The big river in my hometown winds past the village from south to north. The river is very wide, and the narrowest part of the river is four to five hundred meters long. In childhood memory, it seems that it has no name, and people call it “river”. Later, I searched on the Internet and found out that it has its own name: Ouchihe.
In the sunny spring, all things revived, and the happy little swallows flew back from the south singing the story of spring ; swarms of butterflies and bees flew and played happily over the Ouchi River; the yellow willows stretched out their soft branches , Let the birds in the woods gather more and more; the Ouchi River also gradually rejoiced, the clear river water is rippling, the black tadpoles roaming freely in the water and grass, sometimes sticking out their heads and smiling in the sunshine and breeze; Schools of fish and shrimps swim from the Ouchi River to the creek along with the spring water, rushing into the farmland, bringing vitality to the northern Hunan land that has just awakened from hibernation.
On a humid day, the fog came up from the Ouchi River, enveloped the golden fields and distant villages with infinite tenderness, and made the village extraordinarily enchanting.
In the morning, the mothers unanimously walked out the door, holding a basin of clothes, talking and laughing all the way to the river, pouring all the clothes out of the basin, and sprinkling them on their feet. Scooping half a basin of water, clear and clear, people can’t help but stare at it for a while. Then, while pouring washing powder into the basin, stir by hand until most of the basin of white foam is produced, and then sort the clothes soaked in the basin to soak. The rhythmic sound of clubs tapping clothes, like ancient and primitive prompts, announces the beginning of a new day.
The river is full of unknown grasses. It is a natural pasture where we graze our cattle. Just find a stone or shrub to tie the cattle, and the cattle will slowly gnaw the tender grass under their feet with them as the center. With two low roars, we sat, hopped or jumped off the river to play, enjoying the cleansing of the river. Tired, lying on the soft green grass, watching the wild geese flying, or reveling in the chirping and singing and laughing of the little birds, until the mother yells out our breasts, we won’t end our friendship with the blue sky and white clouds.
In the summer under the scorching sun, the water level of the Ouchi River quickly rises, and the river water carries a large number of fish and shrimps rushing from the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. When the temperature rises at noon, we children with fishing tools jump into the cold river water to catch fish and shrimps. Without the effort of a meal, buckets of fish and shrimps are carried onto the river bank. Under my mother’s relieved gaze, I poured the fish and shrimps into the tub and filled them with water to let them spit out the dirt. Subsequently, these gains became the delicacies of our family’s table, and also became my rare pride when I was a child.
The fishermen drove the fishing boat over. On the bow, there are seven or eight black herons proudly “Golden Rooster Independent”. “The egret catches the fish!” A child raised his arms. Soon noisy children gathered on the embankment. “Look at the egret catching the fish! Watch the egret catching the fish!” The owner would then triumphantly agree. At the same time, he grabbed a heron, fed a few small fishes, and said, “Go!” Then, with a wave of his arm, the big bird leaped into the river with a “swish” and disappeared. At this time, the shipowner would take out the cigarette, take a sip, sit on the bench in the bow of the ship, raise Erlang’s legs, spray a long puff of smoke, and then stare at us, smiling slightly and saying, “Wait a while. Okay, there must be a big fish caught!” By coincidence, with the effort of a cigarette, the herons who got out of the water were all bulging, waiting for the owner to lift up the cabin and break their long beaks. The carp, crucian carp, and grass carp that jumped onto the deck of the “crack” were about half a catty.
The summer night is very sultry. After dinner, people brought bamboo mats or wooden benches from the top and bottom of the embankment uninvited. The embankment became a good place for farmers to gather and enjoy the cool. People sit or lie down and talk about rumors, stories, and talk. Someone took out the dusty erhu, played the flower drum tunes such as “bangs cut woods” and “mending pot”, or showed a pentatonic singing voice, sang “a big river with wide waves, and the wind blows the fragrance of rice and flowers on both sides of my house.” Just live on the shore, I’m used to listening to the chant of the man, and watching the white sails on the boat…” Those who like quiet lie on the mat, listen to the waves, let the river wind blow the Buddha, and let the song fly. Occasionally, a ship carrying lights floats from a distance, in the quiet Ouchi River, it looks particularly dazzling.
In winter, there is only a stream of water in the middle of the river. Looking into the distance along this stream, the river is clear and transparent, as if it is flowing intermittently, and the wind can’t help it. The riverbed is also exposed, with sparsely green winter and spring weeds growing on it.
In the cold winter, all the farming work of the farmhouse is finished, and the winter repairs will go! “Winter repair” is the common name of Dongting Lake area people for widening and heightening river embankments in winter. At that time, the young and strong laborers in the village had to go for winter repairs, and they did not build the embankment in the village. They had to bring their own bedding and grain to other villages for winter repairs. Counting nine cold winters, it’s cold! But the girl rolled her sleeves and her temples to dig mud in the river, and the young man picked on the embankment shirtless, everything tired and suffering, all in the bursts of laughter.
At that time, the children liked the smell and excitement of dinner after the winter repair army was over. Stew a large pot of pork and cabbage on the earthen stove of the borrower’s house, and put it in an enamel washbasin; then cook all kinds of fresh fish such as loach and rice eel caught from the river digging, and use the enamel washbasin to serve it. Then, a large bowl of rice was brought up, and a group of people sat or stood, eating around the meat and fish in the enamel washbasin. The children who were staying in the family also followed up with a rare tooth sacrifice. After two or three months of hard work, the flood control dikes on both sides of the Ouchi River were renovated, waiting for the river to irrigate this fertile land freely in the coming year.
Ouchi River waits for the arrival of spring in silence…