As Mo Yan was sending the meat to the hospital, Mr.
Cao insisted on giving her money, so she accepted it.
When she went to Ms.
Hua’s courtyard to get something, she saw that she was also stewing meat, but Mo Yan could smell that it wasn’t pork, but mutton.
She noticed that the sheep they had raised in the courtyard had disappeared.
“Did you sell your sheep”
Hua added some kindling to the stove and said, “No, I asked the butcher to kill it.
The stew’s being made using its bones, and the meat is hanging in the shade right now.
We also made some stuffing for buns and dumplings.”
“Can you two finish the sheep on your own”
“No, but we were planning on giving you some anyway.
Thank you for taking care of us for this half year.”
With that said, Ms.
Hua went to give her two pieces of mutton, “Please take one for yourself and give the other to Mr.
It’s Zhao’er’s gift to him.”
“Then you should ask Zhao’er to give it to him, or you can give it to him personally.”
“We’re afraid that he won’t take it.
It’s fine if you tell him you bought it.”
“Okay! If you’re planning on visiting your relatives during the New Year, feel free to take the gift baskets.”
Reciprocating gifts is the best way to maintain a harmonious relationship.
Wangwang the kitten was meowing at the base of the wall.
It smelled meat but couldn’t reach it, so it kept leaping to try and get some.
“The cat has grown up a lot!” Mu Yan said.
“That’s right! Thanks to it, I haven’t seen a single mouse in the courtyard!”
“Then it needs to be rewarded, feed it some meat!”
“Don’t worry! I’ll reward it appropriately.”
Mo Yan just delivered a lot of meat to Mr.
Cao, and she couldn’t think of a reason as to why she’s sending more, so Mu Ling said, “Give it to Cao Zhang later, and let him say he bought it.”
The two returned home with two large pieces of mutton.
Liang looked at it and said, “Did you bring back half of one of their sheep! That’s half a rack of ribs and a hind leg.”
“Let’s barbecue it!” Mu Yan said.
“Do what you want, but it’s too hot for me.”
“Okay, then we’ll braise the lamb chops, and roast the hind leg!”
Mo Yan went to Mr.
Cao’s house with a piece of mutton.
This time Ms.
Li was in the kitchen, as she had come back from her mother’s house.
Due to the recent funeral, when she saw Mo Yan, she wasn’t as enthusiastic as usual.
She gave her the meat, saying it was a thank-you gift from Mr.
Cao’s apprentice, but the child couldn’t carry it, so he asked her to help take it to her.
Li didn’t ask about anything and took the meat.
They spoke in a low voice, so Cao Zhang didn’t hear them and didn’t come out.
The next day was New Year’s Eve, and most of the shops were closed.
The sisters didn’t go to town and helped Mrs.
Liang prepare dinner at home instead.
In addition to cold dishes, there was stewed pork, fish balls, boiled chicken, and the lamb ribs Mo Yan brought back.
The table in the main room was filled to the brim.
Vegetarian dumplings were also made to be offerings.
Incense was burned and the vegetarian dumplings were offered to the altar in the entrance.
Mo Zenian personally went to the back courtyard to pick up his mother for dinner.
The old woman also wore new clothes, but they were just made of ordinary satin, incomparable to Mrs.
Liang had just finished praying when the old woman arrived.
She knelt down in front of her to wish her a happy New Year, “Mother, your daughter-in-law wishes you a happy New Year.”
The old woman made a sound of affirmation, and Mrs.
Liang stood up before calling Mo Feng to come over to wish her a happy New Year.
Mo Feng said it to both the old woman and his parents.
Mo Zenian said cheerfully, “Get up quickly.
After the new year, you’ll be one year older, and you need to make a name for yourself.”
Unmarried girls don’t have to wish their parents a happy New Year.
Liang told the children to sit down and eat.
Mo Zenian took out a bottle of wine, poured himself a glass and held it up, “Today’s the New Year, I wish for all of us to live happy lives!”
Mo Yan held a teacup up in response, “May the whole family live happily.
I wish everything goes well and all of our wishes come true!”
After she finished speaking, she realised that no one else had spoken.
She didn’t know that no one responded to Mo Zenian in previous years.
The old woman looked at her and laughed, “This girl is going crazy!”
Mo Zenian also smiled, “Yan’er spoke well and didn’t go to the school to eavesdrop in vain.
She learned something.” He looked at Mo Feng and said, “You have to learn this in the future.
It’ll benefit you when you’re doing business.”
Liang echoed, “Yes! You have to learn this, but let’s eat first!”
With Mo Zenian and the old woman at the table, not even Mo Feng had an appetite.
No one dared to speak too much, in fear of offending them if they said the wrong thing.
Even so, Mo Feng still provoked them.
The old woman wanted to go back first as she was full, and Mo Zenian asked him to send her back.
Mo Feng asked her to wait, as he was in the midst of eating.
Mo Zenian slapped his chopsticks on the table and shouted, “Go now!”
Liang also urged him to go quickly in a low voice.
Mu Feng stood up reluctantly and muttered something.
Mo Zenian was about to hit him, and scared Mo Feng so much he immediately stood up to help the old woman.
Mo Feng helped the old woman away, but Mo Zenian still looked angry.
No one said anything to defuse the situation, and the atmosphere at the dinner table was very awkward.
Mo Yan suddenly thought of something and said casually, “There’s a rule that you can’t hit children on New Year’s Eve!”
They looked at each other as a family before laughing together.
The atmosphere immediately improved.
The old woman walked slowly, and Mo Feng could hear what had happened clearly.
When he came back after sending the old woman off, he was stopped by some boys in the village.
He thought they were asking for money, but they said, “Go back and tell your sister to go storytelling at the school tonight.
All of the young people in the village are going.”
Judging from their appearance, he might not be able to leave if he didn’t agree, so Mo Feng nodded and said, “Okay, I’ll go back and tell her.”
He went home and continued to eat.
Mo Zenian was no longer angry about what happened.
Liu came to ask Mrs.
Liang to pay New Year’s greetings with her.
According to the rules of the village, married women should pay New Year’s greetings to the elders in the village on New Year’s Eve, while men should go out on the morning of the first day of the new year.
Liu and Mrs.
Liang didn’t like each other, they lived opposite each other and were of the same generation.
It is suitable for them to pay New Year’s greetings together.
Liu was afraid of the dark and Mrs.
Liang was very courageous, so Mrs.
Liu took the initiative to look for her every year.
It was New Year’s Eve, so Mrs.
Liang agreed to go with her every time.
Liu looked at Mrs.
Liang’s new clothes and was about to reach out to touch them, “Your new clothes are so elegant!”
She gently brushed away her extended hand, and said proudly, “This is brocade bought from the Upper Valley, and it was given to me by my daughter!”
Liu was wearing a green dress, which couldn’t compare to Mrs.
Liang’s in terms of colour and texture.
Not only that, Mrs.
Liang had a silver hairpin on her head.
At this time, Mo Yan regretted not buying a piece of jewellery for her mother, so that she would have more face when she went out to pay New Year’s greetings.
Post-translation notes: It’s currently the last day of the year where I’m from, I’m posting a chappie about New Year’s Eve…I swear this isn’t intentional.
As always, thank you for reading, and here’s to a great 2023!