Chapter 11 Volunteer
In the evening time, Zhang Youping brought along the ox, carrying two bucket full of firewood on his shoulder a pole. The shoulder pole and the winnowing fan were making squeaking noises due to friction. It seemed just like a melodious rhythm fluttering on a rural trail.
“Youping, Youping.” Zhang Jiujin’s father Zhang Qianlong quickly arrived at Zhang Youping’s side.
“Hua. (Sound made to stop the Ox)” Zhang Youping pulled on the ox’s rope to stop, “Elder Brother Qianlong, what’s the matter?”
“Are you still not letting your son go cattle-herding? Would you be able to raise your son perfectly inside the house? Would you able to do that for an entire lifetime? Oh right, you can go ask the production brigade, in this kind of a situation you should be able to have two children.” Zhang Qianlong even after speaking for a long time did not come to the point, as if he was worried about Zhang Youping’s matters. [TLNote: Friendly reminder on Production brigades https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Production_brigade%5D
“Our family’s firstborn is a boy, can we still have a second pregnancy? Moreover, just one in my family is enough to make me toss sleeplessly side to side in sleep, would I still dare to have a second pregnancy?” Zhang Youping shook his head. If his son didn’t have this kind of a situation, Zhang Youping still would have entertained the idea, but now that his son has become like this, he also had cut short the thoughts of a second pregnancy.
“Ai, that is also there. You family’s son is even more capable of tormenting compared to other family’s children. He is really bringing hardship to you husband and wife.” Zhang Qianlong spoke quite sympathisingly.
“Elder Brother Qianlong, do you have any business?” Zhang Youping naturally knew that Zhang Qianlong wouldn’t come running over for no reason just out of care. There is definitely some other issue.
“It is like this. Didn’t my house just lay down outline (Draw the foundation base)? Tomorrow, the construction work will formally begin, can you see if you are able to help out with some work?” Zhang Qianlong finally spoke out the real matter.
“That is a certainty, ah. Construction of a house is an important event. Amongst us brothers there is no need for this kind of formality. Just give me a call, and I will come at once.” Zhang Youping agreed promptly. In those years, the time when everything was negotiated with money still hadn’t arrived yet. Each and every family helped out each other, only needed to entertain and provide meals. For constructing a house, only the basic material expenses were required. Certainly, the skilled workers would require payment of wages. Because the skilled worker is a professional basically. For example, a carpenter, or a mason. The volunteers would all do auxiliary tasks.
The reason that Zhang Qianlong intentionally hailed Zhang Youping on the road was because he had his own objective, only seeing him with embarrassment on his face, he said, “Zhang Youping, I know that some words which shouldn’t be said could offend others. However, the construction of house for my family is a matter of once in a lifetime. Therefore, these words I want to say frankly, you must not take offense.”
“Elder Brother Qianlong, you feel free to speak.” Zhang Youping more or less had an idea about what Zhang Qianlong wanted to say. Although he was angry in his heart, but he kept suppressing it.
“During such time that my house is being constructed, could you talk to Jiaohua and forbid him from coming to that area where the our new house is?” As Zhang Qianlong spoke this, he didn’t dare to overtake Zhang Youping to look at his face. He knew that with this matter, Zhang Youping’s complexion would definitely be very ugly.
Just like Zhang Qianlong predicted, as soon as his voice fell, Zhang Youping’s complexion immediately became ashen. On the hands carrying the shoulderpole, blue veins swelled up. After a long time, Zhang Youping managed to say: “Qianlong, Jiaohua won’t go to your new house. You rest assured 24×7.”
Zhang Youping’s addressing of Zhang Qianlong had the words “Elder Brother” missing, after having finished, he didn’t look back and continued to drive the Ox home.
Zhang Qianlong somewhat awkwardly looked at Zhang Youping’s back, “Ai, what matter is this?”
As Zhang Youping returned to his house, the scrupulous Liu Qiaoye discovered that Zhang Youping’s complexion wasn’t looking so good.
“Youping, what happened? Are you feeling unwell?” Liu Qiaoye asked her husband kindly. The Husband in the family was a piece of heaven, if this heaven were to collapse, then the family would come to an end.
“It’s okay. Oh right, tomorrow I need to go to Qianlong’s house to lend a hand. Their family wants to construct a new house. You should make Jiaohua stay put nicely at home, must not in any circumstance go over there. Afraid that other people wouldn’t like it.” Zhang Youping was diligently suppressing his mood. He also didn’t want his family to bear this kind of unpleasantness. After saying that, Zhang Youping glanced at his son, sitting on the threshold and incessantly fiddling with a compass.
Liu Qiaoye was an astute woman, hearing these words of her husband, she immediately knew that her husband had to hear other people’s words.
“Our precious son also isn’t need of food to eat. Why would he go to other people’s house? If you casually want to build a new house also good, if they want to build a dragon place also good, there’s nothing worth looking. Let alone other people not being happy with our precious son going, even if they sent a palanquin with eight carriers inviting him to come, our precious son then also wouldn’t go. Precious son, is mother right?”
Zhang Jiaohua believed that the compass in his hands was a very high-quality toy. Amongst the brats in Meizi’ao, this toy would absolutely be as unique as scorpion shit. After hearing mother’s words, he didn’t lift his head up, “Mother, I want to go cattle-herding tomorrow.”
“Such an intelligent son, it won’t do to always keep him stuffed indoors, he wants to go cattleherding, let him go cattleherding.” Liu Qiaoye looked at her husband with a questioning gaze.
Zhang Youping thought for a bit, in this time when he would have to go help out, in the house all the tasks would have to be completed by wife alone. There was truly no time to go oxherding.
“Son, can you promise that you won’t go to the pond to take a bath?” Zhang Youping asked.
“I promise that I won’t go to the pond to take a bath.” Zhang Jiaohua said excitedly.
Even though Zhang Jiaohua had dozed off quite a few times, at night fall he started to get sleep, sound came from the 14-inch black-and-white TV started by the eldest child of the mute’s family, controller must be set to Blue sky 6 “Good teeth, good appetite, body also becomes excellent, also fragrant to eat.” advertisement carried no attraction to Zhang Jiaohua. Though, he knew that after this advertisement, the TV Serial would start. Zhang Jiaohua fell asleep sitting on the threshold.
Liu Qiaoye embraced her son, and prepared to put him to bed, “Youping, our precious son has gotten a lot more sleepy these days. Don’t know what is the matter. If there is time, we can take him to the hospital to get a check up done to know what is the matter?”
“Fine. What a pity, we again wouldn’t be able to buy a TV set. I was even preparing to save a bit of money, to buy a TV set before the new year’s celebration.” Zhang Youping said regretfully.
“Does it matter if you are able to see TV or not. Is our son more important or the TV, ah?” Liu Qiaoye grumbled.
“I didn’t mean that. As of now people in the village dislike our son. I am afraid that if he thinks of going to other people’s house to watch TV, then he would get bullied. Therefore, I was thinking of buying a TV set to put in our house. Later, our son wouldn’t need to go to other people’s house to watch TV. However, it is more important for our son to see the doctor. Wait until this work is done, I will go make the rounds in Town, see if there is any secondary work to be done. Bring a bit of money back. Then we would be able to have the TV set, and our son’s matter would also be dealt with.” Zhang Youping rubbed his hands, he had an able body, but he still couldn’t find a way to make money.
Zhang Jiaohua had entered the land of dreams, and the Old Daoist Priest appeared before him.
“Tonight, you shall copy the Sutra. You must copy the characters earnestly, there cannot be any mistake. For each mistake, you would be hit by plank.” The Old Daoist Priest forcefully struck the bamboo clapper board onto the table.