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Monologue Mania Day # 387 by Janet S. Tiger The Bean Cutter's Story (part two) March 6, 2015
The Bean Cutter's Story (part 2)
by Janet S. Tiger
by Janet S. Tiger
(c) 2015 all rights reserved
(Continued from Day # 386. The same man is finishing his story, he takes a drink of wine.)
Now when you are thinking, how can this man be happy when his father hits him. I was not happy about that. I hated my father. But I knew I could not do anything to anger him again....for awhile. He was very strict after that, every day he come, check the beans. So I am careful, cut beans so there is no green. I am sad to see lady and her daughter take away only the black tips. But I wait, I learn patience from this. Very good gift to learn.
And I watch, and see there are other places where the food drops, the rice falls, and when I sweep, I put rice in a pile and save it for them, along with scraps from the floor, and sometimes off cutting table. And I wait, because when there is holiday, like New Year, very busy, father cannot pay attention to every bean that I cut, and I start to cut more green for my friends. I do not talk to them. They are beggars, and it is not good to talk. But we communicate with our eyes, and my cut beans.
The New Year has special meaning for Chinese people. Just before New Year, nice pictures of Kitchen God and wife are given farewell dinner. Sweet rice, cake, candied fruit. His lips sealed with honey, molasses, or sugar candy, in hope that he will say only sweet things when he visit "Jade Emperor" to tell if family was good in year past. Then the Kitchen God and wife pictures removed and burned, along with spirit-money and other things to use on journey.
I make decision. I figure out how to get food that is burned......before it is burned. I find substitute, because I know my friends need food more than Kitchen God and wife pictures. Paper does not eat, already very thin.
When I cut beans, I give them sweets, wish them sweet new year. I think my father busy, but .....he is there, and he is angry! He comes out with a piece of wood.....shouting at me!
(He waves the stick, yelling)
Stupid boy! You make bad luck for family! And what is this......
(He picks up and inspects something closely)
Did you cut these beans?
I was so afraid I just nod head.
(He nods, shaking in his shoes)
My father lift stick to hit me.....
(He raises his hand to strike)
(He stops, looks)
Lady come and stand in front of me. Father cannot hit her, no matter how mad. (Imitates woman) Do not hit him, he only a boy! You are a bully! Stop!
(He puts his hands down)
My father look at her like now he want to kill her, but she is not scared of him. She yell right back....You have good son, help us with food when we are starving! I will not let you hurt him.
(He takes the stick )
She take stick and.....
(He breaks it over his knee)
She do this......
My father is stunned. He stand there with mouth open, then he get madder, turns to me..
You are stealing from me and disrespecting the gods!
And you lady......
You are stealing from me!
(As woman) I am not stealing, your son gives us food. We may be....beggars, but we are not thieves. And your son make good luck for you with kitchen god, it is blessing to help poor!
And then my father say, if you not thief, you work for food, like everyone else. Come inside, lots to do.....have to clean for New Year!
(He turns to watch his father exit)
Father give them both jobs, (laughs) first job sweeping. That night, I say to father that I do not understand. Please explain. He say to me, there are two kinds of men......many kinds of two kinds of men. One kind, one man has chance to be success, it takes work and risk and he does the work, takes the risk and is success. Other man does not work or risk, is not success, complains for the rest of his life. Which man do you want to be?
I said success. He said good.
Two kinds of men. One man is good, helps other people. Other man turns back, never helps. Which man do you want to be?
The man who helps. But father, why do you turn back? He was surprised. I not turn back! I help people all the time! Look at Lee, who give Lee job? Everyone else laugh at him. Do I need to have him work here, pay him? No, could get other man, stronger, smarter. But I see that this man is hurt, need help, so I help. This woman, with her child, she need help, I give her job, too. And daughter. What can they do? They are so skinny. But maybe, they have talent at something. Who knows.? It will look good when Kitchen God talks with Jade Emperor.
Now I am very confused, what is the right way? Is my father telling me good advice?
Then he, to help others, first you have to help yourself. No money for you, no money to help poor. Simple. Same as with food. Always good. Always same. Not hard.
(He lifts his drink)
Now time for drink two, then finish story.......
(To be continued)
Janet S. Tiger 858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8