About a mile from my house is several families of farmers. They plant vegetables for a living in addition, they plant fruit trees and one of them has a small fish pond.
One Saturday morning I paid a visit to my classmate Kow who lives in one of the farms. I arrived there at about 8.30 a.m. Ah, Kow was waiting for me. We exchanged greetings.
Ah, Kow was wrapping newly-formed starfruits on the trees. It was hard work under the hot sun as I discovered after half an hour of helping him, I asked why the fruits had to be wrapped. He answered if they were not wrapped then fruit-flies will destroy every single one of them.
After about an hour in the sun, I could not take it anymore. Even with a wide-brimmed hat covering my head, the heat was too much to bear. So I stopped to take a rest under a huge rambutan tree. I sweated profusely, Ah Kow continued for another hour before he too took a breather. He went into his house and brought some cold water which we drank gratefully.
We sat under the tree and relaxed for a while. Then Ah Kow invited me to have a look at the other parts of the farm.
His house was about 50 meters from where we sat. To reach it we had to walk across some vegetable plots. could see rows upon rows of vegetables growing neatly. There were many varieties of vegetables. I could recognize some choy sum, kai lan, and string beans. Some were newly planted while some looked as though they were ready for the market. There were also some empty plots.
We reached his house and I was introduced to his mother and little sister. They were very happy to see me and invited me to stay for lunch. I agreed. I asked Ah Kow where his father was. He said that his father was repairing his boat.
So we walked to the back of the house to see how his father was doing. His father was busy patching up a hole by the side of a very old boat. He smiled when Ah Kow introduced me to him.
We had a simple lunch of porridge, fish, and vegetables. After that I helped Ah Kow perform some of his chores, I never knew that there was so much to be done on a farm. There were chickens to be fed, branches to be trimmed, grass to be cut and a dozen other things to be attended to Time passed very quickly when one was busy. Soon it was evening and Ah Kow took me to fish in his fish pond.
We caught four or five little fish between us. Then night approached and I had to go home. So I thanked Ah Kow and his family and walked home. A day at the farm had been a wonderful one.
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- Essay on Looking After the House for A Day
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