On the night of August 14th, 1988, in the city’s Department of Gynaecology and Obstretics, a baby girl was born with a cry. This baby girl’s parents were from a poor farming area, but the mother, lucky as well as attractive, was selected to be the broadcast host at a TV station because of her beauty and her sweet voice. This brought about some changes in the baby girl’s life.
When she grew up, she found out that her parents had started having problems when her mother was pregnant and they were fighting constantly. So her mother decided to divorce her father once the baby was born and to take the baby with her. However, the father refused and insisted on bringing the baby to his hometown for his parents and siblings to bring up. Being unable to convince him otherwise, the mother was forced to leave her baby with him.
The baby girl’s life was then set on a clear path. In the village, the father did not have enough money to send her to school. She would do farm work until she came of marriageable age, and then she would get married to a family in or around their village. She would live a poor and hard life, of housework and farm work, and raise her children to the same life—working for generations, living in the same poor area, and never knowing what the outside world was like.
As time passed, four years went by and the baby girl became a child, her red and black face covered with dried snot, her body covered with dirt, the little hair at the top of her head ragged, with mismatched earrings and torn clothing. However she always had a beautiful white-toothed smile on her face. Because her parents weren’t there, her grandmother was especially kind to her and allowed her to play and to do whatever she wanted. There were few things that she was not allowed. Every day, she went to play in the fields, by the rivers, on the mountains and in the forests. When she felt hungry, she went to the family’s farm to collect soybeans and ate them till she was full, and then she would go home to get some water and rest. Time passed in this way. She looked like the other kids in the village, some of whom even went about bare feet, but they were all joyful.
Maybe she thought her childhood would be spent in this beautiful small village, and she would grow up to be a peasant woman with a farm. But she never dreamed that, when she was four and a half years old, her mother would come to bring her back to the city, a city she had no idea existed in this world. On that day, like every other day, she came back home late. Her grandmother said, “Your mother is here for you.” She ran away, hid behind the door, and only looked at the woman with one eye. The woman was very white, very clean, and wore clothes that no one in the village had seen. She was very attractive and had brought many bags with her, full of candies, fruits and new clothes. Because the girl had never worn new clothes before, she slowly approached this mysterious new woman.
The woman was shocked at first to see the condition of her child but she recovered her composure and gave her hand to the girl and asked her to come near. She took out fruits from her bag. The girl smelled the fruits which she had never seen before. Because the fruits were very sweet and because she was too young to be shy, she had eight fruits one after the other. The mother and the grandma had been chatting and not paying attention to her. When her mother saw the peach pits on the floor, she was very pleased.
“Did it taste good?” Her mother asked.
“Very good”, the girl replied.
“Mom will buy many more for you, ok?” her mother kindly said.
The girl said ok and put her head down shyly.
The grandma looked at her and said, “This is your mother, Yanggo.” (Yanggo was the name given her by her grandma.)
The girl looked at the woman with a smile.
The girl stared at the bags around the woman and wondered what was inside. Her mother seemed to understand her curiosity and opened the bags, taking out a green skirt with black spots and a white shirt, which she told the girl to put on. The girl took off her clothes and put on the skirt. To tell the truth, she looked like a boy wearing a skirt, but her grandma said it was gorgeous. The girl was very happy and ran out laughing to show off her new clothes and her mother to the other kids. Her mother would bring her to the city, where she would be able to have many new clothes and fruits. She was laughing.
That night was the girl’s last night in the village, but she was not upset and did not cry to be leaving her grandma. Probably because she was too young. She was only four years. She did not what departure was, what other kinds of world she would enter…。。。
That night her mother decided to go back to her work. The mother and daughter took a truck full of wool to the county town. The girl said to her grandma, “Grandma, don’t cry, I will come back to see you when I grow up with earrings.” The grandma took out candy from her pocket and said ok ok ok, but her tears continued to fall. In this way, the girl parted from her grandma.
For the mother, she had a new person in her life, a daughter to accompany her, and she must feel warm inside since she had waited for this moment. No matter what, she believed she did the right thing and would be happy. For her daughter, this world was new to her and she had never before interacted with it. What would happen? What would life be with her mother? What kind of people would she meet? How would she live? How would she face this new world..?
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