The sun warmed the lush green grass as a little boy, Cai Sun, picked greens and tossed them into the basket. He descended for the hills, passing a middle-aged couple.
” Ai! These days are becoming more and more sad!” exclaimed the woman.
” Exactly!” cried the man.” The blame goes to that Prince, he’s torturing us to death!”
” Now we don’t even have anything to eat! If he really goes to the throne, then..” the woman paused, then suddenly sobbed. The man sighed and they walked away.
Cai Sun scratched his head, confused. He shook away the thought, then headed home.
His mother was kneeling in front of a large tub, washing the laundry.
” Mother, I’m home!” Sun said
” Oh, child, you’re tired, right? You should wash your face first.”
” Mother, I’m not tired!” he laughed.
Cai Sun went inside and started the fire, tossed twigs into it. Soon, the smoke spilled out the chimney, like water spilling out of a tube.
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It was very early in the morning as Sun set off with two baskets, one in each arm. He spotted someone and said cheerfully,” Hello, Uncle Yang!”
” Oh, hello, child. Where are you going, it’s so early!”
” I’m going to the mountains to pick some berries,” Sun replied, tilting his head.
” How very nice of you,” Mr. Yang said, rubbing Sun’s head. ” Go, then.”
” Mh. Goodbye, Uncle Yang!”
He watched as Sun walked down the road.
“Only if his father was still alive, he wouldn’t have to do all this.” he sighed.
Sun trudged up the mountain , looking for the berry patch. He found it, at last, and knelt in front, picking the berries. He separated the ripe ones and the un-ripe ones by putting them in individual baskets.
” Ai, I need to go now.” Sun thought aloud. ” Or else Mother will worry.”
He picked up the baskets and turned around. Suddenly, three bandits blocked his path. One that seemed to be the leader cackled.
” Us bandits have luck today! This little boy, I wonder what precious thing he has in the baskets!”
Sun hurriedly hid the baskets behind his back, frowning.
” You have some courage , don’t you! Not that you only not run away, but you hide it from us, huh?”
” Brother,” said one of the other bandit,” Don’t argue with this little mutt, I’ll just snatch it from him.”
With that, he grabbed the baskets from Sun’s hands .
” You- You- You can’t steal my things! What will my mother eat?” Sun cried, tears finding it’s way to his eyes. The leader sneered as the bandit handed the baskets to him.
” I was wondering what good stuff will be here, but it’s only berries.” the bandit snorted.
The other one dragged Sun away. The leader looked from one basket to another, then said,” You know, that if you mess with us bandits, you can overcome death.”
” All I know is that is you take my berries, my mother will starve to death!”
” Looks like that you have a caring heart.” said the leader, stroking his chin.” Then, why are these baskets that hold the berries are different colors?”
Sun said,” The purple ones are ripe, and sweet, so they are for my mother. The pink ones are not ripe yet, it tastes sour, so they are for me. So that’s why I store them sepretly.” he replied.
” Never thought you had such a kind heart. These berries, you can have them back.”
” Thank you!” cried Sun as he took the baskets and rice grains that the bandit insisted upon.
Translated by Liana.