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Story Gifted by a Little Angel故事就这样­长出来

- By Lin Tete

the story that he forgot everything around him.

Giving free play to my imaginatio­n, I described the scene as vividly as possible and told him about seeing all the little angels.

“In the playground, there were lots of little angels. They ran after each other and they were very happy. Finally, we saw a little angel next to a slide. He was a small glutenous boy with some bread crumbs that were stuck to the corner of his mouth. His eyes would narrow when he smiled.”

Knowing I was talking about him, Luoluo started smiling, eyes narrowing into slits.

My hubby, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, suddenly turned and said, “You ran so fast that I couldn’t catch you at all!”

That day, I told the story five times.

The variations included how his dad and I decided to choose him and only him to be our son, regardless of the fairy trying to persuade us to think it over.

After hearing the story five times, Luoluo fell asleep.

When he woke up, he asked me when we found out he was that little angel.

As our taxi was pulling into Xianghe, I looked outside the window and said, “Nine months after that dream, I gave birth to you. The moment Dad saw you, he shouted in surprise, ‘Oh my! Isn’t he the angel we picked in our dream?’”

My husband had loosened his seatbelt and was about to get out of the car when he heard what I was saying. Turning back, he said, “Yeah, that’s exactly what happened.”

One day six months later,

Luoluo was acting like such a little hellion that I lost my temper and pushed him out the door.

“I don’t want to be your mom anymore!” I shouted in anger.

Never in my wildest imaginatio­n could I have predicted what he was to say next.

He asked me in a heartwrenc­hing fury, “I was happy as a little angel in Heaven, then you had to pick me and bring me to this world to live. Now you’re saying you don’t want me anymore?”

For a bloated and uncomforta­ble moment, I was too shocked to be angry.

I apologized saying, “Sorry,

Luoluo. I’ll never ask you to leave again.”

One evening, I saw him smiling at the night sky. When asked what he was doing, he pointed to the new moon and said, “Is that the slide? The one I was standing by when you and Daddy found me?”

Another time, when we were looking at star charts, I explained to him what Libra and Cancer were and he said excitedly, “When I was a little angel, I played this harp and hung out with this little crab!”

Even when we were on holiday in the countrysid­e, where we could see every star clearly in the sky, Luoluo pointed at the Milky Way excitedly, “When I was a little angel, I must’ve washed my feet in that beautiful river!”

When he was completely sold on the idea of being a little angel, the world was engulfed in dreamy colors. To him, life became a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces, and he just filled in the missing pieces with his wild imaginatio­n all based on him being an angel. And that’s how a story grows.

Small children are not only

interested in “what happened before,” but also eager to know “what happens after.”

The first thing that Luoluo was curious about was where his wings had gone.

I told him we hid them, in case he flew away. My husband remarked, “We did hide them, but when you can and want to fly, I’ll go with you.”

Perhaps that’s the difference between a mom and a dad.

His curiosity didn’t stop there. “Where are the wings now?” He wanted to know.

For quite a while after that, Luoluo would always rummage through chests and cupboards, looking for his wings, whenever he was alone in his room. He even asked his classmates, “Have you found your wings?”

I didn’t find an answer to his question until the Spring Festival rush came.

“Do you know why Mom and Dad take you to our hometown every year? Because one of your wings is hidden in a cave on Mount Huang, in Mom’s hometown in Anhui Province, and the other is in a cave on Mount Wuyi in Dad’s hometown in Fujian Province. We go home when your wings call for us.”

However, there are more questions that are harder to answer than the ones about wings.

“What was I before I was a little angel?”

“Were you and Dad angels too?”

“If I’m an angel, then when I grow up and want children, do I have to go to Heaven to pick a little angel too?”

Luoluo’s questions were neverendin­g.

Ultimately, I had no choice but to fill in the gaps in the story, “Little angels are brought home by their parents into the mortal world. When they grow up and want to be parents, they’ll go to Heaven and pick little angels to be their children. Then when they’re really, really old, they’ll go back to Heaven and become little angels again, waiting to be found by their parents.”

God knows how hard it is to make up such a story.

And God knows how marvelous a child’s imaginatio­n can be.

One morning, I opened my eyes and noticed Luoluo was already awake. Seeing his worried face, I asked him, “What’s on your mind?”

He said, “If you and Dad go back to Heaven in the future, is it possible we’ll never see each other again?”

I told him, “Maybe not. But

maybe one day when Dad and I come back to the Earth again and go to Heaven to pick a little angel as our child, we might see you. But all of us will look different and may not recognize each other.”

Luoluo was worried almost all day until he got home after school. He put his arms around my neck and declared that he had a good idea.

“Mom, you know how I always pronounce ‘walk’ as ‘work’?” he asked. “When you and Dad come to pick a little angel, I’ll sit next to the slide, in case we can’t recognize each other. I won’t go with anyone else until I hear you call out ‘work’ and then I’ll know you’re my parents and I’ll come home with you.”

His face brightened into a big smile and his eyes narrowed into those same cute little slits again.

Tears started flowing in an unending stream, and I was powerless to stop them. Now it’s time to write about this story, I thought to myself.

It’s a story that has naturally grown. It has sprouted, blossomed and born fruit from a child’s imaginatio­n.

It’s a real story that was gifted to me by a little angel and I was simply there to record it in all its beautiful innocence.

(From Gentleness on Earth: Bea Warm Person the Rest of My Life. Jiangsu Phoenix Literature and Art Publishing Ltd. Translatio­n: Liu Lili)

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