Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Once the dumplings were all rolled, they were cooked.
This was simply done by boiling water in a pot on low heat, and then put the dumplings in.
The white dumplings would sink in the water at first, and then slowly float up and roll according to the boiling water, each of them looking like a snowball.
From the process of making until they were out of the boiling pot, the dumplings didn’t stop rolling and rolling.
Once again, the little ones lined up in front of the stove, staring longingly at the pot.
Li Du’s mother shook her head helplessly and said, “Your little ones, they are really greedy.”
Sophie said, “No, they’re not greedy. They haven’t even tasted the dumplings yet. How do they know they’re delicious?”
Li Du said, “These naughty kids already have the habit to eat what we eat. Who spoiled them?”
“Who else but you?” Li Du’s father looked at him.
Li Du said, “Hey, I spoiled them? I never spoil children. You saw how I correct their naughty habits.”
When the dumplings were cooked, he scooped some and threw them on the floor.
Ah Meow fought over the food, and Li Du was right. They didn’t fall upon it because they thought it was delicious, but because they felt superior to get to the food first.
This time they met Waterloo. The freshly cooked dumplings were exceedingly hot. Their cries rose up one after another:
“Meow, meow, meow!”
“Ow ow ow!”
Li Du laughed and said gloatingly. “Who asked you guys to snatch the food?”
Li Du’s mother tapped his shoulder and said in an angry manner, “Don’t mess around. You might hurt them.”
The tongues of animals had a very important function, not only for eating and drinking but also for heat dissipation. Extremely hot food would hurt their tongue tissue, and since this was an important organ of temperature equilibrium, it would be very troublesome once burned.
The five little ones turned and left. They were meek and quiet now and found a place to sit and rest quietly. They would no longer try to eat before humans did.
The homemade dumplings that they rolled themselves were transparent and chewy. The Martins were very polite and kept praising the dumplings, saying the food was delicious.
In fact, they were not very interested in the Lantern Festival, but they did this out of politeness. Foreigners didn’t usually like to eat hot deserts, but dumplings traditionally had to be eaten hot.
After dinner, there were fireworks outside. In the dark night sky, they looked very colorful.
Ivana would look out of the window from time to time. When she did that for the tenth time, Brother Wolf said with a deadpan expression, “Why are you still at the dining table?”
Li Du laughed and said, “Okay, those who are already full, go out and play.”
“Oh yeah!” Ivana shouted happily.
Brother Wolf continued to keep a straight face, but his eyes were gentle. His daughter had changed a lot since the operation, and she looked more and more like a normal girl. This was the happiest thing for him.
When they were ready to go out, Li Du’s father shook his head. “Okay, let’s walk, why do you want to drive the car? Half the county will be there tonight. Would you be able to find a spot to park?”
They were a rather large group of people, and their house was a distance away from the town square, so it took them quite a bit of time to get there on foot.
The streetlights were yellow and the traffic was endless.
Meeting many people, they spilled into a few groups. Li Du’s parents went to meet some old neighbors and acquaintances, and they stood back to have a cozy chat.
Li Du, arm in arm with Sophie, waved to Brother Wolf and said, “You take Ivana to the east square, I saw on the news that the children will be there to organize fireworks. You do not have to follow me.”
Brother Wolf was about to refuse. Li Du gave him a push and said, “Okay, you really don’t need to follow me. Don’t you know how safe my country is?”
Sophie added, “Not only that, Brother Wolf, but you also need to let us have some time alone.”
So Brother Wolf smiled and said, “Call me if you need me.”
Li Du took Sophie for a walk in the square, which was a newly built public place in the county. There were sports arenas around it. Usually, it was where dancing competitions were held.
The government had an organized way of doing this. They’ve separated the square, making room for a lot of fireworks in the middle. They were going to set off the fireworks from there. There were many lights around, and they’ve set up many sheds.
There were billboards outside and stalls inside. Most stalls sold fireworks. Some other stalls sold various goods.
Strolling along the stalls, Li Du couldn’t resist saying, “This is really a clever move. Gathering everyone, advertising and selling fireworks at the same time. They could make good money in one evening.”
The government said that they would not allow people to set off fireworks without permission, and they didn’t allow them to bring any from the outside. However, they were selling fireworks themselves, right there in the square, so he could imagine how much profit they would make in one night.
When he was still thinking, Sophie pointed and laughed. “Look, there is even a piano!”
Li Du was very surprised. Who could possibly think to place a piano on the Lantern Festival celebration spot? Apart from the fact that no one could hear the chords in a noisy place like this, there was going to be a firework display. Wasn’t the owner of the piano afraid that his instrument would be burned by the fire sparkles?
He looked carefully and realized it was an advertisement spot for a children’s music class. They were engaged in music training, so they put a piano, a synthesizer, a guitar, a lute, a large violin, and other musical Instruments for people to see.
It was a good idea. Primary and middle school students would return to school after the Lantern Festival. Parents would take them to watch the firework show tonight. Therefore, this was the best time to advertise.
In order to attract people and create interest, teachers were playing musical instruments out in the square. In addition, they also invited parents and children to touch musical Instruments and play a tune if they were interested.
Nowadays many children took piano lessons, but they were mostly shy. They just looked from afar and could not be induced to come closer and play.
After the organizer repeatedly and unsuccessfully invited the passersby to play, he noticed that Sophie was not far away. Sophie was running her hands over the piano and looked like an expert.
Seizing the chance, the organizer came over and asked Sophie, “Miss, do you speak Chinese? Would you be interested in going up to play a song?”
Sophie shook her head. “Here? No, my hands are cold and my fingers aren’t flexible enough. My tunes would be stiff if I played.”
At this moment, a tall boy next to him nibbled his lips gently and said, “Mister, I will try.”
The organizer took a look at the boy, especially at his old-fashioned, overlarge cotton-padded clothes for a few seconds, and then asked, “Where are your parents?”
The boy looked down at his old winter shoes and said, “I got here myself.”
The organizer shook his head at once. “Then I can’t let you play, I’m sorry.”
The boy blushed and whispered, “Oh, sorry.”
Seeing this, Sophie’s expression changed slightly and she asked the organizer, “Why? Haven’t you been inviting people up to perform?”
The organizer said with a smile, “The company has a regulation stating that we cannot let a child near a musical instrument without a guardian or parent. Otherwise, if there is any damage, it would be difficult to deal with the problem, wouldn’t it?”