In a tiny yard, with a quaint building behind him, a young monk was pleasantly eating food that could be said to resemble a treasure as he held it in his hands. It was a very beautiful scene. However, as one panned one’s view to another side, the scene changed completely
Monkey had peeled off a portion of the dumpling leaves before stuffing everything into his mouth and swallowing it down. He did not taste anything and instead stared at the others around him disingenuously.
Lone Wolf flung his ass at him and was sadly forced to realize that paws were not useful in such particular instances. He could not peel away the leaves! In his rage, he stuffed the entire dumpling into his mouth. When he bit at it, his mouth was filled with Crystal Rice and the dumpling leaves, but the latter could not be chewed properly. He was unable to swallow it, yet he could not bear to spit it out either. The wolf felt too deep for tears.
Squirrel managed to peel open the dumpling leaves but realized that the rice was too sticky! When his tiny paws touched the surface, it felt sticky. He pulled his paws away before placing them back on the rice repeatedly! Finally, he bit down at the dumpling and ate it directly while pondering how the dumpling was to be eaten. He could not keep sticking his paws to it, right? However, he overestimated his appetite! He was soon so satiated that he could not move, large amounts of glutinous rice sticking to his body. Ignoring his odd appearance, he could not go anywhere. He could only give a pleading look to his fellow disciples.
Monkey grinned when he saw this. He pointed at the dumpling and pointed at his mouth. His meaning was clear. I’ll help you settle the dumpling, but the rest is mine.
Although Squirrel had the habit of stashing food, he was truly helpless against the beast that was in front of him. He had no place to store it either. Hence, he agreed without hesitation. Monkey enjoyed half a dumpling with satisfaction as a result.
Red Boy looked disparagingly at his senior brothers as he shook his head like an adult, “How unsophisticated. To eat dumplings in such a manner. Sigh.” Then, he peeled open the dumpling and mimicked Fangzheng. As he slowly ate, he would smack his lips and say, “Seriously, the more you taste it, the more savoury it gets. Delicious”
Lone Wolf could not swallow while Squirrel was stuffed. Monkey still seemed unsatisfied. Therefore, the three animals glared at Red Boy with reddened eyes. This brat was definitely doing it on purpose!
Fangzheng shook his head helplessly. These guys would always produce some joy every day they were together. He first helped pull out the dumpling leaves from Lone Wolf’s mouth before giving anyone who was still hungry another two. Everyone had a filling meal. Red Boy lifted the huge water bucket and filled it with dumplings. After the monastery door was closed, the entourage went down the mountain.
In the northeastern lands, the sun hung high in the sky in May. A breeze blew over with a refreshing coolness.
The moment he reached the foot of the mountain, Fangzheng saw Mengmeng walk over with a huge dumpling in each hand.
“Mengmeng, where are you going?” Fangzheng asked out of curiosity.
Mengmeng immediately ran over and stuffed the dumplings into Fangzheng’s hands and said mysteriously, “Brother Fangzheng, this is for you. I kept it secretly for you. Don’t let others know, okay?”
Fangzheng was stunned as he asked with a smile, “Mengmeng, why are you giving This Penniless Monk dumplings?”
“It’s because Brother Fangzheng saved me.” Mengmeng’s eyes suddenly flashed adorably with some intelligence to them.
Fangzheng was taken aback. He never expected that the girl had not been fully unconscious back then. He rubbed Mengmeng’s head, “Did you tell anyone?”
Fangzheng immediately heaved a sigh of relief and squatted down, “Mengmeng, this is a secret between us. Do not tell others, understand?”
Mengmeng immediately turned spirited when she heard that it was a secret as she nodded forcefully, “Yes! I will not tell anyone!” Then, her tiny nose took a whiff and saw the dumplings in the large wooden bucket that Red Boy carried. She gulped a mouthful of saliva but did not say anything.
Fangzheng smiled immediately. He extended his hands and placed two dumplings in Mengmeng’s hands, “This is for you. Treat it as a present for the Dragon Boat Festival, alright?”
Mengmeng was immediately overjoyed. She pulled the dumplings to her nose and sniffed at them thoroughly, exclaiming, “They smell great. I’ll let Mommy and Daddy try this. Brother Fangzheng, bye bye.”
With that said, the little girl skipped away.
Fangzheng fell silent as he looked at the little girl’s back. He sighed, “Both of you are children. Sigh. Jingxin, why can’t you be this obedient?”
Red Boy rolled his eyes, “I did the work, but I get the punishment. Even the one getting a scolding is me?”
Fangzheng smiled, “That’s because you are the oldest. Do you want me to reprimand them?”
Red Boy laughed dryly. He held back!
After entering the village, Fangzheng went door to door to give out the dumplings. The villagers could tell it was good stuff. With the dumplings looking good, they immediately fell in love with them. They also knew that they were made with the mountaintop bamboo, so they would definitely taste good.
However, since it was the Dragon Boat Festival, every family had made dumplings. If Fangzheng gave each family ten dumplings, it would be too much. Many people were vexed. How were they to finish that much!? But soon, they were no longer vexed. Instead
There was a little problem when Fangzheng arrived at Wang Yougui, Tan Juguo, and Yang Ping’s houses.
Wang Yougui’s face was red as he thickened his skin to pull Fangzheng aside, “Abbot Fangzheng, if there’s any left, remember to give it to me. Hehe.”
Tan Juguo looked at the dumplings in his hands and said in all seriousness, “You can make more in the future.”
Yang Ping pulled Red Boy to the side, “Young Master Jingxin, secretly give me two. I’ll bring you some sweets when I go up the mountain, alright?”
What else could Fangzheng say to that? He knew that such a thing would happen. Therefore, he had deliberately made more and could afford to give them a bit more.
After Fangzheng finished distributing the dumplings, Fangzheng stood at the village entrance and pondered for a moment. He did not return and instead walked out of the village.
Red Boy asked out of curiosity, “Master, where are we going now?”
“Today is the Dragon Boat Festival. In past years, there was a dragon boat racing competition. Who knows if there’s one this year. Since we have nothing to do today, let’s go take a look since it’s not that far.”
Red Boy, Monkey, Lone Wolf, and Squirrel beamed with joy when they heard that. They had been bored out of their wits on the mountain. They could finally go out into the world! Therefore, they followed closely in high spirits but ended up walking for three hours.
Looking at the river ahead of them, Monkey asked sorrowfully, “Master, didn’t you say it isn’t far?”
Fangzheng laughed embarrassedly, “It was not very far back when I had a ride”
Fangzheng ran to the riverside, plucked some wormwood and dipped it into the river before splashing it on his body.
Monkey asked out of curiosity, “Master, what are you doing now?”
“It’s a custom of ours. We freshen ourselves using the wormwood’s water to wash our face. By using the wormwood’s water to sprinkle on our body, it can wash away back luck and we hope for peaceful and smooth days in the future.”
Squirrel immediately jumped onto Lone Wolf’s head and exclaimed, “Master, I want it too!”
Monkey and Lone Wolf shouted as well. Fangzheng chuckled as he sprinkled some water on the little guys.
Red Boy rolled his eyes and said contemptuously, “Are you kidding me?”