Friday, 19 April 2013

Great grandmother's tales

Meow Meow, a cat I used to have. He must have  looked something like the two big cats which great gramdma used to own in China. 
MY great grandmother sounds fun and kind. From mum's description, she is definitely my kind of person!

My mum was a little rebellious, and not a favourite child of grandma. Each time she got a chiding from grandma, great grandma would try to console her with wonderful tales -- which mum would in turn narrate to me many years later.

Most memorable was the tale of a family of rats whose home was a hole in the wall of the house where they lived in China. There was King Rat, dressed gloriously in a fur robe. He wore a crown too. He had an army of rats who ran around doing errands. At times, there would be dancing and other performances staged by his underlings for his pleasure. However, those only happen at special times in the night but mum never got tired of sitting by the hole the whole day, hoping to catch a glimpse of the action.

Another tale was how great grandma had a good time watching mum dancing in a school concert. The tiara that mum was wearing for the dance was a little too big and it wobbled precariously each time mum did a leap. This was somehow so funny that great grandma had to wipe her tears from laughing too hard.

During great grandma's time, there were two huge striped cats with heads as round as a tennis ball. They would each sit on a gate post waiting for grandpa to come home from work. Upon hearing his footsteps, they would leap from the posts and accompany him into the house, tails pointing upwards as high and as straight as flag posts. If they somehow missed grandpa's footsteps, grandpa would holler at them. At his "Come on down!" one of them would invariably jumped onto grandpa's shoulder. How they decide tacitly who should sit on grandpa's shoulder is a mystery.

Also memorable, was the tale of great grandma's lotus feet. Each night as she unwrapped the cloth binding her feet, an unbearable stench would fill the house.

Grandpa, if I remember rightly, was her eldest son, and my mum was her first grandchild. Great grandma was mum's dearest person. How great grandma wept when mum left the house to get married and moved to another province.

And I, who had never seen nor known her, became very fond of the memory of great grandma.

No comments: