學校 The College
How can I ever forget the beautiful campus in Africa?
The grounds were covered with dark green grass through which stretched a straight whitestone path .On both sides of the path were planted what I believed to be poinsettias. Now theflowers were surrounded by pinkish leaves instead of bright red ones as they should have been.Trimmed with light green edges，the leaves looked delicate and charming. Along the long pathI often took a stroll which would take me to a wide terrace，where 1 could watch theenchanting glow of sunset，and occasionally catch the sight of a train pulling and hooting onits way southward. On my way back I would pass by the laboratory and library building whoselarge French windows had soft curtains let fall to the floor. Just outside the windows kapokflowers glowed red in full bloom. A short way off stood the dining hall，where I found a treehearing snore-white blossoms so graceful and soft to the touch，Viewed together from thedistance, they were as beautiful as a bridal veil. Later I learned that it was a tree called daturawhich I had so often read about in hooks.
In the centre of the campus was a newly-built fan-shaped fountain. A number of Chinese taihurocks were arranged in it with a touch of artistry. And there was a story behind it.
In the courtyard of the house where Chinese teachers were living，there was also a similar butmuch smaller fountain looking like potted landscape. It was built by the Chinese teachers whohad come earlier in their spare time. They had graced it with water plants and goldfish .Perhapsout of a yearning for their homeland，they had even engraved on a taihu rock four Chinesecharacters:“Er Quan Ying Yue’meaning“two springs reflecting the moonlight.”These characterswere painted red and written in an ancient calligraphic style. The homesick Chinese teachersseemed to feel that at the sight of these characters，they could by a flight of the imaginationbring to their presence a native moon smiling beaming over the West Lake.
One day the president of the college carne to visit the Chinese teachers. Delighted by thebeauty of their fountain he asked them to design another one for the college. Thus in thecentre of the campus, in a field of green grass and colourful flowers appeared a new Chinesefountain spurting out water drops glistening in the sunlight.
野草 Wild Grass
There is a story which goes like this:
Someone asked, “What is the most powerful thing in the world?” There was a variety of answers. “Elephant,” someone said. “Lion,” another said. “Buddha’s guardian warrior,” still another said half-jokingly. As to how powerful the Buddha’s guardian warrior was, no one was sure.
In fact none of the answers was correct. The most powerful thing in the world is the seed of plants. The force displayed by a seed is simply incomparable. Here goes another story:
The bones of a human skull are so tightly and firmly joined that no physiologist and anatomist had succeeded in taking them apart whatever means they tried. Then someone invented a method. He put sonic seeds of a plant in the skull to be dissected and provided the necessary temperature and moisture to make them germinate. Once the seeds germinated, they manifested a terrible force with which he succeeded in opening up the human skull that had failed to be opened even by mechanical means.
You may think this is too unusual a story to be grasped by the common mind. Well, have you ever seen how the bamboo shoots grow? Have you ever seen how frail young grass grow out from under debris and rubble? In order to get the sunshine and bring its will to grow into play, no matter how heavy the rocks are and how narrow the space between the rocks, it will wind its way up irresistibly, its roots drilling downward and its sprouts shooting upward. This is an irresistible force. Any rock lying in its way will be overturned. This again shows how powerful a seed can be.
Though the little grass has never been said to be herculean, the power it shows is matchless in the world. It is an invisible force of life. So long as there is life, the force will show itself. The rock above it is not heavy enough to prevent it from growing because it is a force that keeps growing over a period of time, because it is an elastic force that can shrink and expand, because it is a tenacious force that will not stop growing until it is grown.
The seed does not choose to fall on fertile land but among debris. If it is filled with life, it is never pessimistic or sad, for it is tempered by resistance and pressure. The grass that fights its way out since the moment it is hom can be called “strong’ and “temacious”; only the grass that fights its way up since its birth has the right to laugh with justified pride at the potted plants in glassed green houses.
Planting a Pear Tree
A villager took his pears to the market to sell. His pears were juicy and sweet, but the price washigh. A Taoist priest, in an old cap and worn cotton robe, came up to his cart and begged for apear. The villager told him to go away but he would not. The villager got angry and began touse strong words at him. The Taoist priest said, “You’ve got a cartful of pears which must be inthe hundred, but I am asking for only one of them and one pear is not much of a loss to you.Why are you getting so angry shout it?” The onlookers said, “Give him a bad one and let himgo.” A waiter in the tavern, hearing the noisy bickering in the street, came anti bought a pearfor the priest. The priest thanked him and said to the crowd, “As a Taoist priest I am not thatsparing. I’ve got first-class pears and I’d like to share them with you.” Someone in the crowdsaid, “Why not eat your own pears then, since you’ve got some?”
“But I need the core of it as seed,” the priest said and, holding up the pear with his hands,began to eat. When he ate up the pear, he held its core in one hand and, with the other, hetook off’ a small shovel from his back. He began to dig in the ground a hole two or three inchesdeep, put the core in it and then covered it with earth. Lie asked if anyone in the crowd couldfind some hot water for him. One of them, an obliging person, fetched some boiling water froma strop by the street. The priest took it over and poured it where the core of the pear wasburied.
While tine people around watched, the core sprouted and grew and, in a moment, became atree with exuberant foliage and, in another couple of seconds, it began to blossom and bearpears. The pears were big, emitting sweet fragrance and the tree was heavy with them. Thepriest picked them and gave them to the people around and soon there were no more. Thenthe priest began to cut the tree and he worked at it for a long while before he felled it. He putthe tree, leaves and all, on his shoulder and walked off at a leisurely pace.
While the priest was playing the magic the pear seller, standing among the crowd, craned hisneck to watch, forgetting his own business. When the priest was gone he found that all hispears in the cart were gone. It was not until then that he realized the pears the priest haddished out were all his pears. And then he noticed that one shaft of his cart disappeared andthe cut was fresh. The pear seller was bursting with anger. He dashed off to run after thepriest. Turning the corner he found the lost shaft was lying at the foot of the wall. And by thenhe realized that it was the shaft of his cart, not the tree, that the priest was cutting. The priestwas nowhere to be found and the whole marketplace was immensely amazed.