Monday, May 18, 2009 3:56:26 PM
Chuột (means Mouse) is the nick name of a little boy living in a sampan on Huong river. He’s Na - my friend’s nephew. I was first impressed by his bright eyes and unaffected smile.
When I fist saw him, he was wearing only an over-size pair of shorts and grabbing the waistband to protect it from slipping. He then found a string to tie the waistband and naturally walked back and forth in the narrow sampan.
“How come your shorts are so big?” I asked him, giggling.
“Well, all of my clothes are wet now so I have to borrow my dad’s...” Chuột explained and smiled while the rest of us were laughing to tears.
I get used to seeing sampan boys and girls with sun-burn hair and dark skin but Chuột is unique to my eyes. There’s something in him making my heart lighted with joy. This nine-year-old guy smiles shyly whenever I beam at him, which really confuses me. Maybe I’m still a stranger to him.
It’s sad to find out that such a smart-looking boy like him surprisingly illiterate. Born into a poor sampan family, his other three siblings and himself do not have a chance to go to school except his youngest brother - Nhỏ. My heart ached when I saw him looking curiously at the book that Nhỏ was reading. He listened to Nhỏ’s recite and smiled. I can’t interpret what that smile conveys but I believe that he longs to be able to read the book as Nhỏ does.
His mother told me that she intended to send Chuột and Lúi (Chuột’s another younger brother) to an evening class where they can learn to read and write. Fortunately, my close friend - Mười is teaching an evening class for poor and illiterate kids so I called her and asked for help. Of course, she’s willing to admit them. Hopefully, Chuột and Lúi will begin their first a, b, c soon!
listening to Nhỏ's recite
jumping into the cool water in a hot day
swimming with Nhỏ