Chapter 5: Unquestioning Filial Piety 5
T /N: This is MTL work. I tried to edit as best as I could, any mistake plz do put your comment and I will edit it ASAP. This is my first attempt on Chinese novel so please cheer me up! I hope you will find this novel as interesting as I do.
Jiang’s family separation came faster than anyone could imagine. On the second day after Jiang Liu big act of killing the cock, the Jiang old couple called several elders from the team to preside over the separation of the family properties. They were intent on making a clear division between the two households.
Because the old couple decided to follow their second’s son family, the family were separated into the first household and the second household. The room where the Jiang Liu’s couple had lived until now as well as the utility room which originally used for storage were given to the first household.
That was to say, the west wing of the house was now owned by the first household. As for the original east wing room and the main house, it now belonged to the second household.
The remaining five hens as well as the pots and pans were equally divided according to the number of people in each household.
As for the money in the house, since Miao Caifeng insisted that their family do not own any, therefore she did not make an allocation for it. As for the 60 yuan owed by Jiang Liu to the hospital, they insisted on making it as a sole debt belonged to the first household.
Jiang Liu and Xu Xiuxiu did not object to such a way of separation. Yet, because these husband and wife appeared too honest, those elders who were witnessing this matter at the side could not help but interrupted the matter.
“This couple has been working their lung for the family and in the end what they get? A burdensome debt after the separation.”
This matter was raised by one of the Jiang’s elder and according to the generation, Jiang Chuangen had to call him an old man.
“Chuangen’s wife ah, I rely on myself as an elder to persuade you. You should not be too ruthless nor should you overdo it. This action of yours will let your child’s heart turned cold. It is wrong for you to take advantage of their filial piety to do this kind of thing. Leave some way out for yourself. Can you guarantee that your second son will be filial to you till the end?”
The team was not without an elder who was biased, but to find someone at the level of Miao Caifeng was extremely rare.
“Uncle, what are you talking about? My husband and I had always been filial to his parents all this while. How could you accuse us of such rebellious things?”
Wang Xuemei was very satisfied with the current way of separation. She was clear in her heart. According to her thought, the old lady must still have a lot of money. These things should be left to them in the future. So when the elder wanted to defend the first household, she was the first to disagree.
“What Xuemei said is true. Our second son is also filial. Besides that, our family still need to depend on our grandsons to burn the incense for us in the future. We also need to spend money to welcome their bride into the house. As an elder, I also need to think about them.”
Miao Caifeng thought hard for one night. It doesn’t matter whether she had a grudge with her eldest son or not, but looking at the things now, this eldest son of her were unlikely to have children in this life. Therefore, for the long-term development of a family, she must continue to be biased and strived to left more property to the second household.
As for her eldest son, they both had their own hands and feet. They also did not have children dragging them down so it doesn’t matter if they still owed the debt.
Miao Caifeng feels that this method of separation was for the sake of the overall situation. Others just stand on the side and took everything for granted. Of course, they were not qualified to say anything about her decision.
“My husband and I can still work in the field. We do not have any need for our eldest son to send money to us from now on. Even after we turned a hundred years old, we will still live at our second child’s home. This part of family property is enough to act as a cost for our retirement income.”
Looking at the face of the elders who were particularly dissatisfied, Miao Caifeng continued to say.
“When the old man and I turn seventy years old and our eldest son finished paying his debts, if he is willing to support us the elderly, it will be the best. If he doesn’t want to, I will not blame him. However, if his dad and I were to be hospitalized in the future, I hope that our eldest son will still help us a bit. According to the proportion of the current separation, one third is still good in my opinion. Old man, do you agree that this is fair for all of us?”
When the words came out, it was really hard for others to say anything.
Because Miao Caifeng’s method of separation was equivalent to binding the property of the family with the future retirement fund. It clearly stated who will inherit more and who will pay more in the future. Whether this division was really fair, it was not a necessary thing.
Everyone knew that the Jiang’s current house, which was still brand new was built with bricks and tiles. They also knew who had been helping to pay the expense to let the Jiang brother and sister study.
At present, half of Jiang’s wealth was attributed by Jiang Liu’s couple. Yet, now, they can’t use this reason to help them get a fairer distribution of the family property.
Still, all these years, was there any elder children who had not been working hard to help their parent and even helping arranged the life of their younger sibling? And in the end, it was always the eldest children who got less out of everything.
As for Miao Caifeng’s bias, everyone already knew about it. Now that she took a step backwards, indicating that she did not need for the Jiang Liu’s couple to help them in the future, it had already reduced whatever burden that this couple will face later on.
“Uncle, Xiu Xiu and I still have our hands and feet. I also agree with this matter. I know all about your concern, but since this is the decision of my parents, Xiu Xiu and I will recognize it.”
Jiang Liu also felt that this way of separation was good. Currently, he was in a weak position. Therefore he will look even more pitiful to others. In the public eyes, his show of defeat was enough to compete with other’s filial piety. Even if he did something in the future, everyone will first think about his troubled years. They will remember the grievances and pressure that had been put on his shoulder which had forced him to compromise.
If Jiang Liu himself had recognized it, what can other people say? They can only mourn for him.
“Jiang Chuangen, you will regret this in the future.”
This was the most heard sentence for Jiang Chuangen today. Everyone felt that it was the most wrong time for him to force such filial child to separate from himself.
At the beginning, Jiang Chuangen still listened to it. However as it kept on being repeated, he gradually got a kind of rebellious mentality.
He really could not understand why everyone implying that his second son won’t be filial to him in the future. He was still Jiang Liu’s father. Now everyone was criticizing him like he was someone without a brain as if he had been forcing his eldest son to an end.
In the end, no matter what everyone thought off, the matter of separation had become a foregone conclusion.
The field belonged to the original body’s third team of the Red Star production squad was a large saline-alkali fused field. This field was not suitable for the growth of crops such as rice and wheat. But it was especially suitable for planting sunflowers. The sunflower seeds that were harvested each year generated a lot of income for the team. Therefore, the third teams were also known to others as the sunflower team.
In addition to being suitable for sunflower growth, the saline-alkali land was also suitable for the growth of thatch. The most troublesome thing for the team every year was to deal with a large number of those thatch in order to prevent them from taking the nutrient for the sunflowers.
During this time, thatch was not worth a lot of money. The thatch was usually left aside except for some woman who knows how to do simple weaving. They will take some away to make either mat or slipper. Apart from that, for the farmer, the thatch had almost no other economic value. They can only be used to burn the fire. This plant was also tenacious and once it occupied a spot, it was almost impossible to clean it up.
After absorbing the memory of the original body, Jiang Liu stared at the thatch that had been classified as the wild grass and thought of a way to generate an income.
Everyone knew that he needs to recuperate. Jiang Liu had met Big Guan and asked for a half-month leave. Therefore, these days he had been looking for thatch before picking it up and spreading it around the yard to dry.
“Xiu Xiu, what do you pick up so many thatch?”
Some people were curious about Jiang Liu’s movement. If he wanted to weave a basket, the amount of thatch needed was actually not that much. So the people living around them decided to find Xu Xiuxiu to inquire about it.
“You all know that my husband can’t sit well in one place. If it wasn’t for the doctor who instructs him to take a rest, he will never stop working at the field. So he planned to cut the thatch to make some sandal and mat to be used at home. He also wanted to bring some to the market to see if anyone is willing to exchange it for other materials.”
Xu Xiuxiu conveyed the explanation that her husband Jiang Liu had prepared for those who were curious. Ever since the gang of four [T/N: 4 people who served as a scapegoat during China’ Cultural Revolution) was overthrown the previously cancelled market was now opened again. With the restoration of the market, the villagers can now exchange any excess materials with other people at the market. This was not considered illegal by the government.
There were two big markets for each month. Not only the surrounding villagers will participate, but there were also some people from the town and even other district who will come to exchange the fresh vegetables and eggs that farmers have planted in their own land with coupons that were not available to the countryside.
After listening to Xu Xiuxiu explanation, everyone’s curiosity was put to rest. Despite that, they instinctively did not favour the idea that Jiang Liu wanted to exchange food or other daily necessities with the used of thatched mat and other handicraft.
In fact, some people had thought of such an idea a long time ago. They weaved the straw shoes and wanted to exchange it for other materials. But they neglected the fact that the city people have more comfortable and nice shoes. They do not have any need for grass shoes like the country folks. Since then, they stop the idea and only kept it to be used by their own family.
In the same way, the straw baskets were popular in the summer and a straw mat was good enough to be used for ten or twenty years or even longer. The demand for it was not large, and the cost of weaving a straw mat was considerably small. It was just that, the time used to produce it was far beyond the value in itself.
With few failed lessons, people in the vicinity already lost their motivation to do this kind of business. They will just occasionally cut the thatched grass to be used for their own needs.
However, now Jiang Liu can’t do anything due to his body. It’s good for him to find a little work to kill some time. Although everyone thinks that this won’t bring any profit but they did not want to say anything against the couple.
What did Jiang Liu do while everyone thought of his idea so pessimistically? He actually went and picked up a lot of wildflowers on the mountain and then sorted them out by colour. After that, he kneaded them into flower paste and then soaked the dried thatch into the flower paste. After waiting for a while he spread the dyed thatch under the sun once again and let it dry.
This simple method had a limited degree of colouring. What’s more, many of the wildflowers available on the mountain was limited to the colour of red and yellow. But then again, this colour was still richer than the single yellow-green tone.
When the preparatory work was done, Jiang Liu started to weave.
During his previous life, thatch handicraft was a very popular industry. At that time, he already lived together with his grandfather. This pair of grandfather and grandson also took a bit of thatch handicraft work. At that time, a basket can earn them 8-15 yuan. If they worked faster enough, he and his grandfather can make five pieces a day, earning them enough money for their daily expenses.
Of course, the thatch work at that time was not simply a thatch weaving. The woven patterns, colours and shape had undergone constant innovation. There was no market for the traditional kind of thatch during those time.
As he reminiscing that, he started to join the red thatched one at a time. His weaving speed was getting faster and faster. After more than an hour, a round basket-like product finally took form in his hand.
The thing that formed in his hand was about two palms in size and less than ten centimetres in height. It was similar to the bowl that was used to store the fruit. It was amazing how the red thatched grass that he weaved could end up into something which looked extraordinarily novel.
Jiang Liu made another pair of fruit bowls using the thatch leaves before proceeding to design other new patterns.
In a few days, there will be an open market. He wanted to complete the first batch and test the current market.
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