Lone Sheep and Knife

  twenty years ago in the summer, my corn and cattle traders set between Hal and Inner Mongolia. I have been doing this business for nearly five years.
  Cattle and sheep are living things and cannot be stored. I will contact you if you have an order to buy it. Cattle and sheep are troublesome to pick, so I stayed in Inner Mongolia for a long time. I often go to the Inner Mongolian friend Seleguling’s home to make a fortune and bring some of our specialties, such as white kernel hazelnuts, seasonal fruits, and some fudge and chocolates in a tin box for his seven-year-old daughter. When I leave, I will quietly leave dozens or hundreds of yuan in the yurt, which is considered to be a meal.
  One night, the moon was big and round. Looking at the meadow and the cold moonlight that could not be seen at a glance, I was very lonely in my heart.
  At that time, I was thinking about being alone, and I had to touch the knife to feel a little comfort in my heart.
  The knife was given to me by a Mongolian girl. It has an exquisite sheath inlaid with large and small turquoise, red agate, and semi-permeable blood beeswax. This scabbard alone made me look happily for a long time, not to mention the bright tungsten steel blade, the streamlined spine with deep blood grooves. The moment I got the knife for the first time, my eyes were even wet. I have been obsessed with knives since I was a child, from the wooden knives I used to play with when I was just sensible, to the small spring daggers used in junior high school, and even the lancets used by the veterinarian to kill pigs. All kinds, and one of the favorites is always on my back waist.
  My dad said, “Let’s take a look, play with those broken knives all day, and something will happen sooner or later!” I ignored what the old drunkard said. When I took the knife, I felt that I had infinite power, and I was not a poor boy in town.
  All my knives are placed in a wooden box, which is my grandma’s dowry, made of red sandalwood. I don’t want to inherit my grandma’s box. Grandma has a lot of good things, such as a half-person-high convex vase, a small gilt Buddha statue that is more than a foot high, and some silver and jade jewelry. Both my brother and my dad took them and put them in their own rooms. And I chose this wooden box that I threw in the corner and swallowed ashes with my mouth open because it had a big brass lock. From then on, I put all the knives wrapped in linoleum paper hidden under the bed, and then clicked and locked them.
  Since I got this knife, I have never turned the wooden box again.
  I no longer pin this knife on my waist, but on my boots outside my calf like Slagling. For the knife, I also bought a pair of riding boots. The first day I don’t use it, I feel like a knife is taking me to walk in the world.
  The girl who gave me the knife is called Bao Ri. She can ride a horse, and she ran over the hillside on a horse that day. In my young idealistic impression, I feel that women should wear red dresses and ride a white horse to be beautiful. The long ribbons and skirts flew above and behind the running horse, and the horse’s neck and tail manes were as white as snow, and they were not stained with dust. But in reality, Bao Ri is not riding a white horse, nor is he wearing red clothes, and the riding posture is not elegant, the little cat is at his waist, the horse is also a black horse, very short. The horse’s legs are covered with mud. She jumped off the horse, the hooves of the horse trampled on the sparse grass on the ground. She tied the horse to the crossbar of the fence of Slagling’s house, turned around and looked at me, from top to bottom, she was not shy at all, even a little wild. Then I turned around and said a bunch of words to Slugling, who was standing by. At that time, I listened carefully and didn’t understand it before I realized that it was Mongolian. In front of me, all the Slagling family spoke Chinese. I never thought about how they were different from me until Bao Ri appeared. Curiosity made me take the initiative, I said, hello sister! This is Zhuang Xiaodong. Bao Ri turned his face and smiled suddenly, and said, who is your sister? I found that Baori’s teeth are particularly white. His lips are fleshy, and he looks very nice. Later when I was with her, I saw that she often chewed on a kind of broad-leaved grass. After that, there was a faint fragrance of grass and flowers in her mouth. I was very obsessed with that smell.
  Bao Ri also sings Mongolian long tune. There is metal clarity in her distant, broad singing, and the ethereal echo of everything in the valley. I don’t know why, after listening to her long tune, I was so sad and melancholy, although I don’t understand Mongolian, I don’t know the meaning of the lyrics. Later, in a tuft of grass and flowers, we both got up, I pinched the grass clippings and broken petals in the breasts for her, and buttoned her carefully. A black-billed sheep looked up and saw these. I put a purple flower in my ear for Bao Ri. Sitting by the river, she sang the long tune to me again. My eyes got wet after listening, because Bao Ri finished singing with tears, and she sang to the depths of the story. She told me that the song was called “My Yellow Horse”. It meant that a couple of lovers were dating. The young man rode a handsome yellow horse across the mountain ridge, crossed the river to meet his beloved, and gave it back on the road. The girl knit a wreath, but the girl was promised to others by her cruel father. From then on, the young man put the wreath on the horse’s neck, looking for the girl day and night, crossing the snow-capped mountains, crossing the grass, wading across the turbulent river, and finally the horse and him fell on the edge of the grass.
  Two
  August of that year, the weather anomaly, I went to Inner Mongolia after a few days without rain day and night underground, in time for the rain to the people that there’s more rain jacket Hal, bridges are washed out, and said Several houses were swept away by the Liuhe Bridge near my house.
  These twenty or so sheep could not be shipped out, so I became a herder on the grassland and raised the sheep. Of course it was with Baori, when we just happened to be here soon. The grassland is really nice, with yellow, white, blue, red and purple wildflowers everywhere, and the flock of sheep graze quietly not far away with their heads down. Baori and I were sprinkling Huan’er on the flowers and grass. At that time, I felt that there was only her and me in the world. Of course, there is also the black-billed sheep that always looks at us. It is very special, always looking up at us.
  When I stayed in the grassland reluctantly for two months, Sluguling learned about the two of us.
  He asked me what to do? He said first, I think my sister also likes you very much. I said, then I will go back to Hartau right away to get money and marry her, I want to buy her twenty steeds. According to our custom over there, but also to ask a matchmaker, I will ask you!
  Slugling said, OK, I promise you, go.
  I know that the Slagling family likes me very much, and Bao Ri was also deliberately called to see me.
  But on the way back, I regretted it. In fact, I was not rich at that time. I only saved 20 horses in business these years. I made up my mind to buy ten horses for Baori first, and I want to use the money for the other ten horses to continue business.
  My dad is a gambler and drunkard, and I dare not let him see my money. The money for my twenty horses is in the hands of my sister-in-law, to be precise. I didn’t deposit in the bank, first because the bank had to go to the county, which was lame; the second was because I often used the money to make shortcomings, and I often planned big deals. Although my sister-in-law is a little stingy, she is still reliable. In the past few years in my business, she remembered my money very clearly and handled it well. Sometimes I reconciled with her. I often missed hundreds of thousands of them. She corrected me every time. I often buy good food and drink for my niece, so I make more money, so I buy some rice noodles and meat dishes for her family. This is how the family should be. Besides, my mother passed away early. When I was a child, my brother took care of me more time than my dad.
  I am planning to hire a car to pull back the sheep that have been for more than two months.
  On the day of departure, when I coaxed the sheep I knew on the grassland into the car, they all looked at me and bleated. They were a little nervous, they had never seen a tin carriage in their entire life, and they stepped on it hard and clinked. That special-looking black-billed sheep just didn’t get in the car, it broke through from side to side, and even wanted to jump out of the circle formed by the few of us. In the end, I grabbed it. It was very stubborn, kicking on the ground with four hoofs, sitting back on its buttocks, and confronting me silently. In the end Slugling helped me push it, and I pulled it by its ears, and it took a lot of effort for both of us to get it in the car.