Proofread by Claire.KK
“Little Ye, you took Baofeng to the private school already? He didn’t come back with you?”
Seeing Ye Xiaoxian had come back, Li Hongmei asked her immediately.
In front of the earthy house, Li Hongmei was killing fish and Xiao Baozhu was washing vegetables.
“Yea I’ve took him here but it’s not yet time for the class to be dismissed so I came back first. But I reckon it won’t take long for Baofeng to go back home. Don’t worry about him, Ma. I went to the private school and the environment was nice and the teacher was kind too. I heard that the teacher is a scholar as well.” Ye Xiaoxian smiled.
“This is good, good. I still can’t believe that Baofeng has already gone to a private school.” Li Hongmei looked rather stirred, “Little Ye, all thanks to you.”
“Ma, don’t be like this any more. We’re a family. I also bought some writing materials and I plan to teach Baozhu to read as well.”
Xiao Baozhu was a bit frustrated before since Baofeng went to private school, among her peers, she was the only one left. She was afraid of being left out.
But when she heard that Ye Xiaoxian bought writing materials back home, she was somewhat cheered up.
“You bought pen and ink for me? But who’s going to teach me?” asked Xiao Baozhu.
“Baofeng can teach you alright. He can teach you everything he learns from private school. He needs to go over what he has learned anyway, or I can teach you as well, though…I can’t read much words,” said Ye Xiaoxian.
She was telling the truth since what she learned in modern times were simplified Chinese but in ancient times, people used the traditional version of Chinese characters and though she could read, she was unable to write.
“Then…I’ll learn after Baofeng.” Xiao Baozhu finally gave out an expectant look.
“Baozhu, you don’t have to go up to the mountain to chop firewood anymore from tomorrow. Just follow us to the town to do some business. We’re badly in lack of hands now. You can practice writing Chinese characters when you’re free and I’m sure you’ll become an educated and sensible girl in the near future.”
Xiao Baozhu became more and more excited.
Ye Xiaoxian then said to Li Hongmei, “Ma, please attend to the work here in the kitchen. I’ll go to teach Baozhu how to use pen and ink.”
Li Hongmei answered precisely, “Of course. Go ahead!”
When Xiao Baoshan came back from the town, he saw Ye Xiaoxian teaching Xiao Baozhu to write inside the room. Ye Xiaoxian was teaching Baozhu how to hold a writing brush and how to write each stroke.
Ye Xiaoxian was very devoted with her head lowering a bit. From this angle, her little face looked rather delicate.
Xiao Baoshan was a bit confused, ‘Little Ye can read!”
Xiao Baozhu was very passionate at the beginning, but after practicing for a while, she had lost her interests at all. First, she was almost 13 years old but had never practiced Chinese characters so it was very difficult for her to learn. Second, she was not very talented. After practicing for a while, she was bored and said, “It was so difficult to write Chinese characters. I don’t really think I can do it.”
“Of course you can, as long as you want to learn it,” said Ye Xiaoxian patiently.
“Not even a handful of girls can read in our village, so I…alas, I better quit it now, yea?” Xiao Baozhu decided to fink out.
“No, you must learn. Our ma can read some and so does your second brother and now Baofeng’s been studying in the private school as well so you’re the only one left, aren’t you?”
“But…” Xiao Baozhu was still trying to say something. Meanwhile, Xiao Baoshan stepped forward.
“Little Ye, let me teach Baozhu,” said Xiao Baoshan. He knew that Ye Xiaoxian could not do anything with Baozhu, and as her elder brother, he had to stand out.
“Are…you sure?” asked Ye Xiaoxian.
“Yes.” When Xiao Baoshan came in, he stood in front of Xiao Baozhu with a straight face and put on airs as an elder brother. “Baozhu, I’m going to teach you how to write your own name. Now look at me writing it first.”
Ye Xiaoxian was watching too.
When those vigorous characters jumped onto the paper, Ye Xiaoxian’s heart began to thump again.
It turned out that a thick and rash guy like him actually had such good handwritings!