[On] a cold winter morning, there was a little boy playing on the snowy ground. Suddenly, his sight was caught by a little snowball, which could move. He used his fingers to touch it, and he felt [that it was] soft and a little warm. “Wang!” the snowball made a clear noise. This was a frozen dog.
The boy took it back home, gave it some warm water and food, and kept it warm. He gave a cute name, “Snowball”, to the dog, and they always played day-by-day. They became good friends from then on.
One year later, Snowball, [who] was a girl, was grown up and became a beautiful, brave dog. At that time, there were many wild animals [which] lived in the forest, and they often came to [the] village [and] attacked the fowl [and] even children in [the] middle [of the] night. Brave Snowball had beaten them frequently.
One year in summer, it was constantly rainy for three days. The flood was coming and it also brought [an] abundance of fish. It was popular for youth to use nets to hunt fish [on] rainy days. So, the little boy threw himself into the crowd for hunting fish. Actually, he was too young to do [so]. He had nothing to do but to stand and watch. He jumped and screamed. What a pity. He was careless and slipped into the river.
“Help! Help!” [he cried] while the flood shouted, and nobody heard [him]. The dread welled up from his heart. Gradually, he lost his consciousness.
Suddenly, a white [streak] of lightening flashed in front of everyone’s eyes and jumped into the flood. The flood was overwhelming and swallowed everything. The boy felt [that he] was caught by someone. A strong but hurried breath behind his head. However, he was too tired to open his eyes to see. It [was] just like [he had] dreamed a long dream, and in his dream, he played with Snowball on a snowy day. The wind [blew] strongly and made everything blurry. After the wind died down, everything was gone, including Snowball.
After the boy [awoke], his friends told him that [it] was Snowball [who had] saved him from the flood. Snowball caught the boy’s clothes and pushed him to the bank, but she was too tired to control her [own] body. She was [taken back] into the flood. She [was] like a white snowball melting away in the [floodwaters]. Tears welled up in the boy’s eyes. He still remembers the first day when Snowball came [into] his life.
The little boy is my grandfather, now 80 years old. He tells me that he will never forget Snowball.
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. [ ]