Qiao Wei returned with the children to the yard at the noon; the blowing wind was quite cold, but the three people under the shine of the sun were slightly covered with thin sweat.
The three people were a little tired; sitting on the bench panting, Qiao Wei put the basket back on the ground, and fetched some water to wash the children’s hands. After washing their hands, she touched the two little heads: "Hungry? Mother will cook.”
Qiao Jingyun quickly said, “I will help mother wash the rice.”
Qiao Wei did not dare to tell the children that they had no rice in the rice cylinder anymore, so she smiled and said: "No need to wash rice, mother will cook a radish cake for you to eat! If you really want to help mother while working, then wash these radishes, mother will fetch other things to make a radish sauce.”
Qiao Jingyun happily took over the four white radishes handed over by Qiao Wei; he squatted down at the edge of basin water, and carefully washed it up. Qiao Wangshu, seeing her brother doing the wash, tidied up her sleeve to help with the business.
Four-Year-old girl, how could she be so sensible? Qiao Wei saw Qiao Wangshu as if to have seen her own years in the orphanage, but she suffered because she had no father nor mother, while Jingyun and Wangshu still had a mother in person, so why would they suffer such hardship?
Qiao Wei wiped her red eyes and turned back into kitchen. In the orphanage, someone can eat full, but if one wanted to eat well, that depends on luck and ability; she couldn’t fight over a few big children, but she had her own way of survival. She often goes to the kitchen to help, washes the dishes, washes vegetables, cuts vegetables, and grabs the job. Adults seeing her well-behaved nature, they secretly feeded her a few bites of meat each time. She learned to please others when she was very young, but she didn't like her children also growing to be such people.
Washed the radish, peeled and chopped, mixed with fermented flour rolled into a piece of small cake with a big palm-size. She remembered that this morning they still had a few unfinished carrots, so Qiao Wei cut a few curved crescent moon shapes from the carrots, sticked it to the cake; thus, the radish cake became very well-packaged.
When Qiao Wei put a whole plate of crispy fried radish cake on the table, the two children instantly shouted out. Is it really a radish cake? Why did it not look like a radish cake?. Qiao Wei’s cooking skill was not bad, and with such a lovely pattern, the two little buns just stuffed it into their tongue together.
Watching the two children eat so happily, Qiao Wei was gratified but also sad: "Now we can only eat these, but believe in mother, soon we can eat meat."
In the afternoon, Qiao Wei decided to take a trip to the forest to see if there is any gain. She heard aunt Luo mention that the village has a hunter, all the year round in the hunting, can be seen in the woods is indeed able to touch things. Of course, hunting is a very dangerous thing, Qiao Wei dare not take the children; after some hesitation, she took the children and the radish cake to aunt Luo’s house.
Aunt Luo is very willing to help Qiao Wei taking care of the children, but she does not agree with Qiao Wei going to hunt: "Too dangerous, you are a woman, how can you learn like a men to hunt in the mountains?"
The food chain is scarce in winter, and the beasts were at the edge of starvation, which is more dangerous than the beasts of summer and autumn. Aunt Luo's worry was not superfluous, but aunt Luo does not know that Qiao Wei is not the former woman that as weak as a peasant girl.
Aunt Luo couldn’t shake Qiao Wei but thought a way to draw her back: "You want to hunt, I have no opinion, but you wait until Dazhuang is back as I will let him take you; he went to the town to sell hare and may return tonight."
Xu Dazhuang is the hunter of the village.
Qiao Wei didn't want to owe people, not to mention oneself also couldn't afford, so she politely declined the kindness of aunt Luo, and went into the forest alone. Qiao Wei’s tools were not enough; in the beginning, she did not set the target too high. Catching a pheasant or hare, she would be quite satisfied.
Qiao Wei followed the footprints on the snow to find a rather secluded and fertile place, opened the cage and placed some carrots and earthworms as the bait to lure some prey in. These were used to trap hares and pheasants, and to see which ones took the bait first. Qiao Wei found a suitable tree and climbed to the trunk to wait.
Probably it was her lucky day, she saw a stupid rabbit sneaking into the cage when she was not long sitting on her butt. Then, she heard the snapping sound and the cage door was closed.
Qiao Wei went down and put the stupid rabbit into her bag.
After a while, another stupid rabbit got into the trap; Qiao Wei still placed the rabbit’s trap, but after harvesting three rabbits, no rabbit was fooled afterward. Qiao Wei saw that the day was still early, so she wanted to change a place to hunt another rabbits. She found a pheasant’s footprints on the snow, but halfway through, she suddenly heard the thunderous roar of a beast. She was a little guarded girl, and instinctively felt great danger. She threw the cage to the ground and climbed the tree up with her bag on the back.
A yellow adult tiger sprang up, chasing a less than half a meter of small white dumpling. The small white dumpling’s reaction was quick and sensitive; no matter how the tiger fluttered, it jumped its claw and scratched the tiger's face, leaving a few bloodstains there.
The tiger was completely angered; it roared, until it startled the jungle birds. The small white dumpling, as if also being frightened, scratched again for the second time, but this time, it was in empty air. This let the tiger catch the opportunity, giving the white little thing a slap down. The mall white dumpling instantly flew over, hit the tree heavily, and then it fell into the snow heavily too; it couldn't climb up.
The tiger’s situation was not optimistic either, so it just ran fast. Qiao Wei did not see the whole fight, and now it was quiet. Qiao Wei found the hind limb of the tiger injured, no wonder the small white dumpling could play in a roundabout manner. After he avenged, the tiger’s mood began to calm down, and leisurely walked toward the small dumpling.
Small white dumpling should be dead, Qiao Wei thought. But the next second, the “has been dead" small white dumpling jumped up, slipped to climb the tree up.
Qiao Wei cried in silence: Little buddy, there were so many trees, why climb up my tree?
The small white could not climbed further, directly flew into Qiao Wei’s bosom, and the small claws clung into Qiao Wei's skirt; it could not be pulled out.
The tiger then found out an "accomplice" in the tree and roared over the tree.
Ah ah ah, big brother you don't hit, if you go on to hit the tree, then I might fall!
The tiger did not react for a moment and began to climb the tree up.
Qiao Wei was going crazy, weren’t tigers incapable of climbing trees? Why did this man come up?
The tiger's limb was injured, so it climbed with great difficulty; but in the end, it climbed up slowly, one meter, two meters...
In the novel, the little white dumpling was written as 小白团子 (xiào bái tuán zi). As In dictionary, the bái word could be translated as a mynah.
But, I am not sure either what exactly this small thing is.