Sunday, February 10, 2013

First Summer Vacation

I looked forward to taking the bus home for summer vacation. I bought a lot of local specials to impress everyone at home. The fruits were in season from our college orchard. I went to help harvest them. While there, you could eat as much as you could and then carry a bag home when you were done. Some ate too much though and ended up running to the bathrooms at night which were not even inside of our dorm, but located in a separate building between the dorms. We girls were always afraid of the bathrooms at night; there were scary stories of crimes, and some had nightmares about the bathrooms. Besides the fruits from our college orchard, sometimes our friends in the tea department gave us some freshly made tea; I took these home to my parents since I didn’t drink tea.
   After I got home, my neighbor told me how much my parents missed me even though they never mentioned anything to me themselves. They could not eat their dinner until 8 PM because my brother did not start dinner when he came home from school. My parents had to do everything after they came home. I felt very good after hearing that. Now I could cook for everyone for the summer so dinner was ready when my parents came home. I contacted some of my friends who did not go to college but worked instead. We were shocked that we had grown so far apart. We didn’t have much in common to talk about. Very soon, I got bored and I started to look forward to going back to college.
     One day, my mom came home with this live gray rabbit at noon. “I cannot find anyone to kill and skin the rabbit today; Ying, you could try to do it this afternoon. Maybe we could have rabbit for dinner,” my mom said to me. “Mom, I don’t know how to kill a rabbit.” I was shocked. “Well, I assume you could do it since you are good at killing chickens and the price was so low, I just could not pass it up,” my mom replied. We had lunch and no one mentioned the rabbit, like the rabbit was not there. Then my parents went back to work and I don’t remember where my brother or sister went. That only left me staring at the poor rabbit.
     Yes, I became very good at butchering chickens after I saw Dr. Liu’s bleeding chicken running around the courtyard. My uncle used to come all the way to our house to help us butcher and clean chickens. I was at the middle school then. I watched and he explained to me. First I helped hold one of the chicken’s feet in the air; soon the struggle started. It was natural for me to let it go once I saw it bleeding. “No, no,” my uncle said, “You can’t let it go until all the blood came out. It only takes a second or two if you get the main vein and breathing tube.” Soon I could do it precisely and cleanly. My uncle was proud of me and my neighbors were impressed. I don’t even remember if my parents were ever around. After that, butchering the chicken became my job.
    It was much different to kill a chicken or a duck than this rabbit. My mom had always brought home either a cooked one or a skinned one. Now what was I going to do? I looked at the rabbit again. He already made a big mess and it really smelled. I really had to do something. I looked at the clock and it was 2 PM already. Finally, I filled us a sink full of water and drowned the poor rabbit. Now, the rabbit was soaking wet. How was I going to take off the skin. I tried but the fur was clumped and in the way. So I boiled a pot of hot water and soak the rabbit in it for few minutes like I did with chicken. Yes, the fur came right off. However, the skin was still there; it looked white and smooth. Maybe I didn’t have to skin it. I started to open the stomach. Oh, the smell was so strong and I felt nauseous. What a big pouch of poop! I took it out as soon as possible. Gee, this thing really did not have much except the big tummy. Then I started to cut the rabbit into little pieces. The skin was in the way. I realized that I had to take the skin off. I cut a little bit and skinned it a little bit. Finally, I was able to cook it.
     When my mom came home after work, she looked at the cooked rabbit and smiled. She did not ask me anything and I did not say anything either. I was quiet all night and I did not even taste the rabbit. My mom got the message. She did not bring any more livestock home. I did not feel like killing anything either.