Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rice Instead of Milk

DiDi loved his Ai Yi very much. There was only one thing she could not provide him and that was her milk. So on the rare evenings that his mother went out for Mah Jong and did not nurse him to sleep, his beloved nanny would cook him his favorite dinner of chicken and rice.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rabbit Rabbit

When Shaio Li married Mr. Bai, her old Ni Ni confided to the bride what she believed to be the secret of a long and happy marriage. "Dear Grand-daughter, whenever there is a full moon, look at your husband and say Rabbit Rabbit. "

Monday, July 27, 2009

Flitting About

When Eldest Brother Chen's head became a resting spot for Exceeding Joy, Da Ge did not think this was a good development. "Wa Wa," he said to himself, "I think my little brother may be in trouble."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mrs. Chen Reconsiders

Before Uncle Tu embarked on his annual trip north, he made an appointment with Mrs. Chen to discuss arrangements for looking after his home during his absence. Over tea and dumplings he flitted about from topic to topic until alighting on the question of which of Mrs. Chen’s many sons he should select to care for his beloved bird. She whole-heartedly endorsed Lau San to make sure Exceeding Joy did not escape.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

An Open Door

When Uncle Tu made a short trip to the city to exchange money, he hired Mrs. Chen’s third son to watch and care for his beloved bird. He had only one instruction to the boy, “Make sure the door of Exceeding Joy’s cage is never opened.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Waiting Aunties

The three maternal aunties of Little Envelope were gathered at Elder Sister’s home to await the news. Any moment now, they would hear about the condition of fourth sister.

Little Envelope, the only girl to be born to the clan, enjoyed unrivaled freedom and access to the table of her ah yi’s. She loved these gatherings of gossip and speculation more than anything in the world. The family had been fortunate, for a long and prosperous run of boys had been born. So it was fitting when fourth Uncle sent her to advise the waiting aunties that a daughter had been born.

For Leigh, my own Little Envelope

Monday, July 13, 2009

In My Studio

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Jade was feeling tired. Her long hours in Mrs. Chen's kitchen washing dishes was making her nerves feel as brittle and hard as her own name.

The Huangs Prepare To Move

The Huang's of Wu Fung Road decided that it was time to move north with the new position provided by the Da Tai Sugar Cane Company. Mrs. Huang look forward to a washing machine and a modern ice box that her husband's job in sales would provide. As soon as the New Year's celebration was over they would pack up and go.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Three Is A Good Number

"I wonder how many children will make their way to me," Mariko wondered to herself. "Three would be nice."

~for Mariko Dose Brantingham