Storied China 2012 (3 of 6)

There was a small old house, which just included one bed, one table, one iron pot, and two chairs. My grandma and grandpa had a daughter, when they were [both] 20 [years old]. After one year, they had another baby, unluckily for them [it was another] daughter. They wanted a son, by virtue of the value of [male children]. After that, the whole family placed great hopes on the third baby. However, another unfortunate girl was born. The whole family was crazy. My grandpa’s mother shouted at my grandma. [She] even wanted to drive my grandma away. At that time, in the countryside, [every] family wanted a son because they believed sons were better than daughters. He [would] have adequate strength to do farm work, yet she [would not have such strength].

My grandma was pregnant when her third daughter was three years old. The whole family still wanted a son, and they decided to send the youngest daughter to another family because the poor family could support only three children at most. It was a torment [for] my grandma; nevertheless, she must give a son to the family. [On] that day, she exchanged her daughter [for] one kilogram of white sugar to another family. After several months, a son was born, which made the family very excited, except for my grandma.

One day, my grandma was on her way home [when] suddenly she saw a girl [of] about 18 years hurting and bleeding seriously. She called [the] policemen and sent her to hospital. [The] doctor told her that the girl needed [a] large amount of blood, but the hospital lacked [it]. To the doctor’s surprise, my grandma had the same blood type [as] the girl, so they gave the girl a transfusion.  After that [my grandma] went outside. She could not believe her eyes when she saw the girl’s parents. It was the couple that she [had] sent her daughter to [so many years before].

The couple told her the girl was [in pain] everyday because she wanted to live with her own mother. My grandma cried out and hugged her daughter for a long time. After that, the whole family lived a happy life.

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Like last year, I asked students to call the oldest person in their families and to ask that person to tell them a story that they had never heard before. They then translated and told the story in English. While we’re away traveling, I thought I’d let my students tell their stories. To preserve their privacy, I have not credited the authors, but I have gotten their permission to let you listen in. The stories vary—sometimes simple, sometimes Earth shattering, sometimes otherworldly. I have not edited their stories unless I needed to help the flow. My edits are in brackets. [ ]

A new story will appear on the blog each Wednesday between January 18th and February 22nd. Read the 2012 series from the beginning here, or read last year’s stories here.

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