– – The second pary – –
There were many cultural or historical relics from Ching’s palace or bigwigs of Ching government. Many of them flowed away to the market. Once there was one of Yu Wen’s uncle from her mother side came to visit her father. He dressed with the traditional garments, long gown and a mandarin jacket, a formal dress. Usually the end of the sleeves were wide like a funnel. Yu Wen noticed that one of the end of the sleeve was moving up and down. The sleeve could not move by itself. There must be something, some kind of living creature in it. She was so curious and opened her eye big and wide and stared at it. She wished that it would come out so she can see it. But it was just didn’t want to show it’s face. Yu Wen couldn’t wait any longer. She sneak behind her uncle’s back. Before her mother could stop her, Yu Wen jumped out to her uncle’s side and shouted at her loudest voice at her uncle’s arm. Out it jumped a tiny dog. The dog was really so small, as small as you can put it in your palm. The sudden appearance of the tiny dog startled Yu Wen.
“Wow!” She hopped up with her two feet and shouted:「My heavens! It’s a dog!」
After she put herself back into one piece, she gently touched the tiny dog. It was real, not a toy! It even sniffed on her fingers. Yu Wen found there was a tiny silver chain chained the dog to her uncle’s wrist.
The more Yu Wen looked at the tiny dog, the deeper she fell in love with it. She asked her uncle, “Can I have it?”
Before any more requests, her uncle gave himself an excuse, he put his beloved pet into his sleeve. Left quickly.
Yu Wen couldn’t get what she wanted, she started to cry out loud. Nobody can stop her from crying but Mr. Lyan.
“My child, Let me tell you something. This kind of dog is called Sleeve dog -Tibetan Spaniel. People put it inside their sleeves or the undershirt pocket when they going out. This kind of dog was a tribute, very unusual and precious. It is very difficult to take care of and hard to bring it up. If it was in your hands, surely it will die within two days. We’d better get you something else to play with.”
“Do you remember That once I had a small Aye-aye? ” Mr. Lyan went on: “It sleeped in my brush pot, looked so cute! When I needed to make some ink, I knock on the brush holder, it would jump out, picked up the ink stick and started to ground on the ink tray until I say “Stop”. Then it stood next the ink tray looking around with his big sparking eyes. If it saw an ant creep nearby, it would catch it and eat it. After I left the desk, it would lick the left over ink in the tray until the ink was all gone.”
“Yes! Yes! But how come I don’t see it anymore?” Yu Wen asked anxiously.
“It got sick one day. I took it to a veterinarian. But they couldn’t help much and it dead. I say, my child, tomorrow I’ll find something that you’ll have more fun to play with it.”
By now, Yu Wen smiled through tears, She knew for sure that whatever her father’s promise will always be accomplished.
Early next morning, Wong Ma said to Yu Wen excitedly, “Hurry up, My lady, Master was asking for you. It seemed that he has something for you.”
Yu Wen remembered that her father had promised her yesterday to look for something that will be more interested than the tiny dog. Now that must be it! She jumped out of her seat dashing out of the door, jumped cross over the pond. There she stopped at the corridor where her parents’ room was. Usually it took at least 2-3 minutes walking from her room to where she stood now if she walk as a lady should, but now she jumped like a monkey, it only took her less than one minute! To get here in 2-3 minutes? How could she wait that long?
She knocked on door and said out loud: “Mom, Dad, your daughter is here to say Good morning to you.”
Mr. Lyan opened the door looking at the huffing and puffing young lady. He looked down and saw her muddy embroidered shoes. He smiled and said kindly:”My! My! That’s how you came here so soon. Where is your manner, my young lady? Look at your muddy shoes! Shame on you!” Mr. Lyan handed Yu Wen a cloth bag and said: “give this to Wong Ma, She’ll tell you what to do.”
Behind Mr. Lyan, Yu Wen saw her mother was staring at her with a frowning face. She quickly said thanks to her father and went back her room. But this time she dare not to take the short cut any more. She walked like a well educated lady, because she knew her mother must be watching behind her.
Yu Wen was the only girl in the family, her father’s only pearl. Mr. Lyan spoiled her. But her mother, Jin Shr want to shape her with good manners as well as a real princess. Hopelessly Yu Wen inherited the Mongolian’s free and easy as well as her father.
Wong Ma opened the bag exclaimed with surprise:”My good gracious! What a Rarity!” Yu Wen couldn’t figure out why was it a rarity? They were but only 4 paper made figurines made with very thin bamboo sticks in the middle. One small copper plate and a small wooden stick.
“No! My lady, You know originally this was one of the treasures in the treasures pavilion in the royal families. ”
“What is a pavilion?” Yu Wen asked. “Where is this pavilion? Could you take me there someday?”
“No. My lady, pavilion is not a place. It was a cabinet where the royal families kept their most valuable treasures. They could be some very special agate or jade sculptures, rings, necklace or pines or bracelet. Or the very original painting and calligraphy, or mini Imperial Collection of Four, or toys. ” Wong Ma kept on:”Usually this kind of pavilion has a secret door. It can be opened only if you can find the secret switch. After it was opened, the cabinet can circled around. Therefore you won’t miss anything. it’s an unrivaled sight!” Yu Wen opened her eyes wide. She was enchanted by what she was listening. Speechlessly.
Wong Ma pointed at the articles that Mr. Lyan gave to Yu Wen and said:”These are called 8 hummers. Because these 4 people each one of them holding two ball shaped hummers. They all looked differently from each other’s. These people were ancient heroes long times ago. Look at this one with golden hummers, his name is Li Yuan Ba. This one with silver hummers his name is Pei Yuan Ching. This one with copper hummers is Chin Chung. This one with steel hummers is Lyang Shr Tai. Now watch! After I put them up standing in this copper plate and….” As Wong Ma was talking, she picked up the small wooden stick and slightly knocking on the edge of the copper plate. Magically the four paper made figurines started to move around, waving their hummers. When one of them getting very close to another one, they knock on each other, one of them would be knocked down.
“Oh! Oh! My goodness! This is really fun.”Yu Wen was thirlled. She jumped up and down, clapping her hands and laughing! She grabbed the little wooden steel from Wong Ma’s hand and did as Wong Ma was doing until there was only one left standing in the plat. She raised her hands up high and shouted; “Hurrah! Here is the champion!” Then she put the 4 of them back standing in the plat, and started the game over and over and over again. If it wasn’t Wong Ma calling her for lunch, Yu Wen could play with it till midnight! These 8 hummers kept her company through many lonely childhood days. Yu Wen was going to take them with her when she was getting married, but her mother took them away along with many other precious things the night before her marriage.
At Yu Wen’s old age, when she was telling the story about the “8 hummers” to her grand children, one of them, a grandson was so enchanted as much as she was so long ago. This little one couldn’t help but asked her: “Granny! Granny! I want one too! Where Can we buy it? Can we get one here in Taiwan? Please! Granny!”