A 7-year-old child will never forget the five years of compassion she received from the owner of a noodle shop. She treated him like a parent when she returned after 25 years and protected him throughout his life.
Dong Nianhe, 65, operated a noodle shop for decades. He is not married and has no children. He did observe, however, that he has been receiving US $7,855.00 (50,000 yuan) per month from an unknown sender for the past five years. He has now amassed more than $100,000.00 since he preserved all of the money. His neighbors were jealous of him because of this anonymous gift, but no one knew who provided the money until one day a woman stepped forward.
Twenty-five years ago, Dong Nianhe owned a noodle shop. He noticed a young girl, perhaps 7 years old, starving in front of his restaurant every afternoon. She stared at the pot where he was cooking, and Dong Nianhe gave her a knowing look.
The little girl was spotted again one day when there were few customers in his store. He approached her with a bowl of noodles. He asked, “Hungry?” Come in and eat while it’s still hot.” “Don’t worry, I’m not a horrible guy,” he pointed out when the small girl hesitated at first. “I have no money,” she said, raising her hands in the air. Grandpa once told me that you can’t receive other people’s gifts if you don’t give anything back. If you accept it, you must swap it for something equally valuable.” As a result, she declined.
The girl, whose name he later learned was Yin Canlian, had nothing of value to trade for the noodles. Her clothes were covered in patches. Tossing the bowl of noodles on the ground, Dong Nianhe reminded her that it was a free meal. She didn’t have to pay for it. However, the tiny child refused to eat the free meal. She bolted. Interested in the little girl, Dong Nianhe searched for anyone who knew her. Her parents left for work five years ago and never returned. Having lived with her grandfather since then, she was completely reliant on him while living in a rundown house. After school, she would do field work and cook dinner. The dinner usually consists of white porridge.
Dong Nianhe’s heart was broken, so he devised a plan he knew the little girl would love. The next time he met up with Yin Canlian again, he offered a bowl of noodles if she taught him to write a word every morning. “May I write two?” she asked timidly, as she couldn’t believe he had come up with such a fantastic idea. She asked to trade for two bowls of noodle soup. Dong Nianhe saw she was about to give her grandfather the other bowl of noodles, so he pleasantly replied, “Of course you can.” When the customers noticed this, they mocked him, saying, “Boss Dong, let’s order 10 bowls of noodles, then we’ll show you how to write a hundred sentences.” Dong Nianhe chose to remain silent rather than retaliate.
Since then, Yin Canlian has come every day to teach Dong Nianhe new words for a bowl of noodles, and the trade has lasted for five years. After she graduated from primary school, Dong Nianhe noticed she stopped passing by his restaurant. She and her grandfather had disappeared. Yin Canlian’s distant relative had taken them in and brought them to the city.
The narrator says, ‘Fast forward.’ His modest noodle eatery has grown into a local specialty snack shack, and he has also grown old, reaching the age of 60.
His two marriages ended in divorce since he couldn’t bear children as a child, and Dong Nianhe never had children.
He had a difficult time growing up without a family. Since no letter or note was enclosed, he has been wondering who has been sending him US $7,855.00 (50,000 yuan) per month for the past five years. He has noticed that his neighbors are envious of his wealth, so they have recommended that he close his noodles store and retire.
Dong Nianhe never explained why he was still working at his noodle store to them. He was still looking across the street for the little girl he sees in the early afternoons.
In spite of the fact that the establishments in his noodle business have changed over the years, she may still be waiting in the same place.
“I’m waiting for someone,” he grumbled to himself. I’m afraid she won’t find her way here if the noodle shop closes.” Every afternoon, Dong Nianhe waited for the little girl with the red schoolbag who stood in front of his restaurant. Even though it’s been a long time, he still remembers her.
The noodle store was recently scheduled for demolition along with several other establishments in the neighborhood. While working, Dong Nianhe had become oblivious to his surroundings.
The customers would remind him, “The batter is batter, boss.” Immediately, he would scan the area across the street where the little girl stood. One day, he was astonished by what he saw. The dishes and chopsticks he carried fell to the ground. There she was! Even though she had grown up, he knew it was her because he recognized the little girl with the red purse.
“I’m back!” the woman exclaimed as she entered his noodle store, tears in her eyes.
Shining, Dong Nianhe ran over to her. In his heart, he has found his daughter again. Upon learning that she has visited his area every month since she began working, she discreetly watched his noodle store and sent him money every month when she received her salary. She happily returned his kindness with a bowl of noodles, which she had given him for the past five years. He assisted her in her most trying times when she was a tiny child.
Now that Dong Nianhe is an elderly man in need of care, Yin Canlian has a reason to return. “Dad!” she exclaimed. You were so kind to me for five years. You fed me when I was hungry. I will guard you until the end of time.”””