It was Wang Lung’s marriage day. At first, opening his eyes in the blackness of the curtains about his bed, he could not think why the dawn seemed different from any other. The house was still except for the faint gasping cough of his father, whose room was opposite to his own across the middle room. Every morning the old man’s cough was the first sound to be heard. Wang Lung usually lay listening to it and moved only when he heard the door of his father’s room squeak.

 But this morning he did not wait. He sprang up and pushed aside the curtain of his bed. It was dark, ruddy dawn, and through a small square hole of the window where the tattered paper fluttered, a glimpse of bronze sky shone. He went to the hole and tore the paper down.

’’It is spring and I do not need this,’’ he muttered.

He was ashamed to say aloud that he wished the house to look neat on this day. The hole was large enough to admit his hand and he thrust it out to feel the air. A small soft wind blew gently from the coast, a wind mild and murmurous and full of rain. It was a good omen. The fields needed rain for fruition. There would be no rain this day, but within a few days, if this wind continued, the weather could not fill in the ear. Now it was as if Heaven had chosen this day to wish him well. Earth would bear fruit.

He hurried out into the middle room, drawing on his blue outer trousers as he went, and knotting about the fullness at his waist the girdle of blue cotton cloth. He left his upper body bare until he had heated water to bathe himself.

Taken from The Good Land, written by Pearl Buck

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  • Wang Lung`s Marriage 1
  • Wang Lung`s Marriage 2