My Daoist Life - 8
Plans to Make Money
Worldly Primordial Qi can also be flamboyantly colourful. I was slowly discovering that primordial qi has a lot of different colours, and they all have different temperaments. For instance, the primordial qi within this fire, its temperament is comparatively quite violent and hot tempered. It also resembles someone who can’t be trifled with. I wanted to contain it inside my body but it was not even the least bit obedient, as difficult to tame as an unruly cruel steed.
Only the primordial qi possessing white gem like luster feels the most obedient, however, soon after entering my body, they also leave quickly. At the same time, they also take away the impurities present within the my body’s organs.
“Overcooked, Rice is overcooked. Look at you child, where did your thoughts wander off while cooking?” Grandpa hurriedly said.
Only then did i notice the faint smell of the rice congee burning. At once I quickly covered the fire within the stove with ashes.
“You also can’t blame your Papa and Mama. That Guan Dong is not a mountain of Gold and Silver. Earning even a little bit of money is not easy for your parents. Also, there’s nothing like civilized work, all they can do is enter a factory and do physical labour to survive. Working more than ten hours a day. In these two years, your parents have exhausted their hard earned years worth of savings. At first they were planning to return to renovate the house into two stories. However, now with your younger brother, I don’t know in what year the matter of the house renovation will be completed.” Grandpa said sighing.
“Grandpa, I don’t blame them. I know that they have been working hard. I haven’t seen them in several years. I also miss my younger brother.” I could feel the tears forming around the rim of my eyes. With great difficulty I managed to suppress them and tried to not let them not. The blazing fire of the stove within my eyes became hazy.
I had a sudden urge to make money, if I could earn lot of money, then perhaps Papa and Mama would come back, and would not need to continue toiling so hard to make money. Also, I would be able to see my younger brother. At this young age, I also knew the value of money.
I began deliberating, calculating all of the means of making money that I possessed. If more fish were raised and sold during the New Year’s time, then I should be able to earn a lot of money. But, perhaps not enough, last year, the fish pond in Great Grandpa’s house had been bought for nearly a thousand yuan. It was still less than my parent’s monthly salary in Guan Dong.
Perhaps I can also raise cattle, in any case the cattle can go graze on their own. A head of cattle would be able to make several thousands of yuan. Oh that’s right, we can also raise pigs and chickens. My plans were becoming more extravagant.
“Grandpa, how about we raise a few heads of cattle. We could sell one head of cattle for a few thousand yuan. Also, we could raise a few pigs. All of this would be managed by me. I would go buy pig straw, I would come feed the pigs. Also we can raise chickens, ducks and geese.“ I told Grandpa my ideas.
“Can’t raise cattle. Calves are too expensive, Grandpa doesn’t have that much money. Raise pigs, ok. Chickens, Ducks, Geese can also be raised. However, if they eat other people’s millet then we will have to compensate them.” Grandpa said a bit worriedly.
“I won’t let them eat other people’s millet and vegetables. They will only eat insects.” I said after thinking for a bit,
Grandpa wanted to say something, but glancing over at the ox pen, he stopped before saying what he wanted to say.
“Then tomorrow you’ll come with me to the market to buy a couple of piglets to bring back. You can also bring back some chicks, ducklings and goslings. However, you must remember that these animals that you are bringing back will be your responsibility to manage. Raising them is fine, but remember that your body is in its growth stage, you must also eat well.” Grandpa said while tenderly caressing my head.
“Raising animals can bring money, and as long as I make enough money, Papa and Mama will come back. Younger brother will also come back.” I said firmly.
“Ai!” Grandpa let out a sigh and went out.
There were always many people on the streets of Chang Mountain town every day, with most of them concentrated in the trading areas. Grandpa took me to the place where young animals are sold.
“I pick this chick.” I reached out to grab a chick from the chicken peddler’s chick cage.
“Hey! Whose child are you, if you kill a chick you will have to pay.” The peddler said reluctantly.
“Just let him pick by himself, I will pay for the damages.” Grandpa said.
I grabbed a chick from the cage, that chick was surprisingly simple and obedient in my hands.
“Look at you kid, you seem to have a knack. Picking up all of my best young ones. Also seem to be seasoned at grabbing chicks. How did you teach this child.” The peddler said in a very surprised manner.
“I don’t know.” Grandpa shook his head, but on his face was a proud smile. Back home, nobody in the village had responded to my unique insight, but here I had suddenly become a treasure. Grandpa was naturally feeling happy.
“Come here, Uncle will give you a couple.” That peddler very rarely added another head for the benefit of the customer on his own accord.
Twenty chicks, twenty ducklings and twenty goslings, were very quickly bought. My face was full of smiles, as if I could already see the scene of Papa and Mama returning home for the new year. Grandpa knew what I was thinking, but still he was worried that I was holding too many expectations, and if my parents still don’t come back, I would be extremely disappointed. Grandpa knew that my Papa and Mama’s thoughts were completely devoted onto my younger brother. They had already forgotten that they had an elder son.
“We also need to buy two piglets.” Grandpa, carrying the load on a shoulder pole, took me along to go to the place where piglets were being sold.
Buying piglets may not be as easy as buying chicks, ducklings and goslings.
All kinds of people mingle together as piglet vendors, there are some specialist peddlers who go to their villages to collect piglets, there are some villagers who come to towns to sell piglets carrying them on a shoulder pole. One would also have to be careful when buying piglets, since one might end up taking home a piglet diseased from birth which would even possibly die after not many days of being raised. Even if the piglet bought is not a diseased pig, there is a big difference between first-rate pigs and inferior pigs. Within the same litter of piglets, after one month the difference would already be several jin, and if one continued to raise them for a few more months, then the difference would be a few tens of jin usually. This emphasises insight.
“I will choose.” Just like before, i eagerly rushed over to choose piglets.
“That won’t do, better let your Grandpa choose.” Grandpa was worried that I would choose wrongly.
“I will choose them well.” I wasn’t sure why, but with a glance at these piglets, I was capable of discerning which piglets were good, and which piglets were inferior.
Grandpa who couldn’t go against me, could only let me choose, “Ok, go ahead then.”
I settled on a villager who seemed like he had come from his village carrying three piglets in a snakeskin bag.
“I’ll take these two.” I said.
“That won’t do. Buy all three together, if you bought these two big ones, whom will I sell the leftover to? If you can’t afford the price, then that’s not my problem. You must not discriminate this young piglet, in fact it is comparable to the other two pigs. If you compare it with piglets from other people’s houses, it is not the least bit lacking. My house’s sow is not ordinary. The piglets that it gives birth to are all good for raising. There were twelve born in this litter. Very early in the morning itself were picked out by my village people. Originally, these three were also reserved for someone. As it happened their family had to suddenly move out to take up casual jobs. I also wasn’t given any notice of it. I rear a lot of animals, so at once I was forced to come to town holding these three piglets so they could be sold.” That villager was around fifty years of age.
“Grandpa, how about we buy it also.” I had settled on these three little piglets. This piglet in comparison to other piglets seemed to be much more intelligent. It was a kind of hazy feeling, making me decide to buy these piglets.
That piglet seller was also very frank and straightforward, directly waiving off the leftover change, which was several yuan.
What i didn’t know, was that during this trip, Grandpa had spent almost all of his accumulated savings. This money had come from Grandpa doing odd-jobs in other people’s houses. However, at this time he had completely used up all that money because of me.
“Yang Yang, do you also want to eat anything?” Grandpa asked.
I looked at the roadside shops full of goods tinkling like pendants. The snacks on the roadside stands were also sending out an alluring aroma. I couldn’t help but gulp down a mouthful of saliva. However, I firmly shook my head: “I’m fine.”
“Heh Heh” Grandpa smiled.
A book stall on the roadside unexpectedly caught my attention. The book stall had new books on display, as well as second-hand used books. All books had their own marked prices, some books were very cheap, and some books were very expensive. This is because, in the 80s the book’s marked price remained very low, but in the 90s, the books started becoming very expensive.
I saw a book called 《Xing Yi Quan Five Fists Illustrated》. The book had a marked price of only 5.5 jiao, however the book stall was selling it for the price of five yuan. It was mainly the book’s cover that was making me very interested. The 90s was a period of time when martial arts were revered.
[TLNote: For more info as to why I kept the name of the book like that – click here] [Note2: One jiao is basically a tenth of a yuan]
“Five Yuan, and you can take it away.” The stall owner looked at me glancing, said.
“Doesn’t it have only 5.5 jiao written on top of it? You also don’t have to sell so expensive, how about two yuan?” My Grandpa seeing me taking a liking to it, at once wanted to buy it, but the money he had brought along today had been almost completely exhausted. A few yuan were remaining, but he still wanted to buy me something to eat. The trips to this street are seldom, nevertheless he wanted to buy something for me to wet my mouth.
“It’s a book from the 60s, was originally worth only a few fen. Now even the waste paper can be sold for more than a few fen right? Three Yuan, take it or leave it.” The stall owner seeing an old man with a child, discounted two yuan.
[TLnote: fen is basically one-hundredth of a yuan, and one-tenth of a jiao]
Grandpa took out a plastic bag from his pocket, it was Grandpa’s wallet. From the wallet he took out three yuan. Already not much money was left inside.
With the book in my hands, I had already lost interest in the street food stalls on both sides of the road. Immediately opened the book, but unexpectedly, I couldn’t recognize most of the characters inside. I could only keep on turning the pages, before finally turning to the place where there were illustrations.
It would sound strange to say, these illustrations seemed as if they had become alive within my mind, as I turned page by page, the person within the illustrations in the book seemed to be performing a continuous sequence of movements, and as I turned to the last page of the book the routine of the person finished. This routine in the next moment was recorded within my memory. I could freely demonstrate that routine at any time.
“Come, eat a sugar steamed stuffed bun. You will need the energy to walk.” Grandpa slipped me a steamed stuffed bun. I didn’t immediately eat it. First I looked around and saw that Grandpa didn’t have one in his hands.
Grandpa only bought one steamed stuffed bun. The rest of the money, Grandpa was preparing to keep as reserve.
I broke the steamed stuffed bun into half, and handing one half to Grandpa: “We each eat one half.”
Grandpa took the bun before turning his head to use his hand to wipe his eyes.
“Grandpa, as soon as I become rich in the future, we will go onto the streets and eat whatever we want.” I took a small bite out of this half a steamed stuffed bun with my small mouth, while wanting to make the white sugary sweetness within the steamed stuffed bun persist in my mouth even just a little bit longer.
“Ai Ai, then Yang Yang properly raise these animals, so that once these chickens, ducks, geese and little pigs all grow up, we will become wealthy.” Grandpa nodded incessantly.
Earlier when Grandma was at home, our family would raise pigs every year. Therefore, a pig-pen was already available. The chicken, ducks and geese are still too young, and can only be raised in pots.
After returning home, I at once told Black bean that he must guard these little chicks, ducklings and goslings well.