Chapter 4 – The Marvelous Use of the Gourd
Yang Feng recounted the whole incident truthfully.
“Old Yang, is there anything Yang Feng said that is inconsistent with the facts? Please add your own account,” the village head asked.
Uncle Yang hesitated to speak.
He had been bullying Yang Feng because of his young age and trying to occupy the land as an elder.
Don't underestimate these two acres of land.
Due to its flat terrain, it can yield three or four thousand yuan per year.
After farming it for so many years, Uncle Yang had long treated it as his own.
After listening, the village head knew that Yang Hao wanted to keep the land for himself.
He was notorious in the village for being greedy.
“Old Yang, just do as Yang Feng says.
Return the previous rental fees and give the land back,” said the village head.
With the village head's words, Yang Hao couldn't act like a rogue anymore.
He reluctantly handed over two years' worth of rental fees to Yang Feng.
As Yang Feng nonchalantly pocketed the money, Yang Hao's face was extremely unpleasant to look at.
After successfully resolving the land issue, Yang Feng felt relieved.
He returned home and collected his farming tools, including rakes, hoes, sickles, and others.
Spotting a slightly rusted hoe, he used it to clear the weeds at his front door.
Yang Feng worked continuously until noon, sweating profusely, with beads of sweat blurring his vision.
Feeling too hot to continue working, Yang Feng decided to take a break and wait until the afternoon when it would be cooler.
Having completed most of the work at the front door, he headed to the small shop to buy some instant noodles for lunch.
However, upon opening the pot, he discovered that it was heavily rusted, so he scrubbed it clean before cooking.
After finishing his meal, Yang Feng noticed that it was already almost 1 o'clock, and he began to feel drowsy.
Yang Feng brought the electric fan over and turned it on to blow cool air.
He then dozed off and slept until evening.
Yang Feng stretched lazily, feeling as though he couldn't take a nap in the afternoon, or he would struggle to wake up again.
He grabbed a cloth bag and a carrying pole and began to dispose of the weeds he had cleared earlier in the morning.
As Yang Feng finished disposing of the weeds, the sky turned dark.
He winced as he pinched his slightly swollen shoulder.
It seemed that he couldn't handle such sudden intense physical activity after not doing it for a long time.
After taking a shower, he applied some Liùshén huālùshuǐ lotion or Liu Shen Herbal lotion to fend off the mosquitoes, which were prolific in the summer.
Note: (Liùshén huālùshuǐ) is a popular brand of insect repellent in China.
The next morning, Yang Feng woke up early.
He overslept the previous day and couldn't withstand the sun for long.
He went to the hall of his house to get his toothpaste and toothbrush and spotted a gourd leaning beside them.
Without thinking too much, Yang Feng realized that he must have left it there in a hurry the day before and reached out to pick it up.
As he lifted the gourd, he said in surprise, “Huh, why is this gourd so heavy again?”
Yang Feng picked up the gourd and shook it, only to find that it was full of water again.
He was puzzled, as he had emptied it into the vegetable garden the day before.
He examined the gourd closely, but it appeared to be an ordinary gourd, and he couldn't find anything unusual about it.
Although he was perplexed, he decided to pour out the water outside and took the gourd to the vegetable garden.
However, as soon as he reached the edge of the garden, he widened his eyes in amazement.
The wild strawberries that had been drooping the day before had undergone a drastic transformation.
Even the small and crooked fruits had grown significantly larger, and many of them had turned a vibrant red color.
After picking a relatively large strawberry, Yang Feng wiped it with his hand and hesitated before taking a small bite.
The fruit was too sweet and juicy, and he couldn't resist eating several more.
Originally, he planned to clear this area of strawberries that day, but now he couldn't bear to.
As he looked at the area, he noticed that there were even more new fruit buds compared to the previous day.
Yang Feng poured the water from the gourd onto the strawberries and looked at it suspiciously.
Could it be the reason for the sudden growth? He needed to experiment further.
Without much thought, Yang Feng picked up his tools and began clearing the garden as he did the day before.
In no time, the garden was clean and tidy.
He decided to buy some vegetable seeds and pepper seedlings from the store so that it would be more convenient to eat in the future.
Yang Feng rode his bike to town, which was more than half an hour away, to buy the seeds.
He also brought back a pot so that he wouldn't have to eat instant noodles every day.
By the time he returned home, it was already evening, but he still planned to plant all the seeds he bought while it was still daylight.
As he walked towards the strawberry patch, he saw even more ripe strawberries than before.
“What kind of variety is this? It's growing too fast, isn't it?”
Yang Feng was excited as he had some guesses in his mind and was waiting for the follow-up experiment to confirm it.
He went home and picked all the ripe fruits with a small iron basin, realizing that if he waited until tomorrow, these good fruits would either be eaten by birds or given to some children in the village.
Despite the small patch, he managed to fill a whole basin and even ate a lot himself.
The next morning, Yang Feng went to check on the gourd as usual, and indeed, it was filled with water again.
He quickly ran to the door, realizing that if it was really as he suspected, he would become rich.
At the door, Yang Feng was so excited that he couldn't express it in words.
The strawberry patch in front of him was full of big, round, and good-looking fruits.
Like before, Yang Feng picked them all with a basin, at least seven or eight catties, plus the ones he picked yesterday, which were about ten to fifteen catties in total.
He planned to sell them in the town as the price of strawberries was still quite high this season.
Before leaving, he watered the newly planted chili and vegetables with the water from the gourd.
However, he didn't expect to have to pay for sanitation fees on the street, and the other vendors had already gone early, so he couldn't find a good spot.
But Yang Feng did not give up.
There was a watermelon stand by the roadside with a girl holding a parasol mainly to shade the watermelons because they wouldn't sell well if they got too hot.
He set up a stall about ten meters away from her, covered it with a piece of cloth, and put the strawberries on top.
They were all red and round, very pretty.
After about ten minutes, a middle-aged woman riding an electric bike stopped in front of him and asked, “How much are the strawberries?”
Upon seeing a potential customer, Yang Feng quickly said, “45 yuan per catty, it is pesticide-free.”
The middle-aged woman furrowed her brow, seemingly finding the price too high.
“You're selling these strawberries too expensively, they're only 35 yuan on the street,” she remarked.
“These strawberries are different from the others.
Look at how big and round they are, and they also come in different sizes and grades,” Yang Feng responded.
The middle-aged woman hesitated, only stopping to look at the strawberries because of their excellent appearance.
Otherwise, she would have left upon hearing the price.
“Why don't you try one first?” Yang Feng offered, handing her a strawberry.
Just then, two more people arrived, and Yang Feng handed them each a strawberry to try as well.
The group wiped the strawberries clean and thought to themselves that they might as well try them since they were already there, but they didn't necessarily have to buy anything.
After taking a bite, their eyes widened in surprise.
“Wow, this is a strawberry? It's so sweet and juicy!” they exclaimed.
The middle-aged woman reached for more, but Yang Feng stopped her.
“Hey, hey, one is enough.” After a moment of hesitation, the woman stomped her foot and said, “Give me a catty!”
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