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Hoe, sickle, and spade? Perfectly polished

Don’t miss Mo Yan’s engaging prose. His fiction presents the rural world in all its spontaneity and bare truth


He was one of the best in the village during the harvest; he did everything right, drive a cart, move weights on a balancing pole, hoeing, mowing. His work was far superior than anybody else’s.


If you do something, do it well, stay focuses and do not think of anything else, this was grandpa’s criterion. His tools were impeccably maintained. Hoe, sickle and spade perfectly polished and without any slightest mark of rust. He did not use to smoke, and when he was tired and took a break, used to squat and polish his tools with a piece of tile, or a fistful of dry grass...

Mo Yan

Excerpt from Mo Yan, Lao qiang, Ku he, Bai gou, qiuqianjia, Baozha, Qi ying, Da feng, Zuiguo, Minjian yinyue, Yang mao zhuanyehu

by T N
07 february 2011, Food Notes > Food Tourism