The Mulberry Woman
I grew up having purple nails and purple tongue in this season. It is spring, the season for mulberries. My grandfather used to say, I must be a silkworm in my past life. They eat the leaves, I eat the mulberries.
The woman was sitting a few feet away from the vegetable stand. She had a bucket of mulberries. 60 NT for a pound, she said. I bought a pound.
Then, I said, “My boy will like the dark ones, because they are sweeter.”
She began picking them one by one.
When I came back with my vegetables from the seller, she was still picking. If you know mulberries, you know a pound of them is quite a bit.
She put the bag on the scale, 57 NT. I said, “Don’t worry about it!” She looked up and smiled, “Oh no, I have to give you 60 NT worth.”
She handed me the bag with purple hands.
For 20 years, I already forgot that mulberries are a part of the spring. This woman called back my childhood memory and the memories of people who did not have much but were downright decent.