamboo shoots on it again. Then she assigned a girl to call out, like a popsicle vendor selling tea eggs, with a lyrical, melodic voice. Soon all the bamboo shoots were sold, and the girls ecstatically divided the spoils, agreeing to do the same trick again the next day.

Spike realized that bamboo shoots are one of the hardest things in the world to get rid of, and that the first day they are plucked, the next day another one is born. The girls' business grew more and more ruthless: at first they couldn't bear to pluck shoots that were too young, but by the end of the week, the smallest shoots on their stand were only finger-thick and only a little longer than their fingers. One day they went into the bamboo forest and were just getting at the first shoots, when a man suddenly emerged like a shoot. He grabbed the older girl and said, "You're addicted to stealing!" The older girl combed two goat horns and grabbed one for him. He said to another girl, "Come here, give me your pigtails." He tied several girls' braids into a bundle and held them with one hand while he unbuckled his own belt with the other hand and yo-yoed. He said, "I'll whip her to death if she's not honest."

He thus held a large braid deep into the bamboo forest, regardless of the girl is to him held backwards, so that she can only spine when the forehead, backwards. Who walked backwards stepped on whose feet, came out crying and complaining, the man then said: "Who is uttering?" He said he viciously to a bamboo to draw a belt. Bamboo crown with bamboo crown, the entire bamboo forest followed the pain, struggling and swaying together. The man can not hold all the girls, too young, he yelled while driving away, like herding ducks.

The older girl gave a wink to Spike at this point.

Spike and the four smaller girls gave the hanyou a good drive and dutifully walked towards the hut deep in the bamboo forest. She was reading the older girl's wink, but pretending not to understand. She felt that with the collective piece of death also admitted. Spike, like all human beings, has the same characteristics as a human being, that is, to strive not to be isolated, to strive to be in sync with the majority of people, to suffer and enjoy, to be happy and lively. She learns from her father's recently started happy days that sweetness is the misery shared equally by all, and luck is the misfortune added by the majority.

The other girl took advantage of the man's absence and escaped by hiding in the bamboo forest. When the man looked up at the tip of the bamboo forest, the girl's escape route was immediately clear. He went with her to escape, only to pump the belt even harder. A bamboo shoot just into bamboo, under the belt broke. Han said: "Run away and I don't recognize you? You are here to steal my bamboo shoots, I watch every day miles! What is your last name and where you live, I know it all! ......" his words let the girls secretly surprised, so far away, how he detected them?

When they arrived at the hut, the man drove the girls inside, but himself outside the house.

He said, "The money from the sale, all give me to pay out."

Naturally, the girls could not pay. The older girl said, "Uncle, I won't dare next time."

"I'm your mother's uncle!"

The girls all cried together and said, "Uncle, we were wrong."

"Wrong is fine? What about the money?"

"I bought noodles. I also bought milk powder for my brother." The older girl said. "Brother hepatitis."

"Both brothers? All have hepatitis?"

A girl said bravely, "We gave the money to our grandmother."

The hanyou said, "Tell your grandmother to return the money, and I'll let whoever's grandmother returns the money go."

 Spike looked at the girls standing in a row, and on the concrete floor in front of each girl was a puddle of tears and snot. She thought the girl was a traitor who had sold everyone out; now the parents would all know about their thieving ways. The children, like the parents, are out there doing the deeds that everyone in the world knows about as long as their families don't know about it and they can go on living their lives. Spike's father gave people a fight, parade, who saw as long as Spike did not see it; he still have a general face and dignity. Spike's father's happiness now also lies in the fact that he is clumsy and ugly doing cattle and horse work on the dam, and his daughter Spike can't see it anyway.

The hanyou took out a lock and locked the door behind him. He went to the window and said to the girls, "Didn't you just run away from one of them? She went back to report, and your grandmother will come to claim her."

Another girl cried, "I don't have a grandmother!"

"Then call your uncle to come."

The hanyou knew that the girls' parents could not come, for various reasons they could not come anyway. Being a country boy he didn't understand all the big things about city people, but looking at them he knew that the girls had no parents. They had a terrible air about them, and the hanyou only felt that the air was somewhat tricky, somewhat rascal, somewhat wild that was not even seen in the country children.

Han rested both elbows on the windowsill and leaned his upper body into the window. He said: "I can't pay for the bamboo even if I send money. You at least said that I lost more than 2,000 bamboo shoots, shoots into bamboo is more than ten times the price, can not afford to pay me? It doesn't matter, I'll ask someone to carry your family's bicycles, take down your adults' watches, and move your sewing machines and radios."

When the man bit the term "watch", his mouth and face had a fierce and vicious pleasure. He does not eat meat four times a year, chewing these words is like chewing big fat meat, craving and relief at the same time, that is the ancestral accumulated craving, instantly satisfied at the same time, hanging a more profound ancient dissatisfaction. Han's dissatisfaction and satisfaction changed and deepened the sorrow inherent in his face. Hanzi thinks that all city people have the "three big things" he mentioned above, but these "three big things" are the concrete image of "affluence" as he understands it. His confusion is that all city people have the "three big things", so what else are they doing? What is it if it is not a monster or a sin? He looked at the group of girls and thought to himself that their parents were living a life of itching. He said: "A bamboo count you two dollars, you are short of my four thousand dollars. Your parents do not compensate me for this money, you will spend the end of the day here."

In the afternoon, the girls shouted that they wanted to relieve themselves.

The hans said, "Go ahead." In the afternoon they saw the girl who had escaped come back, followed by a man. The girls could not see for a moment whose parent the man who had come to relieve them was, for he was in the bamboo grove with the hanyou inspecting the girls for signs of guilt. They could not hear their conversation, but the girls knew that the man was blackmailing them and the parent was killing them.

The girl who reported the news saw an opening and ran to the hut, whispering to the window, "You're finished! Grandpa Spike has handed you over to be punished!"

Grandpa Spike talked to the hanyou, his head shaking hard. They walked out of the bamboo forest and stood in front of the house. Grandpa stood with his chest full of medals as usual, standing with one foot solid and one foot weak, looking roughly in a standing position.

Grandfather glanced at the girl in the house and said to the man, "Don't talk so much nonsense to me, you should be shut down, you should be beaten up, save us parents the trouble."

Han was still talking about a bamboo shoot growing into bamboo worth two dollars.

Grandpa said you are what the market price, now where to get two dollars can buy a bamboo? At least four dollars!

The man said, "It's still fair to the old eight."

Grandpa said, "Who is the old eight-way? I am the old Red Army."

The man said, "Yes, yes, yes, the old Red Army."

"In the days of the Red Army, when you plucked a turnip from a village, you had to put two cents in the pit, and when you pulled out a chicken nest from a village, you had to put five cents for an egg. I pulled out the old folks chicken nest when you big still 'insects insects flying' miles!

The man's eyes became as honest as a buffalo.

"You know how big a turnip to pull? Dog chicken root so big. It is also a needle and thread for the masses, and not for nothing."

The man gave Grandpa a very convincing education.

Grandpa pointed his finger at the girls in the house and said, "They plucked two thousand bamboo, a bamboo count it four pieces, that is gross 10,000 yuan. Want to ask their parents to pay for that is a dream. So I came to show you an attitude, you can lock them up. I represent their parents to express this attitude, you want to lock them up for as long as you want, lock them up for as long as you want, we do not have any comments."

Someone among the girls shouted, "What old Red Army? Old bandits! ......"

Grandpa didn't hear, or heard him or not he didn't care. He went on to say, "Or you hand them back to us, we are still the same, or off. Locked up in your place, you rest assured, we also save our mind."

Han thought this old man with medals was very sincere and very fair. But he suddenly remembered a problem. He said, "They eat three meals a day, how much do the parents give me for food and food stamps?"

Grandpa said, "Sitting in a big jail is a big jail to manage food."

The man said, "How can I have food for them?"

Grandpa said, "No matter what, they are not guilty of starvation, so you have to give them food."

When the man heard this, his face became red with dark sorrow. He said, "My sae is also a mouth, pick up than this trouser belt is longer!" He turned the cattle belt in his hand upside down. "I have to feed them too! I don't have any food for them!"

Grandpa said, "Then what do you mean? Starve them to death?"

The man immediately took out the key and unlocked the door, while saying, "I have rice and I might as well feed some chickens and lay eggs!" He drove away about ten girls like a plague. He shook his belt: "If you catch me again, I'll take off your skin!"

Without a word, Grandpa led the girls outside the bamboo forest. Everyone knew that Grandpa did not want to bother himself with educating the children for others. He wanted to hand them over to the parents of each family, according to the rules of each family, how to settle accounts. This was what the girls feared the most; things got worse when they were passed on to other parents. They began to talk sweetly, saying that grandpa was so powerful, wearing so many medals that he was invincible!

Grandpa didn't hear them, he walked forward with a bump, two steps, and kicked into the bamboo bush with a poisonous and short kick. To his strange movements, the girls, who were full of concerns, could not be bothered to look deeper. The grandfather they saw looked leisurely, so the swing of his head and neck looked a kind of complacency.

The older girl said, "Grandpa, if you want to punish us for standing, we will come to your backyard every day to stand, okay?" She gave Spike a firm tug so that she too would give in so that the old man would not tell the school and the parents. But Spike didn't say anything. Every time Spike got into trouble, she became very steadfast. If she stole a snack from the basket hanging from the ceiling, she would never ask for forgiveness if grandpa caught her. When she didn't admit her fault, Grandpa said the most harsh words: "I can't control you, I'll send you back to your parents right away." Once these words were spoken, both grandparents and grandchildren were so sad and hurt that they would be silent for many days. Spike knew that grandpa would soon say this to break her heart. Her gaze turned cold and she thought, "I'm going to make a pre-emptive strike this time. The thought of taking the initiative to hurt Grandpa and herself brought tears to Spike's eyes. She looked at her grandfather walking in the forefront, hands behind his back, shaking his head; she wanted to preempt the desperate words, but the old man was defenseless.

All the girls said that they would be punished by grandpa: punished for standing, punished for kneeling, punished for carrying coal cakes, whatever, grandpa's back would also laugh, grandpa's back was laughing at their futility, laughing at their group of ass-kissers who had known about this, why bother at the beginning.

Grandpa was about to walk out of the two-mile-long bamboo trail. He stopped, still with his hands behind his back, and said, "Idiots, you have to have a knack for doing everything. Stealing bamboo shoots, all like you, deserve to be caught and put in the classroom." Grandpa made a military command gesture and told them to walk back along the trail and pick up the bamboo shoots he had just kicked off. He told them the secret of stealing bamboo shoots. The bamboo shoots are underground, root to root, so pulling one shoot will move the whole bamboo garden, and the swaying and sound can be heard for miles, which is the reason they were ambushed by Han; he followed the sound of the bamboo from afar, but the bamboo shoots are more brittle than anything else; once kicked, it breaks at the root, but is silently broken in the shell, so you just need to walk again and pick up the broken shoots one by one along the way. In case you run into people, no one can catch your stolen goods, and at a glance, who can see that you are so shady that you do not move to destroy all the shoots in the deep layers of the shell?

The girls walked back the same way as Grandpa said. After walking half a mile, the bamboo shoots they picked up were too much for their school bags. The girls' admiration for their grandfather was suddenly transformed from abstract to concrete. It turned out that Grandpa was an elite old thief, the Red Army turned out to have all kinds of brilliant people.

Spike stood outside the group of girls at this time. She saw her grandfather's gaze blink at her under his white eyebrows. It was a gaze of reward, meaning, "What do you think? I'm worthy of being your grandfather, right?

Just as the bamboo shoots Spike had picked, pickled and dried, became a daily staple on the dinner table, the head copycat finished his investigation of Grandpa. He had been busy with more important matters and could not find the time to deal with the matter of grandfather. This day he suddenly had a leisurely afternoon, so he led a group of men to come running. They did not enter the door, standing in the doorway in the black raven. The chief loudly announced a major suspicion about Spike's grandfather's history. According to his investigation, Spike's grandfather had worked as an adjutant for Li Yueyang, was wounded in a battle to besiege the Red Army, and had since joined the Red Army. But that battle, the Red Army casualties are also very large, so Spike's grandfather is a white bandit with the blood of the Red Army on his hands. The head did not wait for Spike and grandpa to react, then step forward, pull open the drawer, carrying out the green felt full of medals, he held up the green felt with one hand, said to the neighbors who gradually gathered around: "Everyone take a look - none of this is a real medal of merit, at best, our army of unknown origin It is at best a commemorative medal of our army of unknown origin. So his so-called 'war merit' is the first big lie! The rest of the lies are even more absurd; these two are the medals of German Nazi soldiers!"

Grandpa said, "Damn you, you're the one who lied! Which one wasn't fought by my father in the war?"

The head said, "To fight a war, it depends on what kind of war. ......"

Grandfather slapped the table: "Day your grandmother, you say what war? Recovering the three eastern provinces is a lie? The fight across the Yalu River is your grandmother's lie? ......"

The head ignored his grandfather, shook the green felt in his hand and said loudly, "Today, we have uncovered an enemy disguised as an 'old hero', an old white bandit!"

Someone among the neighbors moved a chair, and the head stood on it with one foot. All the metal badges rang in his hands. With a very staged gesture, he pointed at Grandpa's head and said, "This old bandit soldier, who owes a blood debt to the revolution, still beckons and pretends to be a hero, and for many years has cheated us of our trust and respect."

Grandpa's white eyebrows were raised, his head was shaking unyieldingly, and he suddenly saw who was halfway through making briquettes not far away, and half a pot of thin coal with water and yellow mud was resting under the veranda. People only saw a black arc of light, from outside the crowd to the head, grandfather's robustness and the head of the head are very wonderful, the crowd "vomit" coaxed. The head ignored the fact that he had become a human-shaped briquette, his finger still pointed at Grandpa: "Everyone remember this old white bandit, do not let him continue his deception."

Several of the head's men held Grandpa down. Grandpa's voice was completely hoarse as he said, "My 'crippled certificate' is a fake? The gunshot wounds on my body left by the devils, are they fake? You're a fool!"

The neighbors brought water for the head to wash the coal all over his body. They greeted him loudly and at once became his own family. People pushed Grandpa into the house. Grandpa said, "Ask Vice Governor Huang to find out if there is a minister like me!"

One of the neighbors said, "Vice Governor Huang has been dead for seven or eight years."

They stopped Grandpa in the door. Whatever he said, their only reaction was to look at each other. They wanted Grandpa to understand that relationships between people do not necessarily progress from strangers to acquaintances, but from acquaintances to strangers, again, as a normal progression. The experience, when Spike looked at it years later, was like a weird dream where everyone became a stranger that day. After that day, some of the nannies coaxed the children by saying, "If you cry again that old white bandit is coming." One nap time after that day, the buzzing flies attracted a malt-exchange. Spike took the toothpaste skins out to trade and saw the girls she used to know tussling with the peddler over a large handful of badges, who said the two German badges were not brass and could not be exchanged for malt candy.

Spike wasn't sure if her grandfather's disability allowance had stopped from that day. She wrote to her parents that summer, saying that she missed them terribly and that she had been upset about breaking her mother's heart that time. In her correspondence with her parents this summer, Spike did not mention a word about her grandfather. But her parents still knew that Grandpa's special food supply had been discontinued.

Spike's parents decided to take their daughter away. They had several long private talks with Spike, asking her to understand that parents have supreme power over their children. They said that for a long time they had been forced to separate from their daughter, and that Spike had suffered as much emotional loss as they had. Now was the time to make up for those losses. We were too weak," the mother said, "to let our own child be a companion to an old man who is not related. And an irrelevant old man with an unclear history!"

Hearing the word "irrelevant", Spike looked at her mother with confused eyes.

Mother said, "If Grandma is gone, the old man has nothing to do with us, understand?" Her two palms held Spike's right hand between them, with a few slightly protruding calluses on them.

Spike's father said, "Our daughter is like us, she has the softest heart, even an old man who has nothing to do with us, she refuses to bully him. Spike, Daddy knows you best, right?"

The long talk went on until dark. Spike's father and mother talked to Spike: "Go change your clothes and come out quietly, if grandpa asks, tell him you went out to play with the kids. Mom and Dad will take you out to eat something nice."

Spike followed his parents and entered a small restaurant, which sold fried buns and bone soup. The soup was stained with a layer of gray-brown oil on top of the scallions. As Spike sipped, he suddenly stopped and glanced at his mother over the rim of the large bowl to see that she was passing a wink to his father, a strange smirk in her eyes. Spike instantly verified her feeling that her parents had been staring at her, picking on her. Every time she took a sip of soup and opened her mouth to make a "ha" sound, the two of them looked at each other quickly, meaning, "See? She has the old man's problems in every move; isn't her habit of opening her mouth to breathe the same as the old man? And look at her hands, holding the bottom of the bowl, she is a pair of farmers' hands. How can such hands be used to play chess, calligraphy and painting in the future? In front of food, this face is still considered reserved, while the expression is all in her gaze, gaze impatient, not only has an excessive appetite for what is on her own plate, to others in the plate and mouth, extra appetite for what is burning. In the eyes of her parents, Spike's eyes swooped down to each table of the tuck store, grabbing food from each plate, the eyes secreting sufficient saliva, biting and chewing with fierce vigor, taking another bite before finishing one, starting the next round of chewing before swallowing, unable to catch her breath, choking straight spasm does not care. My mother finally couldn't help herself and said, "Spike, don't watch others eat."

Father said, "Children."

"Kids aren't all like that," my mother snapped, "I don't like kids with particularly greedy eyes. The old man hangs his snacks from the ceiling, and that's how she gets her cravings."

Spike settled his gaze from the tables on the heavily oiled table. Just as the food here smelled of wood, the tables here smelled of meat. Five or six flies moved across the table in broken steps, in and out, rubbing their hands together. My mother danced her fingertips as she talked, and even the way she shooed the flies was somehow edifying. She told her father, "The old man told Spike to say she was 'I'm a little piggy' before he would give her a snack!"

Spike said, "I'm not!"

But her mother couldn't see her steeply red face. She said, "How come you didn't? I saw it with my own eyes! I saw the old man standing on the bench, his hand constructing a walnut from the bamboo basket, and said: 'Tell me yourself whether you are a little piggyback? ......"

Spike said loudly, "Not a walnut!"

"Then what is it?"

"I haven't eaten walnuts in years!"

"Well, lighten your voice." Mother said, with a quick glance at the dimly lit tuck store. "It doesn't matter if it's walnuts or not. That's what the old man called yourself anyway, saying you were a little piggyback."

"Never said that!" Spike said, his voice still too soft to go down.

"Listen to her voice!" Spike's mom said to Spike's dad. She turned her face to her daughter again and said, "I saw it clearly. Grandpa said, 'Say hello to Grandpa,' or, 'Will you be naughty again? He only gave you a bite when you said 'no more'."

Spike stared at her mother. She felt tears itching and hot, crawling under her eyes.

Her mother said, "What's wrong with that? Mom's not criticizing you, she's saying the old man shouldn't treat you like that. You're not a kitten or a puppy that plays tricks when given a little food."

"But I didn't say that!" Spike choked up.

"I heard you clearly. Kids don't move to play tricks!"

Spike thought of the two kicks she had received from her mother when she was half a year old. She could totally understand her mother at the moment, and she too thought she owed the kicks for being so nasty. Spike sobbed violently.

Mother said, "It wasn't Spike who wanted to say it, the old man taught you to say it, didn't he?"

"...... Hmm."

Mother took out her scented handkerchief and wiped Spike's tears with heavy hands and disgusted movements. The flesh on Spike's face kept giving way and bouncing back. Grandpa was indeed less elegant than her mother and father, and this realization broke Spike's heart. Grandpa used his body heat to warm her nest, grandpa carried her to school, spit on the pavement from time to time, all these justifiable facts made Spike ache for the reasonableness of grandpa losing Spike. It was at this point that her mother told Spike in no uncertain terms that Grandpa was an outsider.

Of course, the mother's most convincing reason is Grandpa's dubious history and the pseudo merit badge. The mother also gets hold of Spike's fiasco with her friends for stealing bamboo shoots, and she no longer resents her daughter, but is disgusted by her. When her mother lays out the latter two in front of her father and Spike as conclusive evidence, Spike is left speechless.

She acceded to her parents' request. It was a simple request: to say to Grandpa herself, "Grandpa, I want to go and live with Mom and Dad." But Spike's mom and dad didn't expect Spike's mutiny on the spot. For the rest of the week, no matter how much her parents gave her the eye and how much they urged her with whispers, she played dumb and was stubbornly silent.

Grandpa picked loofahs from the backyard that evening, pulled out salted eggs, cut off a few pieces of salted fish, and steamed them over rice. This was a sumptuous dinner in the summer of 1969. Spike's mother kicked Spike's feet under the table repeatedly, and Spike's feet dodged and dodged. Grandpa, however, spoke up. Grandpa said, "I know what you two have in mind, I know your conscience has fed the dog, but I forgive both. Nowadays, where people do not feed their conscience to the dogs? If you don't feed it to the dogs, your conscience will go out with the shit."

Spike's father and mother blushed and blanched.

Grandpa picked the salted egg yolk into Spike's bowl and ate the salted egg white himself, while Spike's mom said, "You're just eating the yolk, what else?"

Grandpa said, "That's her good fortune. If you want to eat it, I can't give it to you yet. Spike, you eat it, and enjoy it as long as you are lucky with grandpa. When you leave tomorrow, there will be no egg white and no egg yolk, so if Grandpa eats it, what will it taste like?"

At that time, Spike did not have much money. She could not spend her monthly salary until the end of the month, and she had given up snacks. She only slipped two ten dollar bills into the envelope. Not long after, I heard from my mother that my grandfather had passed away. The old man didn't have any relatives, so he only put one name in the relatives column, and of course it was Spike.


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