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Bamboo

By Yao Shan Qian

Of all plants, bamboo is my favorite and has been my closest friend, for my whole life.  For me, it’s the most attractive plant.


I was born in a Bamboo Sea. That was the name of my home town because we were surrounded by bamboo wherever we went. When I was a baby, my cradle and my toys were all made of bamboo—my special little round red lantern, a box, a turtle and a rabbit. It’s true, I grew up with bamboo.

In childhood, my little friends and I always played on a bamboo hill. We climbed up the bamboo stems and then slid down. We had lots of fun. Sometimes the stems became horses and we rode and raced them. Sometimes we flew bamboo kites up in the sky. Sometimes we put the bamboo leaves to our lips and blew through them to make music. When Spring came we dug up the baby bamboo. It’s a very nice food. Bamboo made my childhood very happy.

As a teenager I went to school. I was most interested in the culture of bamboo. I read poems and literature about it. I saw art and paintings of it. I liked to paint pictures of bamboo and to listen to the bamboo flute. And I began to recognize the highest-quality bamboo.

As an adult, I visited bamboo forests or gardens on my holidays. Sitting in a bamboo hut or holding a bamboo pole for fishing gave me much pleasure. I seemed to come back to nature, to come back to my childhood.

Now I am old and live in a very big city, and I miss my bamboo very much. So, at home, I always like to paint pictures of bamboo with my Chinese brushes, ink and rice paper. It's my favorite time because I am meeting with my oldest friend. I am having a conversation with bamboo.

 

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