Once there was a boy named Che Ying.
“Here son, eat mine. I’m full, really!” the mother said.
“ No, Mother. I’m full now too.”he said.
“ Here son, take my potato. I’m full.”
“ No father, I’ll go outside and study before it gets dark.”
The boy went outside with his book. He glanced at the goat.
“ Hmm.. Is grass really that good? I’ll try it then.” He said. “hey goat! look over there!!” he pointed, and grabbed the grass.
He took a giant bite, and spit it out.
“ nasty! ”
Meanwhile, his parents were having a conversation.
“Even if we’re poor, we have to make the child comfortable. How about buying him a new pair of clothes?”
“ We don’t have the money.And besides, we need to fix the house.”
“ Maybe we can use some old clothes to get some money?”
“ That won’t be enough.”
“ Don’t worry, I’ve already thought of an idea.”
She dragged him over to the goat.
“ You mean you want to sell it?” he asked.” That’s just not worth it.”
So the father went to the market..
“Mother! Father came back!” Che Ying said.
“The goat wouldn’t sell for much.” he said, coming back with some string.
“ It’s okay. At least we got material for new clothing.”
When it got dark, his mother came up to him.
“ Son, It’s getting dark. You should go to sleep now. ”
“ okay.” But his eyes couldn’t leave the book.
“Seriously, you’re going to damage your eyes.”,mother said.
He put down his book and went to sleep.
“ Why can’t the sky never get dark? That way I can study as much as possible.”
He looked out the window.
“ hey look, Fireflies!”
He caught one, planning to use it for light.
“Che Ying, what are you doing?” his mother came out and said.
“ I’m using fireflies for light so I can read at night!”
“ They’re so small. Could it be enough?”
“ Of course!”
He cupped his hands with the firefly in it, but he couldn’t turn the page of his book.
“ I can’t turn the page! What now?”
“ I’ll hold it for you.” his mother said.
Che Ying gave his mother the firefly, but it slipped out of her hands.
“Don’t worry about that one. I’ll take you to the market tomorrow and see what we can catch them with.Just go to sleep now.”
The next day, at the market, his mother told him,
“Your father did get some money..maybe we can buy candles, or something to eat..” her voice wandered off because Che Ying stood in front of a stand that sold meat, muttering, “Didn’t father agree to buy books for me? Whatever, Mother, you decide. Just buy meat or candles.”
“ I’d like to buy a slab of meat..” his mother said to the merchant.
“No, let’s buy the goat skin.”
“ little boy, what did you say?” the merchant asked.
“I want the goat skin.”
That night, Che Ying’s mother came up to him.
“ Mother, my experiment will be a sucess! Just wait! I’ll call you over when I’m done.”
Minutes later, he showed his mother.
“ mother, look!”
It was a sack, made from the goat skin, filled with fireflies.
“ Yay! Now I can read at night!”
He read for the whole night, and the next morning, he was still cheering.. until.. his mother yelled from inside, “Che Ying! Your fireflies!”
He looked inside and saw that they were all dead.
“ Awww… ” then he started crying.
“ It’s okay, It’ okay. At night, I’ll help you catch more!”
Just then, his father came home.
“ Son, I brought you some peas!”
When he saw Che Ying was crying, he asked his wife, “What’s wrong?”
“ He caught fireflies with hard work, and now they’re all dead, and we can’t afford candles. He’s crying about it right now.At night, I’ll help him catch more.Don’t worry about it. Why don’t you go sleep? You still have work tomorrow.”
That night, he and his mother caught many fireflies.
“ Child, we caught so much. How come you’re still unhappy?”
“ If I keep catching them, and they keep dying, I’ll catch all of them, and they’ll be gone!”
The next morning, his mother said, “Son, it’s time to eat. Call your father , will you?”
“ Father! Time to eat!”
“ I’m not hungry. You eat.” was the response.
he took a sip, and asked, “Mother, how come this pea soup doesn’t have any skin?”
“That’s because I’ve cooked it with a cloth until all of the skin was melted.”
“ After you finish eating, go to sleep.”
“Mother, are there still any cloths?”
“Not right now.I’m going to sleep.”
“Hmm… mother hems cloth for a living. There can’t be none.”
He walked into the storage room, and got the sewing box. He opened it, and pulled out a cloth.
“ Hmm… ”
He sewed a bag, and put a few fireflies in it.
“ It’s too dim!”
Then, he saw the cloth that was supposed to be his new clothing. But, he cut it anyway, for the fireflies.
The next morning, his father called for him.
“ Che yin=g! It’s time to get up, Che Ying!” When he saw the cut cloth, he said, “ What happened here?!”
Che ying came to his father, all guilty.
“ Did you cut the cloth that your mother carefully sewed ?!Tell me why you cut it! Was it easy for her?! Was it? It takes so much time to do it, and now you cut it!”
Che Ying didn’t say anything, he just cried. Just then,his mother came in.
“ Che Ying, you’ve got to tell us if you’re going to do something, okay?” she asked, soothingly.
“ Husband, come with me, I have to tell you something.”
When they were outside, she spoke.
“ Our son caught fireflies so he could read at night, and he needed a bag. He was trying to study, that’s all.”
When the father heard this, he went inside, and hugged his son.
“ I’m sorry, son, I was wrong. Your mother told me everything.”
“ Father, this bag can hold a lot of fireflies, and it won’t kill them, since they can breathe now!”
“ Okay, your mother and I will catch fireflies with you tonight.”
So Che Ying lived on like this, and when he grew up,he became a man of great knowledge and intelligence.
囊螢照讀解釋: 用口袋裝螢火蟲，照著讀書。形容家境貧寒，勤苦讀書。通常與映雪讀書並用，稱“囊螢映雪” 。