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Bound feet and protected study posts


On my way to work today, I saw an elderly woman with white hair, wearing a red volunteer vest, holding a "stop" sign in her hand, standing at the entrance of the school in the drizzle.

She stood in the middle of the traffic, seemingly wanting to signal the cars to slow down, but this road is always congested and walking is faster than driving, so there is no need to slow down.

Therefore, the "stop" sign in her hand is scientifically validated. The drivers drive slowly, and someone behind them honks impatiently because they are in a hurry to get to work. Students walk through the stagnant traffic and safely enter the school.

I thought about my own incompetence. I have only stood guard once, and the rest of the time I let the elderly at home do it. The teachers in the group said that this is a requirement from above. She notified us a week ago, and even the day before standing guard, she repeatedly emphasized in the group that parents who volunteer to stand guard should remember to check in.

Of course, I am willing to stand guard a million times. My child is studying at the school, and the relationship between the school and the parents is harmonious. I am willing to contribute my efforts wholeheartedly. However, it is difficult to find a job at the moment, and the boss will not forgive your lateness just because you are standing guard. So I had to let my elderly parents fulfill this duty on my behalf, which can be considered as fulfilling my filial piety from the side.

If someone else wants to stand guard for me, would I allow it? Wishful thinking!

Suddenly, I felt a bit confused. When did the practice of standing guard at the school entrance start?

I had a conversation with a parent.

He said it has been there for a long time.

I said, could it be that this parent-guard mechanism has been in place since the founding of the school?

He was very certain and nodded, saying that it might even be earlier.

My memory became chaotic. Did it exist when I was in primary school? I have no impression at all of my parents standing guard at the school. I guess it was probably introduced during a special period in a certain dynasty in history. With five thousand years of Chinese history, such policies or regulations that are sincerely supported by the people are as numerous as the hairs on an ox.

I have reached the age of confused memory. Internet memory has been erased, and individual memory has been overwritten by collective memory. I can no longer distinguish whether I am in the Qing Dynasty or the present.

I asked the villagers why the garbage dump was filled with white metal boxes and why a narrow iron fence was being built outside the school wall.

We don't have wolves in our village, so why build this?

A villager, smoking a cigarette, said, "It's for slaughtering pigs. As long as we drive the pigs into the iron fence, they will calm down. Those metal boxes are specifically used to administer pesticides and disinfect the pigs."

I nodded in agreement, as I do have some recollection of this. I marveled at how tame the pigs are now, knowing how to line up for their own slaughter. Unlike the pigs I saw when I was a child, they would go crazy when they heard someone was boiling water, jumping up and down uncontrollably.

I saw the old woman with wrinkled face trembling in the wind and rain, and I admired her. If a mentally confused person were to come now, the elderly would still have to summon the spirit of enduring hardships from their youth and let that person touch them, ending their honorable yet long life.

I couldn't help but think that this regulation is really good. It allows me to experience the glory of being a volunteer. I can work like a horse every day, and sometimes, to change my mood, I can stand guard at the school and watch the next generation of our country grow up, filling my heart with joy.

When I have white hair in the future, I will naturally have enough capital to boast. I will say to my grandchildren on my knee, "Grandpa used to stand guard at the school."

My grandson will surely widen his eyes and say in amazement, "Grandpa, you're amazing!"

I will wave my fan and say, "Your great-grandmother also stood guard at your school entrance without an umbrella in the rain. The school leaders were deeply moved and praised her on the spot, saying that whenever she wants to stand guard, she can come to the school entrance anytime, for as long as she wants."

My grandson's eyes will be full of stars. "So our family used to be so honorable."

I proudly say, "It is said that your great-grandmother's great-grandmother even bound her feet."

My grandson trembles all over. "Could it be the legendary three-inch golden lotus?"

I quickly cover his mouth with the fan. "Don't shout. Be careful, the walls have ears. Keep your wealth hidden, so as not to make others jealous."

Finally, after an hour, the traffic started moving. I looked at the old woman, who was drenched like a torn paper box, and felt a bit envious in my heart.

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