The Seventh Original Writing Competition
Junior High School Group
Written by Huang Jia-hao,
Luoshan Junior High School, Weinan, Shaanxi Province
Date: October, 2019
Leaves are falling in riotous profusion. Dew is condensed into frost in deep autumn. Colorful leaves dress the earth in a beautiful blanket. Gazing into the distance, you will see a picture of green northern scenery which is the beautiful manifestation of strong vitality of winter wheat and oilseed rape.
North wind blows. Alamos, tung trees, elms, oriental planes, and maples give a performance of the grand Yellow River Cantata following the rhythm of the wind.
At the gate of the yard there is a persimmon that has been through the vicissitudes of life. Dressed in a thick and rough article of thermal clothing, it is trembling in the wind. Hanging quiveringly on the branches, the remaining fruits like lanterns draw down a group of long-tailed magpies. They are twittering and jumping on the branches, calling and attracting their friends. Now and then, they peck at the soft persimmon which dyed their sharp beaks red.
The cold wind is blasting. The freezing air is aggressive. It’s the season when dripping water freezes. A red plum is in bloom on the branch, swaying in north wind. It’s smiling proudly as a champion.
Following my mother, I enter the yard through the open iron fence. A fat women pulls out a loudspeaker box as tall as half of a man from the wing room. Immediately, I Am From The Prairie, a song of square dance sung by Wulan Tuya was wafted above the yard and spreading around.
Magpies are gone and women come. They take off their thick cotton-padded clothes naturally in the yard and put on colorful costumes and silk clothes as thin as paper. Everyone has a silk fan in the hand. Standing tall, they are in high spirits and very lovely.
Momentarily, it appears that people come out of the ground all of sudden. Some are playing on a swing. Some are playing rotor. The fitness equipment sponsored by Chinese Welfare Lottery comes into full play.
Children come on quadricycles and tricycles pushed by their grandpas and grandmas. They are even wearing tiger head caps which are red outside and blue inside. They come on twisting bikes with their feet rubbing the ground. They come in ice skates and on skateboard. Some little girls even come on a skateboard bicycle of single pedal or double pedals. The double-pedaled bicycle moves forward by the force of two legs opening and closing alternatively just like the swinging tail of a goldfish. They are swimming in the sea of joy.
In the parterre beside the wall, chrysanthemums in various colors and big Chinese roses are also deeply touched and can’t help flickering. The flowers are red, pink, yellow...
Somehow the music stops. A bunch of ploughmen have got into position in the northwest corner. They hang their mandarin coat on the neck with the front open. A bench, a big gong, and a lute are waiting upon on one side. A performance of modern western rock and roll is upcoming.
Those who are exhausted from square dancing stand, squat or try to find somewhere to sit. They are chatting, laughing and commenting. Strings of silvery laughter burst out now and then and harmonize the atmosphere of the yard.
Children are wandering through the crowds dynamically.
A sound of gong is made and a bench is hit on the ground. The performance of Laoqiang Opera of Huayin County has come to its climax. The lute performer nips the string with his left hand and stretches out his right arm. His hand is moving up and down quickly on the strings. He is singing so loudly that the blue veins are protruding on his neck. Another performer is sitting on the ground steadfastly without hesitation. The elder uncle holding the drumstick beats the gong so hard as if he isn’t afraid of breaking it. He bends down and jumps up then punches the gong with the drumstick. The crowd immediately close their eyes and cover the ears to take precautions against the upcoming sound. But this is unnecessary. What comes is a gentle sound from the colliding of wood and metal. When he is punching the gong with his right hand, he holds the body of the gong with his left hand in good time. A thunderous sound arises and stops abruptly. It bursts out suddenly but the sound is temperate and refrained. It’s quite hilarious to beat the bench surface with a wood brick. The performer puts up one end of the bench with his left hand and lift up the wood brick. He poses a forward lunge with his front leg in the shape of bow and the other leg in the shape of arrow in the back. At the moment when he punches the bench, he even tilts his butt. It’s so funny. I really enjoy the show and expect him to beat the bench for a few more times.
People come in and out of the yard. They come and go spontaneously according to their own interest. What they pursue is fun. Their exhausted body and soul is utterly relieved here.
Look, the yangko sisters are dancing again. These people are wearing ordinary clothes. They are swinging their body following their own instincts and the rhythm in a large or a small range. The old pretty women performing butterfly dance also come to join in the fun. They even put on blusher and foundation powder. They are striking gongs and beating drums. They are jumping and laughing. What is interesting is an old man with a long pole. He dresses up as a butterfly catcher. Whoever is pointed at has to solo in front of the crowd. Sometimes he intentionally knocks the butterfly flower on someone’s head to induce a light shout. He enjoys it and opens his mouth wide and giggles complacently.
The sound of side drum, banhu, and erhu come from the little house nearby. Then we hear the lyrics of one highlight of Qinqiang opera, “original family home is Hancheng county of Shaanxi province...”. I think there is likely a big stove in the center of the house. On the stove there is a big steaming tea pot. Beside the teapot there are a few pots of chlorophytum comosums glittering with green light. There are some people who rub their hands now and then and get close to the stove for warmth.
Nowadays life becomes much easier for the farmers. They use machines to harvest and plant crops. It only takes one or two hours to finish the farm work that couldn’t be done in a couple of days in the past.
When there is more leisure time, mahjong becomes popular;
When mahjong is banned, cultural activities become popular.
I don't know who has knocked over an ink box by accident that the sky is completely dark. The crescent moon climbs up the clouds and smiles through the gap of the clouds. It’s shining in response to the solar lane lamps all over the village and lights up the way home for people.
The crowd disperses..... everything returns to quiet.
Expert comment 1
The words are as smooth and fluent as floating clouds and flowing water. The writer is skillful in writing and the article is quite interesting. The depiction of scenery is beautiful and vivid with rich colors and integration of motion and quietness. The description of characters is natural and flexible. The images of women, children, and old men are all fresh and alive. They are singing, dancing and jumping. Laoqiang Opera of Huayin County and yangko are full of life. Various scenes intertwine and form picture of the beautiful farmyard in winter.
Expert comment 2
The article has multiple layers of structure. The winter scenes and plants of hometown in the beginning and the subsequent traditional performances such as yangko and Shaanxi opera present a stereoscopic and diversified hometown scenery in front of the readers. It’s interesting and desirable.