Chapter 290: “To The Oak” saves the day!
At the party.
Teacher Leng’s class was all speaking in whispers.
“It will be Mengmeng’s turn in three programs?”
“This program is ending soon too. There’s not enough time.”
“Mengmeng, I think you can forget it. There will be a chance next time.”
“That’s right, you can’t read that ‘The furthest distance in the world’ again, right?”
“All of them are reciting poems now. All the famous love poems have been recited. There’s no other classic works left.”
Cao Mengmeng was very popular in class, especially with the boys. They all liked her, so they began to come up with ideas for her, but most of them recommended her from going onstage.
Lili also said with a smile, “Don’t go, you will shame yourself.”
Teacher Leng looked at Mengmeng and said, “The more famous love poems have indeed been recited. As for other types of poems, the famous and classic ones are gone too.”
Cao Mengmeng stomped her feet angrily, “I want to recite! I don’t care!”
Zhang Ye knew this little rascal liked to show off. She had prepared a lot for this moment. Mengmeng’s temper was as stubborn as his, so it was impossible to not let her go onstage. Zhang Ye sighed and immediately checked on the internet for suitable love poems with his phone.
In the end, Cao Mengmeng suddenly looked towards Zhang Ye and her eyes lit up. She squeezed her way towards him and pulled Zhang Ye away, “Bro, follow me!”
Zhang Ye was stunned, “What?
“Just follow me!” Cao Mengmeng pulled him out of the auditorium.
There was a hall and lounge outside. A few parents were smoking here.
Cao Mengmeng found a secluded spot and said to Zhang Ye with a helpless look, “Bro, your sister is in trouble. You can’t turn your back against me!”
Zhang Ye waved his cellphone, “Am I not looking for a suitable love poem for you now?”
Cao Mengmeng stared with her smiling eyes, “As a Peking University’s Chinese department lecturer, do you need to look for the poems of others? Just make one for me!”
Zhang Ye almost fainted, “Do you think it’s that easy? Writing one whenever you want one?”
“Isn’t every poem of yours written as you wished? Aren’t they created on the spot? I don’t care! You have to write me a love poem! It can’t be worse than ‘Flying bird and fish’! I must surpass that darn Lili! Did you see the attitude she gave me? Did you see it? How infuriating!” Cao Mengmeng stamped her feet and kicked a sofa in the lounge. She looked very cute.
Zhang Ye helplessly said, “Then what sort of poem do you want?”
“Love, from a woman’s perspective!” Cao Mengmeng made her request.
Zhang Ye touched his nose and said depressingly, “Even so, it’s too late. It’s almost your turn, right?”
“It will be on time! If you can write it, I can read it!” Cao Mengmeng goaded him, “Bro, it can’t be that you can’t write it out? Could it be the media making you out to be that good was all a fluke?”
Zhang Ye stared at her and was one who succumbed to goading, “I can’t write one? Don’t joke with me. What a joke. It’s just a woman’s perspective love poem. Just wait and see!” Saying that, Zhang Ye took out a pen from his jacket. It was a pen he brought along with him to give autographs. “Do you have paper?”
There was a flyer on the table which was blank on the back.
Cao Mengmeng did not care and took the flyer, “Here!”
Zhang Ye sat on the sofa and laid out the paper. After a thought, he already had an idea in mind. Let’s use this poem. Anyway, it was from a woman’s perspective and was a soft, beautiful love poem, it was not suited for Zhang Ye. Since it could not be used despite being in his head, it would be such a waste. Hence, he decided to use it to help save his third cousin’s face. Upon thinking of this, Zhang Ye no longer hesitated. He began scribbling with his pen. The paper was a real estate flyer, so it wasn’t of good quality. However, with Zhang Ye eating calligraphy skill Experience Books, his writing was quite nice. In two or three minutes, lines of poetry appeared on the piece of paper.
He finished writing.
Zhang Ye handed the script to her, “Look for words you don’t know. I’ll tell you how to read them. As to where to pause, I’ll recite it to you once.”
Cao Mengmeng nodded seriously, “Alright!”
Five minutes later.
Zhang Ye returned to the auditorium and sat at his seat.
Cao Mengmeng did not return and directly went backstage to wait for her turn. At this moment, the little girl’s face was full of joy and excitement. She did not know how good the poem was, as she could not appraise it with her literary and artistic standard as a junior high school student. However, Cao Mengmeng was filled with confidence. Why? There was no why, just because it was a poem written by her bro! It was created today on the spot! As for how awesome Zhang Ye’s poems were, Cao Mengmeng already knew from the internet. There were countless people who followed his tailwinds and there were even thousands of worshippers. She knew that even the worst modern poem her cousin wrote would receive 40,000-50,000 hits. Zhang Ye’s worst work was already much better than the best works of typical poets or literary scholars!
Could this poem be bad?
Of course not!
Cao Mengmeng bounced around humming a melody. She was ready backstage. She did not know the meaning of the poem, but all she needed to do was read it ad verbatim!
Inside the auditorium.
In the audience seats.
Zhang Ye returned and did not cause a commotion.
Only Teacher Leng looked over, “Where’s Mengmeng?”
“She’s backstage.” Zhang Ye said.
The newspaper editor said at a loss, “Is she preparing to recite ‘Flying bird and fish’? Hur Hur, that little girl sure is stubborn. Not bad.”
Zhang Ye gave a vague smile, “I don’t know either.”
Teacher Leng smacked her lips, “That Mengmeng sure is… She never listens.”
Onstage, the ongoing poetry program had also ended. The performances were clustered together.
The female host came on stage again as she smiled, “Next up, a poetry reciter. The performer is Cao Mengmeng. Everyone, please welcome her.”
There was sparse applause and not very warm. There was no other way since with seven or eight poetry recital lined back to back, and with popular and classic poems that everyone had heard countless numbers of times, no matter how good the poem was, it was quite sickening. Hence, the enthusiasm from the teachers, parents, and students present were beginning to fade. Upon hearing the next program was a poetry recital, everyone was not that interested. Many people were even yawning.
“This program’s arrangement is problematic.”
Many people began to whisper.
Only Teacher Leng and her class raised their spirits as they were concerned about the recital.
“Ah, Mengmeng is up!”
“She really went up?”
“Why didn’t she cancel her section?”
“Mengmeng sure is too much. She is too stubborn.”
“Are we listening to ‘Flying bird and fish’ again? Give me a break!”
Mengmeng’s classmates were all at a loss about whether to laugh or cry. They were worried for Mengmeng.
However, Lili was grinning as she said, “When everyone listens to it, let’s see whether Mengmeng’s or my recital of ‘Flying bird and fish’ is better.” With her reading first, she had all the advantage. Even if Mengmeng recited it very well, it was impossible for her to compete with her. She might even be criticized. After all, she had followed in Lili’s wake, so Lili was wishing Cao Mengmeng would make a fool of herself on stage. She finally had a chance to see Cao Mengmeng shame herself!
The female host retreated.
Cao Mengmeng appeared from the side of the stage. With small steps, she walked up to the podium. As the previous person who did the poetry recital was a taller boy in high school, the microphone was adjusted a bit high. Cao Mengmeng had to struggle with her toes tipped to reach the microphone. She then adjusted it down.
“Aiyah!” With her feet stumbling, she nearly fell.
The female host rushed over to help with a smile when she saw this.
Mengmeng’s actions were quite cute, amusing several parents in the audience.
“That young lady is so cute.”
“Hur Hur Hur Hur Hur.”
There was laughter, and most of it was kindly.
Zhang Ye also smiled as he looked forward to see his third younger cousin on stage.
Lili and the other classmates stared at the podium. Teacher Leng was looking at Cao Mengmeng with worry. Mengmeng and Lili were both from her class. If their poems clashed, as head teacher, it would reflect badly on her. The school’s leadership would blame for failing to coordinating it properly.
The newspaper middle-aged parent exclaimed and said to Zhang Ye, “Your sister was just now very worried. Why does she look so confident now?”
Teacher Leng took a look and noticed too, “Did she find a new poem to recite?”
Another female parent said, “But all the famous love poems have already been recited today. What other work could she recite?”
The microphone was readied as Cao Mengmeng stood there silently. She suddenly closed her eyes. This was a reciting technique taught to her by Zhang Ye. If one could not use one’s emotion to read the poem, then one should put one’s actions into the recital. This would at least make people feel like you were bringing your emotions out into it. It was considered a trick.
Cao Mengmeng did not say a word.
“Ai, what’s going on?”
“Why isn’t she reciting?”
“Did she forget her lines?”
The students and parents looked at each other in wonder.
The principal of 15th Junior High also frowned. The female host was even more vexed. Just as she was about to remind Cao Mengmeng, and just as Teacher Leng and her classmates were having their hearts in their mouth…
Cao Mengmeng slowly opened her eyes.
“If I love you—I’ll never be a clinging campsis flower.
Resplendent in borrowed glory on your high boughs;
If I love you—I’ll never mimic the silly infatuated bird.
Repeating the same monotonous song for green shade;
Or be like a spring. Offering cool comfort all year long;
Or a lofty peak.
Enhancing your stature, your eminence.
Even the sunlight, even spring rain, none of these suffice!
I must be a kapok, the image of a tree standing together with you.
Our roots closely intertwined beneath the earth, our leaves touching in the clouds.
With every whiff of wind, we greet each other, but no one can understand our words. Y
ou have your bronze limbs and iron trunk, like knives, swords and halberds;
I’ll have my crimson flowers, like signs, heavy and deep, like heroic torches.”
Upon her reciting to here!
The principal was stunned! He nearly shouted ‘f**k’!
Teacher Leng and the middle-aged newspaper editor were also dumbfounded!
Then, more and more parents and 15th Junior High’s teachers began to stare stunned with their mouths agape. It was as if they had seen a ghost!
Cao Mengmeng recited,
“Together we’ll share, the cold tidal waves, storms, and thunderbolts.”
“Together we’ll share the light mist, the colored rainbows.”
“We shall always depend on each other.”
“Only this can be called great love, wherein lies the faith, true and deep!”
“I love not only your stateliness.”
“But also your firm stand.”
“The earth beneath you.”