The shepherd and his wife

/September 2021

At noon, she asked her neighbor for help and carried the old shepherd, her husband, to the bottom of the old Elaeagnus Angustifolia tree.  

It's rainy autumn, and it keeps raining in Mao's Mao all morning. The dark weather sets off the sad mood, and the sky is sad and the heart is dark. Both the sky and people are affected by the dying old shepherd. 

The leaves of old trees fall involuntarily in the late autumn wind, and those green colors symbolizing life have been stripped off layer by layer since a few days ago, leaving only some half-yellow and half-green leaves at the top of the tree, shaking in the drizzle and autumn wind. The old tree that has been bearing fruit for 50 years has not left a special memory for people. If it dies in this autumn rain, how many people will still remember it?  

The old shepherd was lying on the bedboard of Elaeagnus Angustifolia, suffering the last pain in his life. His life has gone through all kinds of hardships such as war, famine, disease, and sports. Whenever a disaster befalls him, he always quietly accepts it. He trusts fate and life and his patience. This time was the cruelest torture. Unfortunately, twelve arms seemed to grow overnight, pinching the old shepherd's weak breath and leading him closer to death step by step. The old shepherd used up his last strength, gritted his teeth, and gritted the illness that dragged him to the abyss of life. 

She is covered with snow-like white hair and sorrow as slender as white hair. She silently guarded her husband and tried her wife's last love and affection. "Ah! He spent his whole life herding sheep with bright sunshine, but why did he risk the continuous autumn rain when he left? This is unfair. He should be allowed to take a hot sun on the road and enjoy the last warmth. " She didn't cry, she had no tears, and she used to greet the bitterness, sweetness, and sourness of life with silence. She regrets that she always scolds her husband for drinking and always takes out the last penny in his pocket so that his wine bottle is empty. She also regretted not going to Hohhot with him last winter. Since he was young, he wanted to visit the city that both adults and children yearned for. He said that the silversmith in Huhhot is the best, and he said he would give her a pair of sterling silver jewelry. With remorse, she brought a copper basin of warm water to wash her husband's cracked hands and feet for the last time. It is a pair of hands that have delivered thousands of lambs, and it is also a pair of feet that have crossed thousands of valleys and traveled all over Alashan grassland.  

The dying old shepherd blinked his dim eyes from time to time, and the memories left to him in this life were painful and sweet. Some are satisfied, while others are deficient. His wife, from the day she went to the door, lived a lonely life for three seasons a year. The wife's heart is tied to her husband's whip, and her thoughts have long been the shadow of the shepherd. Her heart dreams on every footprint of the shepherd, always dreaming of grassland and sheep. Three seasons, spring, summer, and autumn, which made her suspenseful, were the winter of feelings every day, and they were all distracted thoughts. When snow falls on the grassland and sheep grow old hairs, they are reunited. In the coldest season, her heart is the warmest; The shortest sunshine season leaves her with the longest memories.  

The spring breeze blows, the spring rain is misty, and the spring grass is getting green. When the old shepherd caught up with the sheep and headed for the grassland, he left behind the hot Kang covered with wool felt, the housework and farm work for more than 200 days, his wife's expectant and reluctant eyes, and another round of thoughts of starting again. That kind of loneliness that is hard to open, that kind of helplessness that can't get rid of, is longer than the endless wool rope and bitter than the ripe Coptis Chinensis. But she didn't have time to complain and sigh, and she couldn't find a reason to hold a grudge against her husband. Every day, when she opens her eyes, she throws herself into endless labor, with chickens, ducks, geese, and dogs waiting for her to feed, and the private reservation behind the house waiting for her to weed and water. She wants to spin the hundreds of cities of a wool inch by inch, and weave the wool ropes into wool pockets. She has to serve her in-laws and take care of her children at home, just like clockwork. She can't rest for a moment, and she doesn't rest for a moment. In addition to her three months in the ice and snow world, she enjoyed the tenderness that women yearned for heartily. In the other nine months, she could only support a home independently and support the heaviness of all her life. Being a shepherd's wife is like being a soldier's wife. Half of them are women and half are men.  

The old shepherd lifted his heavy eyelids, and he felt that his life was very limited. He didn't leave any regrets, didn't do anything to live up to his conscience, and he didn't need to repent of his mistakes in this world. But he was full of guilt and remorse for his wife. His lips moved feebly towards his wife a few times, but he couldn't make a sound, as if he had a lot to say to her, perhaps some grateful words or some apologetic words. Two lines of tears flowed out of the corner of the old shepherd's eye and to his ears. It was after a criticism meeting that he beat his kind wife for no reason. While the wife endured the pain and shed tears, she appealed to her husband who was extremely angry. Knowing that his wife was not at fault, he didn't say anything against his conscience in front of threats. He vented all his grievances and anger on his poor wife. His wife didn't put salt on his wound, and she put up with it. On another occasion, the old shepherd, who had drunk a long drink because of the death of several spring lambs, lost his ordinary people's reason, and even rode on his wife's back and beat her ass with his sole, just like a rude guy who went mad and ran wild, venting barbarism and violence without any reason. The wife didn't resist, but she didn't give up. She fought in her way, sitting on the edge of the well and crying ... Her husband was afraid that she would commit suicide, and took her home, saying an apology with a cart, until he made his wife smile through tears, and then put down the heart that had been hanging all day. The dying old shepherd regards these past events as the most humiliating memories in his life. How much he hopes to live for a few more years. In that case, he will love his elderly wife with the shepherd's kindness to the lamb and dedicate all his obedience, warmth, and love to her without reservation, to compensate for the hard-working and kind-hearted woman's lifelong efforts and grievances.  

Autumn rain falls slowly again, telling some irrelevant stories like an old woman. The old shepherd's wife knows what her husband is thinking at this time, and she doesn't think how unhappy and painful she is. Her husband lives in the grassland all year round and abandons his wife and children. She is alone and can only talk to the sheep every day, and can only eat a few sheep's milk and stir-fried noodles. She can only rely on "semiconductor" as a companion to relieve her distress, which makes her unhappy. She looked at the full column of white sheep, which was the white love left by her husband. She has a faint trace of innocent satisfaction, and ordinary happiness fills her heart. A faint smile passed over the old shepherd's face, which was his first and last smile for his wife. He left with his wife's diligence and kindness, ending a shepherd's trek.  

On the day he died, the whole village cried. On the day of his funeral, it became the biggest commemorative activity of the whole village.

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