Grandmother’s Coconut Tree
After Mother died, women flirted with Father, but he was faithful to Mother’s memory. He always told us: “Other women wouldn’t love you like their children.”
The summer when I was nine years old Grandmother, Mother's mom, decided to divide her lands among her kids. But Grandmother didn’t ask Father to join them.
After Grandmother divided the lands among my aunts and uncles, she called my oldest brother, Pi Sombat, to see her. I didn’t understand why she wanted to talk to my oldest brother instead of Father, so I ran to him: “I see Grandmother called Pi Sombat to her house. Can I go with him?”
“You may, but be polite to your grandmother.”
When I entered her house I saw Pi Sombat sitting quietly next to her. I sat next to him.
“Grandmother, did you go to the jungle today?” I asked.
She loved to go to the jungle to kill the wild animals and pick wild plants. She didn’t like to go to the temple to do good works like Father.
“Not today. Go play downstairs with your cousins.”
An hour later I saw Pi Sombat walk back to our house. He didn't smile at me. I stood to run to him, but he held up his hand and his face looked so serious, so hurt, that I stopped. I continued playing with my doll—an empty fish sauce bottle. In the evening Father called me home for dinner.
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