"What do you think, is it a rape or not?"


No reply, everyone in the class was apprehensive, perhaps too exhausted to provide

an answer. Perhaps, we were shy, embarrassed by the question. No, I do not think that we 

were bashful, perhaps we were just plain lethargic and lazy to say anything.


"Alright, I shall read for you this passage and you'll tell me your opinion."


And so it goes, with the clarity and distinctive voice that Dr Holden was equipped with 

in his reading aloud to the class.


Grandma rode the donkey down this path, leisurely and carefree, while, from deep amid

the sorghum the stalwart young man raised his voice in a serenade that skimmed the top 

of the field.  She was drawn to the serenade, her feet barely touching the tips of the 

sorghum plants, as though riding a green cloud....


The man placed Grandma on the ground, where she lay as limp as a ribbon of dough, 

her eyes narrowed like those of a lamb. He ripped away the black mask, revealing his face 

to her. It's him! A silent prayer to heaven. A powerful feeling of pure joy rocked her, filling 

her eyes with hot tears.


Yu Zhan'ao removed his rain cape and tramped out a clearing in the sorghum, then spread

his cape over the sorghum corpses.  He lifted Grandma onto the cape.  Her soul fluttered

as she gazed at his bare torso. A light mist rose from the tips of the sorghum, and all around

she could hear the sounds of growth.  No wind, no waving motion, just the white-hot rays

of moist sunlight crisscrossing through the open cracks between plants.  The passion in 

Grandma's heart, built up over sixteen years, suddenly erupted.  She squirmed and twisted 

on the cape. Yu Zhan'ao getting smaller and smaller, fell loudly to his knees at her side. 

She was trembling from head to toe; a redolent yellow ball of fire crackled and sizzled before

her eyes. Yu Zhan'ao roughly tore open her jacket exposing the small white mounds of chilled,

tense flesh to the sunlight. Answering his force, she cried out in a muted, hoarse voice, 

"My God . . . " and swooned! .


Grandma and Granddad exchanged their love surrounded by the vitality of the sorghum field:

two unbridled souls, refusing to knuckle under to worldly conventions, were fused together

more closely than their ecstatic bodies. They plowed the clouds and scattered rain in the

field, adding a patina of lustrous red to the rich and varied history of Northeast Gaomi 

Township. My father was conceived with the essence of heaven and earth, the 

crystallization of suffering and wild joy.