At the back of our house there was half a mu of vacant land. "It's a pity to let it go to waste like that," Mother said. "Since you all enjoy eating peanuts, let us open it up and make it a peanut garden.” At that my brother, sister and I were all delighted and so were the young housemaids. Some went to buy seeds, some dug the ground and others watered it and, in a couple of months, we had a harvest!
"Let us have a party tonight to celebrate," Mother suggested, "and ask Dad to come for a taste of our fresh peanuts. What do you say?" We all agreed, of course. Mother cooked the peanuts in different styles and told us to go to the thatched pavilion in the garden for the celebration.
The weather was not very good that night but, to our great delight, Dad came all the same. "Do you like peanuts?" Dad asked.
"Yes!" we all answered eagerly.
"But who ran tell me what the peanut is good for?"
"It is very delicious to eat," my sister took the lead.
"It is good for making cooking oil,” my brother followed.
"It is inexpensive." I said. "Almost everyone can afford it and everyone enjoys eating it. I think this is what it is good for."
"Peanut is good for many things," Dad said, "but there is one thing that is particularly good about it. Unlike apples, peaches or pomegranates that display their fruits up in the air, attracting you with their beautiful colours, peanut buries its fruit in the earth. It does not show itself until you dig it out when it is ripe and, unless you dip 4 out, you can't tell whether it bears fruit or not just by its frail sterns above ground."
"That's true," we all said and Mother nodded tier assent. "So you should try to be like the peanut,' Dad scent on, "because it is useful, though not great or attractive.”
"Do you mean,” I asked, "we should team to be useful but not seek to be great or attractive?" "Yes," Dad said. "'Ibis is what I wish you to be."
We stayed up late that night, eating all the peanuts Mother had cooked for us. But Father's words remained vivid in my memory till this day.