Every new year, when we were just children we would remember Grandmother's pumpkin story. And I have passed this story on to my children who will not only remember it when they celebrate Chinese New Year but when they see each other as siblings.
A long time ago in Fuzhou, China, an old man before he died he left his land and property to his two sons. He had also told his elder son to love and look after his younger brother as he was the only relative he had. The older brother promised to do so. The two of the brothers must not leave each other, come what may.
Thus the old man died happy thinking that his older son would keep his promise.
After the father died, the older brother made the younger brother live in the barn and he made him work like a slave.
Soon the older brother took a wife who was quite wealthy and their farm became bigger. The younger brother also took a wife. While the older brother lived inluxury, the younger brother had to make ends meet while working for his brother and family.
The younger brother planted a lot of vegetables and his family had just enough to eat.
Chinese New Year was around the corner, and the younger brother was excited about it. He told the other farm hads that he was going to have ducks, chickens, and fish for the reunion dinner.
When the older brother heard the news, he was sure that his brother had been stealing from him.
On new year eve, the little poor farm house was busy and the poorer brother's family was indeed cooking their hearts out. Smoke was billowing from the chimney and a lot of laughter was heard. No one would doubt that this was a happy family.
The children and the parents got down to eat their dinner and there were screams of delight. There was a duck, a chicken and even a fish on the table!!
Then right there an then, the older brother burst through the door and got hold of the brother's arms. And he shouted, "You thief! You have stolen from me!~!"
The younger brother looked at the older brother and said,
"Brother, look, here I have pumpkins made into chicken, duck and fish! Come and have a taste!"
the older brother was stunned and bowed in shame.
At that moment, he had realised how badly he had treated his younger brother who never complained about him and yet was able to live so happily with his family.
Fromthat day onwards the two brothers became brothers again and shared their father's farm .
This is the sort of stories my grandmother told us. Brothers must love each other.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Memoir by I Am Sarawakiana at 5:25 PM