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我家的枣树The Jujube Tree in Our Courtyard  

2009-10-22 10:26:08|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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我家的枣树The Jujube Tree in Our Courtyard - chinaoften - 奥风英语oftenenglish的博客

There was a big jujube tree in our courtyard when I was a kid, which, according to my granny, boasted a history of more than 100 years. In my childhood, it kept me company for numberless springs and autumns, bringing me a great many joys and comforts.


When spring comes, the tree blossomed and bees got busy. While watching its green spreading every day, I started to call up the sweetness and crispness of the dates in my mind. All other fruits called for money, which we usually ran short of then. The jujubes on this tree were the only fruit that I could enjoy to my heart’s content.


When the shade cast by the tree gradually became dense enough, I used to move out a square table and several wooden stools and sit under the tree with my pals, reviewing the lessons and doing the homework. The branches and leaves of the jujube tree are not so bushy as those of the willow or poplar trees, so the shade was pretty mottled, and we generally enjoy it in the afternoon when the sunshine was a little weak. With neither glaring sunlight nor the heaviness of dense shade, all we could sense was a kind of clearness and dynamic nimbleness, which endowed us with a special sentiment. If tired, we would play games, or simply rolled out a reedy mat, all lying on it, chatting and glaring at the blue sky.



An old proverb goes “Jujubes start turning red from 15, July and get ready to be served on 15, August”。The season of enjoying jujubes is the best time for me. Since the very beginning of July, I had been closely watching the change of the jujubes. If a red one came into my sight, I would wave a rod and poked it down to have a taste. When heavy rain fell, many ripe jujubes would fell onto the ground, too. Many were red all over, a glimpse of which would get my mouth watered. Sometimes I ran out to pick the fallen ones with a small basin immediately the rain stopped. Within a minute, I would collect a basin of jujubes, big, round and red, with fresh rain beads. After washing them clean, I couldn’t wait to put one into my mouth and crunched. They were so crisp and sweet jujubes with a bit sour taste that you bore their flavour for quite a long time in your mouth after you chewed them. It’s been many years since I tasted such jujubes. Because the jujube tree in our courtyard was very big and productive, we would receive more visitors when the jujubes ripened. It was quite common to find somebody squatting in the tree when I got back home from school. Then some jujubes would fall following a greeting. While enjoying them, I would never forget to ask the question elatedly: “Hi, how about our jujubes? Don’t you think they are very sweet?” When all existing jujubes got ripe, granny would send me to climb up the tree and struck down many jujubes to present neighbor kids. Of course, I would always leave some on higher branches intact for my own consumption.


But for a conflagration, I should still have jujubes to taste every year. I was a 5th-grade student then. One day, my granny was cooking, when getting into the living room to roll dough for making noodles, she told me to keep an eye on the kitchen stove, in which the firewood was burning. Engaged in playing paper cutting, I made an oral response without moving my body, and then I totally forgot the matter. While I was enjoying myself, a whirring was suddenly heard behind me, which sounded like a huge wind blowing. I sharply turned back and looked, my gosh, the kitchen was all on fire. The flames measured several meters high. I could felt the scorching heat waves even I was 5 meters away from the kitchen. The big fire ignited the wheat straw stack around the tree, and “killed” it. Since then, the jujubes in our courtyard have been history, which will be cherished in my heart for ever.

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