Think of father

      It is the end of March and the sound of the cicada, birds and falling leaves fill the jungle. With hoe in hand, with hoe, crossbow and darts in hand, Hlor Pha takes his twelve-year-old son Hlor Phee from Lor Khueng to the forest to shoot squirrels. Hlor Pha teaches his son how to use the crossbow – it requires patience and care. “Do shoot too quickly because you will miss”, he said, and you might hit an innocent person or pet in your carelessness.
 
      Suddenly, they heard a shot from the mountain; it was the sound of bamboo trees on fire. Hlor Phee thought that if a wildfire had broken out in the forest again, escaping squirrels and rabbits would be easy to shoot.  They arrive their farm that prepare for plants rice and corn. They arrive at the bamboo hut and suddenly they heard monkey yawp and stampede, thence they separate to survey.  

       Hlor Phee sees a monkey and shoots it with his crossbow. He carries it back to the farm.  Hlor Phee continues working on the farm but he grows hungry , His stomach rumbles constantly and he starts to work slower.

      He hears the voice of his wife Hmee Pha – signal that food is ready. She has made a romaine salad with tomato paste with rice packs in banana leaves. Hlor Pha makes a cigarettes from newspaper while his son Hlor Phee whittles a dart. Hmee Pha relaxes while chewing on a betel nut with lime. Hmee Pha is working more than usual today because tomorrow is a day off. Hlor Phee too is working harder so that he can spend time with his girl friend.

       The rest is brief and soon, the three commence work again as today is the last day for the family to clean and clear the farm before planting with the rest of the village tomorrow. Hlor Pha teaches his son about the importance of tomorrow’s ceremony as it rids the Akha people of sin who were punished through the deaths of their animals.

       The Akha people believe that before their have this ceremony, the life originate in this worl such as earthworms and the insects.  
The sun sets as the family return home. Hlor Pha has a banana tree for his pigs while Hmee Pha carries a basket of food for her husband and son.  Hlor Phee holds the monkey he has captured.

      Unfortunately, Hlor Pha collapses suddenly and trembles uncontrollably. The family sees the village fortune teller, offering a pig and chicken as sacrifices to the gods. Hlor Pha does not survive his sickness. Hlor Phee and Hmee Pha bury him before starting planting once again – they have little choice. As they farm, they imagine that ÃË ´¿éÓ¾ has come to help them. Hlor Phee remembers everything that he had learnt from his father, whom he misses every day, dearly.


Por. Ayi