"I can not bear such hot weather, spring is always my favourite" said a lakeside peach tree, which was very listless after all day long in the hot sun, to a neighbouring pear tree.
The pear tree was also feeling listless, and could not gather its strength. "I rather like the fall, then all the heavy fruit will be picked. I really need to have a rest and have a good dream in winter" it said.
Meanwhile, some sparrows suddenly flew from a far telegraph pole and made a stop on the pear tree and seemed to prepare to eat the pears, which were growing bigger day after day.
After the sparrows had landed on it, the pear tree began to shake and whip very hard with one of his branches, saying "shoo, shoo, little annoying things"!
The pear tree did not know the sparrows were good at quarrelling. And the head of the sparrows retorted "you were just complaining about your heavy fruit, we are here to help you. We are all hungry and we will eat all of your fruit".
The pear tree grew unhappier and said "It's not your business! You just go on your way. You sparrows with your never ending chattering and chirping all day long make no peace for others. And now you even fancy eating my pears".
When the pear tree's conversation finished the sparrows grew noisy again. That is just a piece of cake for the pear tree, all of the sparrows were ready for fighting, this one pulled the left of the branch, that one flew on the right of the pear tree. Some cruel sparrows even stood on the youngest twig and began jumping, they all wanted the pear tree's old bones to shatter.
The peach tree was afraid something bad would happen and quickly responded, "you just let him go. It is the fault of the weather, that's made him hot tempered".
The head sparrow said "we are just kidding with him, who will fancy his sour pears. We sparrows have feet for hopping and wings to fly, we will never fancy his pears".
After the head sparrow finished speaking the other sparrows began chirping again. That really made the peach tree and the pear tree more annoyed.
There was another way to try to get relief from the sparrows. The peach tree used his trump card, which was the story about Miss Water-bamboo. He thought, maybe Miss Water-bamboo's good-natured mood (always keeping silent) can impact on the sparrows.
The peach tree pointed in the direction of Miss Water-bamboo with one of his branches and said "do you know Miss Water-bamboo"?
As expected, all of the sparrow went quiet, but not for long. They all began chirping and chattering again. Some one said "Miss Water-bamboo, who is Miss Water-bamboo"? Another said "Miss Water-bamboo, Miss Water-bamboo, who does not know her"? Another said "Miss Water-bamboo, is that the mute who stands in the same place beside the lake every year"?
The pear tree disapproved "Miss Water-bamboo is not a mute. She is just one of the few in the world who knows that silence is golden. Can you just follow Miss Water-bamboo's example? You see, how quiet and calm she is. All spring and summer, just standing there. And what about you, clamouring endlessly"?
The sparrows were unhappy again and began cursing and abusing.
The peach tree said "All right! Let me begin the story of Miss Water-bamboo, but all of you must promise not to butt in".
Some sparrows noticed Miss Water-bamboo long ago. Every spring, Miss Water-bamboo came to the lakeside in a green-dress, always looking forward with empty eyes. Maybe she was waiting for someone. Sometimes she did not stir as the lake water bathed her white feet. The sparrows thought, if she bows down her head she will find her slender body has a really beautiful reflection in the water. The sparrows were fond of her because of this. They never had a conversation with her. They thought she was a mute. Now they know that was not true. They found that an odd thing, someone can speak but chose not to speak.
After a long chirping discussion, the head sparrow said to the peach tree "Well, we will promise to keep quiet while you are speaking, after that, we are free to do as we please. No one in the world can take that right from us".
The peach tree shook his branch several times to indicate he accepted the sparrow's terms.
Then the story began.
"Miss Water-bamboo has no friend. I just saw her talking with the wind sometimes. Every time the wind came to say hello, she just shook her thin body slowly for an answer. She did not really care about the subject, what the wind said, she just agreed. Her thoughts always flew far away. Also the duck sometimes talked to her. But after several times the duck thought she was too proud for domestic trivia and swore never to talk to her again. But nobody knew, that Miss Water-bamboo was not born like that, she used to have feet as beautiful as alabaster. For this, she got the nickname of "white-feet".
When Miss Water-bamboo first came here I was just a young peach tree. I saw she was so happy. Every night the gold beam scattered on her and set against her green dress making very lovely colours. She had lot of friends play with her at the lakeside, dancing with the wind, singing with the rain. Unfortunately, all things altered after she met love.
"What is love"? one of the younger sparrows could not help but to interrupt.
Simultaneously, others said "hush", they all thought the interruption will make the peach tree angry and not continue this story.
But the peach tree did not get angry. He said "I do not know. Some one said that it was a queer misfortune that those who were struck by love will became silly. One summer, just as hot as this year, a corn earworm settled on Miss Water-bamboo, and said to her "You are so beautiful, and for the sake of us wearing the same colour clothes, just like people who fall in love always do, I thought we should love each other".
But Miss Water-bamboo did not love him at all, as she did not know love at all. She thought love must be between two who were of equal social rank. Miss Water-bamboo was hoping for a Mr Water-bamboo. Besides, the corn earworm is too short for her tall height. If they stood together, there might be much arguing between them.
So, Miss Water-bamboo said "NO".
However, everybody knows the corn earworm was an obstinate guy. He will never easily let Miss Water-bamboo go. He was still obsessed with Miss Water-bamboo and whenever she ignored him, he bothered her every day. After a few times, somehow, Mr Dragonfly knew that. Mr Dragonfly was fast in his movements and swallowed the corn earworm easily. With good news comes bad news. Miss Water-bamboo's heart did not belong to herself any more after this. She despairingly fell in love with Mr Dragonfly. Mr Dragonfly has a pear of big eyes, a thin body just like a match, and such beautiful transparent wings, justice gentleman like that, how can Miss Water-bamboo not love him? Unfortunately, Mr Dragonfly did not know of the love upon him, or he did but pretended not to. Who knows? Some gossip from somewhere, said Mr Dragonfly felt himself inferior because of Miss Water-bamboo's height. And Miss Water-bamboo really said something in public like; she would not marry someone who was shorter than her. Whatever Mr Dragonfly flew away and left nothing.
"What a shame! I thought they should be together". That little sparrow whom had asked "what is love" was sighing.
"What a fool! How could they be together? Unpractical love will never succeed" the head sparrow said sternly.
" Yes, yes" the other sparrows followed.
The pear tree was irritated and said "The story has not finished".
The sparrows went quiet again.
Peach tree continued "Since then, Miss water-bamboo waits for Mr Dragonfly every day at the lakeside. She knew Mr Dragonfly obsesses over water just as she does. But Miss Water-bamboo saw Mr Dragonfly just a few times, even though they had met, they always can not talk much. Once, Miss Water-bamboo saw Mr Dragonfly making a stop on Miss Water-lily and she saw he was kissing her fragrant body. Miss Water-bamboo felt really sad but she said nothing. She pretended not to care about that. The following winter was really hard for Miss Water-bamboo. When she was sleeping, all of her dreams were about the joy of Mr Dragonfly and Miss Water-lily and the sorrow and of her own loneliness. When spring came again she swore she will be tell of her love to Mr Dragonfly". At a time near to summer, she finally saw the Mr Dragonfly perch on the water, when she was going to say "Hello" she heard a voice from below the water, she bent down and upon checking, found that Mr Dragonfly wasn't perched on the water but on Miss Water-lily's leaf. The lazy Miss Water-lily had just awoke, and had not enough time to wear her pink-dress. All through spring Miss Water-bamboo spent time on waiting for Mr Dragonfly, but Mr Dragonfly spent his time on Miss Water-lily.
" After this Miss Water-bamboo gave up her feelings and every time just watched them at the lakeside in silence. Mr Dragonfly sometimes did catch her eyes, but Mr Dragonfly was always with Miss Water-lily. Another year passed and two human children came to the lakeside for fun. They saw Miss Water-lily standing in the middle of the lake, looking so beautiful, and evil thoughts came to them. They were going to pluck her from the water. Mr Dragonfly certainly will not consent. When the two wicked children were preparing to do this evil thing, Mr Dragonfly tried to distract the attention of the two boys to save Miss Water-lily. As expected, the two boys did not pay attention to Mr Dragonfly, they went back to their home and fetched the insect net to catch Mr Dragonfly, and soon, Mr Dragonfly was captured".
"After that, Miss Water-bamboo never saw Mr Dragonfly again. And every spring and summer, she was standing the lakeside waiting for Mr Dragonfly to come back. Even though she never saw Mr Dragonfly, she was still standing and waiting, waiting for Miss Water-lily's leaves to come out of the water, waiting for Miss Water-lily wearing her pink-dress, but she never talked with Miss Water-lily about Mr Dragonfly's leaving. She was always waiting, wearing her green-dress, eyes forward, saying nothing. Waiting until fall's wind came, until winter's frost came. Gradually, Miss Water-bamboo's words were less and less, she never liked to talk with her friends again. More and more, all of her friends moved to the water field for dwelling, left by herself still by the lakeside. Year after year, her feet sank more and more in the mud. The white feet just like alabaster were covered by black mud little by little. At the last, just leaving the white legs covered by the green dress. They were still as white as alabaster, as clean as snow".
Meanwhile, that little sparrow began to sob.
The head sparrow said disdainfully 'that proves you are really a naïve sparrow that you can be moved by such a story".
"Right, right" other sparrows confirmed with their chattering.
The pear tree said "were you not touched in any way"?
"Love is really a baffling thing. How can I be touched when I don't understand? I remember I once flew by a school and heard one student reciting poetry, one of them said 'the beautiful starry night is not here to stay, why do you remain standing here? I thought Miss Water-bamboo would understand". As our sparrows, born for eloquence, had many important events to discuss. Then he flapped his wings and flew away and the other sparrows who always confirmed his words flew away soon after.
This just left the little sparrow. She seemed to want to ask something, but finally she was not bold enough. She sighed deeply and cast her last sight to Miss Water-bamboo and flew away.
The pear tree stretched and yawned and said "Finally they are all gone. I wonder what Miss Water-bamboo would say when she knows you invented her story like this"?
Author Notes: A gril from China who loves stories and hope invented the stroies of my own.