Accompany by A Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 18: 生气 (Angry)
“Watch out!” A cry of surprise rang out, the distracted Zhong Ziqi only felt his feet stepping on something, he slipped, then his body fell backwards. The expected pain did not appear, when he opened his eyes, he was held up by Zhao Zheng’an behind him, while his whole body was lying in Zhao Zheng’an’s embrace, which looked incessantly ambiguous.
When Zhao Zheng’an saw that his wife was not moving, he asked urgently, ” Wife? Does it hurt?”
Zhao Ning also came over and asked worriedly, “Did you twist your foot? Why are you walking so carelessly?”
Zhong Ziqi hurriedly got up from Zhao Zheng’an’s body, moved his foot, but the pain was only slightly tingling but not serious: “No, it doesn’t hurt, I didn’t twist it! Thanks to Zheng’an for helping me from behind.”
The three of them were relieved, Zhao Ning complained and talked non stop, “You have to watch the road when you walk! How can you be so absent-minded?(三心二意= thinking about this and that)
If you break it, how can you do business tomorrow? No one can cook at home …”
Zhong Ziqi interrupted him helplessly, “Okay, okay, I know! I will watch the road well, little housewife (小管家婆:busybody)!” If he hadn’t interrupted him, he might have been able to talk all along the way…
Only then did Zhao Ning reluctantly stop talking while he glared at him by the way.
At the fork in the road, Zhao Ning and Zhao Sheng took the money they were paid by Zhong Ziqi and went home.When he got close to the house, Zhong Ziqi realised that the wall had been built,it was more than two people high, so he believes that no one could get in. Zhong Ziqi was satisfied thus he remembered that the key was with Zhao Amu, so he asked Zhao Zheng’an to wait at the door for a while as he went to get it.
Zhao Zheng’an stood alone at the door obediently, he was now free of his initial panic,because his wife would always return.
Zhong Ziqi went to Zhao Ning’s house to get the key, at the same time gave Zhao Amu the money for today’s vegetables and the workers’ wages, after he said a few words then Zhong Ziqi went back home.
Zhong Ziqi went out of the village to walk towards his house. When he looked down, he was startled to see three children gathered in front of his house. They were about eight or nine years old and seemed to be talking to Zhao Zheng’an, who was also looking at them with a foolish smile, moving his mouth every now and then.
Zhong Ziqi stood there for a while, making sure that the children were not bullying Zhao Zheng’an before he put his mind at ease as he walked over to them, asking with a smile on his lips and a gentle voice, “Are you here to play with Zheng’an?”
The three children, all of whom were boys, wore patched clothes. They were not afraid to see Zhong Ziqi, looking at him with the same curiosity. One of them, a little chubby, spoke first: “Are you the fool’s wife?”
“Yes! Who are you?”
Another little child sniffed and said, “We are the fool’s brothers.” The other two children, after hearing what he said, also sniffed, thus they puffed out their chests in an act of righteousness, making Zhong Ziqi snort with amusement.
Zhao Zheng’an had been secretly looking at his wife, afraid that he wouldn’t be happy that he himself would play with them, but when he saw him laughing, he couldn’t help but crack his own mouth open.
Zhong Ziqi smiled and said ‘a child daring to do great mischief(人小鬼大)’ after that he got up to open the door, “Come in!”
[人小鬼大 refer to A child who has plenty of ideas. This term is often used to describe a child who is smart but naughty]
Zhao Zheng’an led the way into the courtyard as he pushed the trolley into the corner.
The three children,you guys look at me,I squeezed you and came in.
It just so happened that there were some canned fruits left over from today’s meal,
Zhong Ziqi found four bowls to pour one for each of them, then looked at the three children whose eyes were shining and asked with a wicked smile, “Do you want to eat?”
The children’s eyes instantly moved from the bowls to his face,hesitantly nodded their heads in unison.
“If you want to eat it, you have to listen to me and not call him ‘stupid’ (sha zi) in the future.” Zhong Ziqi pointed at Zhao Zheng’an, In his territory, the word ‘stupid’ (傻子)these two words is not allowed.
“If don’t call him stupid, what do we call him?” One of the children asked in confusion, they didn’t know Zhao Zheng’an’s name, he used to go out to do work so the children in the village didn’t see him often, so they were quite unfamiliar with each other,but after Zhao Zheng’an became stupid and played with them, they just called him stupid as the adults did.
“Call… call him brother Zheng’an (Zheng’an gege) , and call me brother Ziqi (Ziqi gege) .”
The three children hesitated yet obediently spoke up and called out, “Brother Zheng’an, Brother Ziqi”
Zhao Zheng’an giggled in response, smiling unconsciously.
Zhong Ziqi’s heart softened as he listened to the soft and tender sound of his voice, with a wave of his hand, he said, “Come on, one bowl for each of you! When you’ve finished eating, go and play in the courtyard.Don’t fight, okay?”
The three children and Zhao Zheng’an nodded in unison as they ran out with their bowls in their hands.
Zhong Ziqi stood there, shaking his head in amusement and helplessness, saw the three children and one man squatting in the shade at the entrance, playing happily, so he did not care about them,and got up to do his own work.
Today he came back from town and bought a lot of vegetable seeds. He had to plant them before the hot spell during autumn( 秋老虎) arrived, so he could still harvest a crop of vegetables, otherwise there would be nothing to eat this year.
He didn’t want to provoke Wang Cuihua’s supercilious look (aka roll of the eyes) all the time, it was too damned annoying, Zhong Ziqi rarely thought with such nasty mood.
In the courtyard, one of the older-looking children finished his bowl of canned food in a rush( 火急火燎: scorched), holding the bowl as if he isn’t finished yet and drooling as he looked at the other three. He smacked his lips, although envious but obviously as a well-educated child, he didn’t go out of his way to make a scene.
But it’s this kind of obedience, good natured and pitiful behaviour that makes him more endearing, so when Zhao Zheng’an had eaten half of his part, then he saw that he had run out of food, he graciously handed him the bowl:
“Eat ba, Xiao Hu (Little Tiger)!”
The boy called Xiaohu hesitated for a moment, “You eat ba! One bowl for each of us,this is yours.”
Zhao Zheng’an insisted on handing him the bowl and said innocently, “I often eat it, my wife will make it for me, so you eat it.”
Zhao Zheng’an’s words immediately drew envious looks from several children, eating it every day ah! So Happy. It was rare for them to have sugar in their house, but on happy days during the New Year they would have the luxury of using some sugar to make a delicious meal.
Xiaohu took the bowl, this time taking small bites like the other two, so that he could savour the taste.
Xiao Hu’s formal personal name is Zhao Yuan Lang,such an impressive name (Yuan could mean First/primary while Lang means bright/clear) . His grandfather gave it to him.If you ask who his grandfather is, Xiaohu can proudly tell everyone that his grandfather is the village magistrate [or Li Zheng (remember the earlier chapter, I translate it as Li Zheng) or village junior officer in feudalist society who is responsible for managing household registration and paying taxes].His father was called Zhao Hai, the eldest son of the village magistrate/ Li Zheng, Zhao Hai has only one kid in his family who he doted on but also educated strictly, so since he was little, Xiao Hu, under this kind of education also his grandfather’s identity, has implicitly developed a little adult character on him. The children of the village did not dare to mess with him.He was a loyal, righteous, fair and intelligent young man, his relationship with people is quite good (his popularity). Moreover he is also the grandson of the village chief, he has become the head of the children.
Xiao Huzi ate his fruit canned in his bowl, enjoyed every bite, at the same time he asked Zhao Zheng’an with a mysterious look, “How does your wife treat you?”
Zhao Zheng’an giggle foolishly at the mention of his wife, “My wife treats me the best, gives me a warm place to live, enough food and meat to eat.”
Hearing this, Xiao Huzi smiled as he said enviously, “Your wife is really good to you, I want to find a wife who treats me well too.” (Tl: Hey kid, you just around 8 or 9 years old, it’s still too early for you to mention a wife)
Zhao Zheng’an was very proud of himself,overjoyed to hear people praise his wife.
“Zheng’an Ge, I heard that your family is opening a business?” Another child asked, his name was Er Zhuzi (Two Pillars), his father was the only one tofu seller in the village, a good man and his Amu was clever, but also not a bad person.
The other child was called Da Bao (Big Treasure) ,he is also a child of an honest family in the village.It’s true that ‘Similar things group together, similar people fit together’.What kind of children play with what kind of people.
[物以類聚，人以群分 :wù yǐ lèi jù , rén yǐ qún fēn : Similar things group together, similar people fit together (idiom); Birds of a feather flock together.It is a good person to make friends with a good person, and the bad guys always get together with the bad people]
Zhao Zheng’an nodded proudly, “Yes, how do you know?”
Da Bao drank up the sweet water in his bowl,smacked his lips and said, “The whole village knows about it, and they’re saying very bad things.”
Zhao Zheng’an asked curiously, “What did they say?”
Zhong Ziqi’s family’s vegetable garden opens behind the house, don’t get it wrong, it’s not him who made it, it used to be opened by the previous generation of Zhao family. The row of crops are all ready-made, the bamboo fences around them are crooked and out of shape. Zhong Ziqi followed his memory of farming and carefully removed the weeds from each row of crops, then re-started the ridge between fields. All that was left was to sow the seeds so he got up to fetch the water.
He had not gone far when he ran into Zhao Zheng’an, who had come out of the yard. He asked, “Why are you out? Where are the children?”
Zhong Ziqi didn’t hear Zhao Zheng’an’s reply so he looked up at him in confusion, only to find that Zhao Zheng’an’s face was tense with anger,his handsome face was tense, his eyes were looking at him without a moment’s hesitation.
Zhong Ziqi didn’t know why, but he felt his heart skip a beat, but at this moment, he didn’t have time to think about it, so he hurriedly put down the barrel then he grabbed Zhao Zheng’an to look around, asking in an anxious voice, “What’s wrong? Did you get into a fight?”
Zhao Zheng’an pursed his lips as he shook his head.
“Then what’s wrong?” There was no fight, but he was so angry, which made Zhong Ziqi even more anxious.
What was Zhao Zheng’an angry about?
The scene rewinds.
The child called Da Bao said, “The villagers said a lot of nasty things.”
Zhao Zheng’an is puzzled and asks, “What was said?”
Er Zhuzi picks up the conversation while following the example of those in the village, he said, “Shame on you! He must be hooking up with a man at the dock outside, ‘水性杨花’ (literally a flower whichever unstable as water)….”
[水性杨花: have a disposition as changeable as water; a woman of loose morals; a woman as unstable as water; easy to seduce; of easy virtue; ranging fancy; water disposition and aspen flowers — fickle and lascivious ]
Zhao Zheng’an looked at the three in confusion, “What do you mean?”
Da Bao was young and scratched his head, “I don’t know. Anyway, it’s not a good word.”
Xiaohuzi knew a lot,although he didn’t know what ‘water based poplar flower’ (水性杨花 ) meant,but he knew what it meant ‘to seduce a man’ also ‘to be shameless’.
It was an undisguised swear or curse (at people) so he translated it for Zhao Zheng’an in a very serious way.
Then Zhao Zheng’an got angry and shouted, “My wife is not like that! He’s not!” He left the three of them, went out to look for his wife but after looking around, he couldn’t find him and became even more frightened. The first time he walked out of the door alone, he didn’t know where to go, then suddenly his wife appeared.