The Lotus Seed

One World English Course 3 (Heisei 17) pg. 40-43

The emperor was crying alone. He lost his throne that day. My grandmother wanted something to remember him by, so she took a lotus seed from his garden.
She put the seed in a special place in her house. When she felt sad or lonely, she always took it out and thought of the young emperor.
After she grew up and got married, she still kept the seed for good luck, long life, and many children.

When her husband went off to war, she raised her children alone.
One day bombs fell all around and soldiers came. She went and got the seed before anything else.
Her family got on a crowded boat and set out on a stormy sea. My grandmother held the seed in her hand and cried as she said goodbye to her country.
She came to a strange new country. It was a land of lights, cars, tall buildings, and strange language.

She worked day and night for many years. Her children and her sisters and cousins worked hard, too. They lived together in one big house.
Last summer my little brother found the special seed. He asked many questions because he didn't know anything about lotus flowers or the emperor and his throne.
One night he stole the seed and planted it in some mud near his grandmother's vegetable garden. He wanted to see lotus flowers.
My grandmother cried and cried when she found out the seed was gone. She couldn't eat. She couldn't sleep. My brother planted the seed somewhere and forgot where.

Then one day in spring my grandmother cried out. We all ran to the garden and saw a beautiful lotus flower.
"It has always been the flower of life and hope," she told us. "Even if the mud is very dirty and even if the seed is left for a long time, the flower will be beautiful. It is the flower of my country."
When the flower turned into a pod, she gave each of her grandchildren a seed to remember her by. She kept one for herself to remember the emperor by.
I have put my seed in a secret place. Someday I will plant it and give the seeds to my own children. I will tell them about my grandmother and about Vietnam.

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