The Lady Chang
When the Lady Chang arrived in the city of Canton, she possessed nothing in the world but the clothes she was wearing, the jewels on her fingers, and most precious of all, her little son, Ko. Everything else – her husband, her fine home and all her servants, even the village in which she lived – had been washed away andlost forever in the great flood that had swept down upon them so suddenly.She found a house which costs very little, for it was in a poor part of the city, near the rubbish dumps.Every morning the carts rumbled by, taking all the city rubbish to be burned and buried."I am lucky to have this small house," the Lady Chang told herself. “I can clean my house in themorning: I can play, with my dear son, Ko, each afternoon; and in the evening, when he is asleep, I can weaveand embroider. The cloth I make will sell easily, and so I shall be able to feed and clothe both Ko and myself.""Little Ko grew fast and was a great joy to her."What are you doing, my son?" asked his mother one day, as she turned from her weaving to catch himat play."I am the butcher, Mother," laughed Ko. "I am working in the market. See how cleverly I kill this goat,and how I cut it up for customers." And he raised his voice and shouted harshly as he had heard the butcher shouting each day in the market place.The Lady Chang sighed. "Indeed, my son learns quickly. He should not be here to copy the ways of rough men. He should be learning to be a scholar as his father was."She searched the city and found a house near the university."To live here will cost a great deal," she thought. But she did not hesitate for long. She left their housenear the market and sold her last ring of pearl and silver, and soon she and her son were living in their newhouse.Now indeed, life was hard for the Lady Chang. In order to live and pay for Ko's schooling, she had torise at dawn each day. She would clean her house, do the cooking, wash the clothes, and then work... [continues]
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