Sung-Li and her
three daughters had looked forward to the Spring Festival for the last
“Mama, can we have
moon cakes?” Ming-Mei put her arms out to the side and danced around the
room. “I love moon cakes, Mama.”
“Mama, can we pick cherry blossoms and bring a bag home?”
“Mama, I want to
buy a cricket in a cage and a Chinese lantern.” Ming-Su grabbed her
sister's hands and danced with her. “We're going to the Spring Festival!”
when she looked at her three girls. “Ming-Mei, you can have all the moon
cakes you want. Ming-Li, you can pick two bags of cherry blossoms of you
want and Ming-Su, you can have a cricket in a golden cage. I will have the
Chinese lantern for myself. Now, let's go to the festival.”
Sung-Li took Ming
Mei's hand. Ming-Mei took Ming-Li's hand and Ming Li took Ming-Su's hand.
Together they walked to the park.
hung from every tree. Green, orange, purple and blue ones danced in the
wind, the candles inside flickering. The trees were full of pink blossoms
that filled the air with a sweet, flowery scent.
“I want to go and
look for a cricket,” Ming-Su said. She let go of Ming-Li's hand and ran
Come back.” Ming-Li shouted at her sister. Ming-Su didn't listen. “Mama!
Mama! Ming-Su ran off to look for a cricket in a cage. She is lost. What
should we do?”
“You two stay right here, near these lanterns. I will go and look for
Ming-Su. Mama left the two girls and went in search of her lost daughter.
“I wonder where she is.” Sung-Li. “I wonder if she is painting a scroll.”
Sung-Li looked for her near booth where children painted scrolls with
black ink. She was not there.
wonder if she went to find something to eat. Maybe I should buy the girls
some jiaozi, a steamed dumpling, or the sweet glutinous rice pudding
called nian gao. I should buy Ming-Mei a moon cake.” Sung-Li walked around
for a long time. Finally she saw Ming-Su standing in front of the cricket
Ming-Su saw her
mama. “Oh, Mama. Look at the crickets. This one sings and is in a
beautiful golden cage. Can I have it, Mama?”
her daughter. “Ming-Su, we have been worried about you. You ran off
without telling us where you were going.”
“I'm sorry, Mama.
I was just so excited to have a cricket.” Ming-Su pouted.
Ming-Su. You can have the cricket, but you must promise to stay by me and
your sisters the rest of the day.”
“I promise, Mama.”
Ming-Su carried the tiny cage.
A few minutes
later they arrived back at the lanterns. “Mama, Ming-Su, you're back. We
were worried.” Ming-Li hugged her sister.
“Look what Mama
bought me? It's a cricket. I will call him Chang.” Ming-Su held up the
“Girls, we are
going to go right now and buy Ming-Mei her moon pies.” Sung-Li led them
across the grass. “How many would you like, Ming-Mei?”
“I want five of
them, Mama.” Ming-Mei was so excited when Mama put five of them in her
small hand. “Mama, I want to give one to Ming-Li and one to Ming-Su and I
want you to have one. I'll have two for myself.” She passed them out to
“That was very
kind, Ming-Mei. Now, we will go and fill up bags of cherry blossoms of
Ming-Li.” Sung-Li led her girls to the trees. Thousands of pink blossoms
fell when the breeze blew. The girls ran around gathering handfuls.
pretty,” Ming-Li said. “I love them.”
They filled four
bags with blossoms.
“I've got my
cherry blossoms. Ming-Mei has her moon pies and Ming-Su has her cricket.
What about you, Mama?”
“I think I will
buy a red Chinese lantern. It will match our dresses.” Sung-Li picked out
the biggest lantern she could find. “It's time to go home now. Are you
None of them
really wanted to leave. “Can't we stay and watch the fireworks tonight,
Mama?” Ming-Mei pleaded.
course. Let's take our things home first and have some supper and then
we'll come back and watch the fireworks. Maybe there will be a dragon.”
Sung-Li smiled and took her girls home.
Later that night
they went back to the park. They sat on the grass and watched as a long
dragon came towards them, blowing fireworks from it's nose. Explosions,
booms, thunderous claps of smoke went on for hours. When it was finished,
Mama took them home. She tucked her girls into bed. “I hope you all had
fun today at the Spring Festival.”
“I did,” said
Ming-Mei. “I ate one of my moon pies tonight and I will eat the other
“I had fun, Mama.
I poured all my blossoms into a big bowl, so everyone can smell them any
time they want.” Ming-Li kissed her mama's cheek.
“I had fun too,
Mama and so did Chang. His cage is by the window so he can look outside.”
Ming-Su pointed to her new friend.
“Good night, my
sweet girls.” Sung-Li pulled the blankets up around them.
Mama.” Soon all of the girls lay quietly while thoughts of their fun time
at the Spring Festival rocked them to sleep.