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风雨中飘摇的大树(九)

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    生产队是个大家庭,实行工分制,满分十分。社员多劳多得,少劳少得,不劳不得。岗位配置,可谓汤水不漏,该有的领导全都有:队长、副队长、会计、出纳员、记工员、保管员,还有妇女队长、民兵排长、副排长、团支部书记、群众代表。入户八队后,父亲积极性高,被选为群众代表。春夏秋三季农忙,基本不见父亲在家,出工一天,就是十分,价值大约两毛多钱。每逢夏季,队里不定时分菜、分瓜,偶尔还会分二斤肉。到了年底,分红分粮食。有的家庭劳力少,工分就挣得少,一年下来不但没有收入,还可能倒欠。

话说一百圈,粮食还是不够吃。为了增加收入,我们家养一头大黑猪和一群鸡子,变钱贴补家用。平时,人们肚子都填不饱,家畜就更别提了,沾不上一粒粮食。玻璃山土地肥沃,野菜种类繁多:青母菜、婆婆丁、灰灰菜、马齿菜都是上等的野菜,猪最喜欢吃。刺角芽和猪毛菜差了点。野菜旺盛的季节,母亲天天领着我去挖野菜。好的挑出来,剩下的喂猪。

 

  玻璃山地面宽广,农田离家远,偏远的离家十几里。父亲每天天不亮就起床,开水泡大饼子,随便吃一口,就赶忙下地去了。中午自带干粮不回家,一直等到天黑透才回来。每天快黑的时候,我就在大门口等。在我的内心深处,父亲娇我疼我,整天不见父亲,总是想哭。这天,听说父亲去菜园干活,我闹着也要去。我知道母亲不会答应,对母亲说:“我不是去玩。菜园里野菜多,我是想去挖野菜!”我拿出铲子和布袋,对父母保证“明天我能挖一袋马齿菜。父亲拗不过我,想了想,就带着我去上工了。

  顺着大路向北走,在屯子最北头,首先看见的是一排红砖平房,那里住着十来个下乡知青。路东是生产队大院,养了几十头牲口,还存放着无数的生产工具。去菜园的马车已经套好,大伙一起坐上车,“吁吁喔喔”走了一阵子,才到了八队菜园。


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菜园很大,郁郁葱葱,一眼望不到头,足有一千多亩。园子里种满了各种蔬菜,还有大片的西瓜、香瓜。向西望,朦朦胧胧,老树野草连着蓝天,“嘎嘎嘎”清脆的叫声时不时从远处传来

面前是一片西瓜地,藤蔓交错,杂草纵生。今年西瓜好收成,大的大,小的小,明的明,暗的暗,有的已经熟透,早就烂在了地里。这里离家远,生产队也顾不过来,劳力们碰巧就吃几个,剩余的只有烂在地里。

挨着瓜地种的是茄子,里边马齿菜青翠透红,像地毯一样。灰灰菜是家族式分布,找到一块就能割满一袋子。

菜园中间,盖了两间土坯房,住着一个看菜园的老汉,看上去不到六十岁,个子瘦高,身板笔直,脸庞黑里透红。尤其他那黑浓的眉毛,像是两只老蚕。耳朵上挂两根细绳,栓着一副断腿的老花镜。老人没戴,眼镜耷拉在肩头上。虽然有了岁数,从他那炯炯的眼神中可以看出,老人曾历经沧桑。

看见父亲领着我进屋,老人放下饭碗,和蔼地指着我问:“这是你儿子呀?”

  “嗯”父亲笑着应了一声,转头对我说:“叫张爷

  我有些腼腆,脸躲在父亲身后。老人咯咯地笑了起来,说:“来啊,孩子,茭瓜菜泡饽饽。”老人一边说着,一边斜过来拉我。我连声说:“我不饿,我不饿。

  父亲让我坐在炕边,对老人说:他不饿,等会队里就开饭了。”老人赶忙把手中的半个饼子塞给我,先吃点,孩子。”老人压低声音,看着父亲说“递给孩子!”老人很真诚。

  父亲不再推辞,接过饼子递给我:“你爷给你的。吃吧。

  我接过饽饽,手捧着吃起来,唯恐馍花掉了。饼子连皮带面,虽然粗糙干涩,感觉还是很香。

由于粮食奇缺,人们几乎没有吃饱过,谁能给一个窝窝头就算是十分亲近了。曾记得我四岁的时候,有一天,我饿得直哭,母亲背着我去找爷爷。因为爷爷是吃红本的铁路工人,相比我们好多了。跨进爷爷家的门坎,奶奶坐在炕上只顾忙活,带搭不理。我嚷着:“妈,我饿”母亲说:“家里断顿好几天了,大人能将就,可怜孩子。”爷爷背靠炕头,冷生生地说:“喝水有,吃馍没有!”。可想而知,灾荒年人人都饿,人间没有亲情。

 

  老人看着我啃饼子的样子,蚕眉抖了抖,问道:“几岁了,孩子?”

  “七岁。”我嗫嚅片刻,从嘴角挤出两个字。

  “叫啥名子。”

  “燕伟。”

  父亲侧身坐在炕沿上,插言道:“这孩子,也不会说句谢谢爷爷。”

  老人推开饭碗,说:“谢什么啊?”说着,站起身指着墙上的锯子,和我套近乎:“吃吧,一会儿爷爷给你做支手枪,标准的苏联造。”我一听手枪,来了兴趣,转过身来问老人:“真的呀?谢谢爷爷!”

老人笑起来,对我说:“那能有假?!你不知道,爷爷做的手枪,跟解放军的一模一样。

 

  生产队收茄子,妇女采摘,男劳力担运。五个年轻妇女都是劳动能手,她们头戴军帽,肩搭汗巾,胸挂徽章,蹲在地上,排成一排,有说有笑又有唱。

  父亲、曾建国、小四,三人负责担运,他们的衬衫早就被汗水洇透,紧紧地贴在了脊梁上。丰收的喜悦激荡着每一个社员的心,他们没有感到累。男女之间,一边干活,一边逗笑,那些妇女们时不时就站起来大骂几声。

两辆马车装满了茄子,负责往家运。快马加鞭,“啪”的一声,领头的枣红马飞奔起来,一路荡起黄色的尘埃。

 

我在地里挖野菜。晚上回家坐马车,不用自己扛,所以要多挖一些,也好减少母亲的负担。我生性逞强,明明自己做不了,也非要去试试。茄子地马齿菜成片,我喜出望外,如获至宝,蹲下排着戕。帆布袋子比我还高,我就把袋子放倒,坐在地上用脚使劲蹬,布袋蹬得实实的。

没多长时间,就把布袋塞得满满的。我暗自欣喜,得意地向父亲回报。

  父亲蹲下身子,看看鼓鼓的布袋,高兴地问道:“累不累?”

  “不累!”我的回答很干脆。

父亲笑笑:“塞实多装点。”父亲又往下摁了又摁。接着说“孩子真中用。在这玩吧,别远去。”父亲一边搽汗,一边对我说。

我摸摸父亲的肩头,衣服湿湿的,心疼地对父亲说:“爹,你歇歇吧!”

  父亲淡淡一笑:“爹不累!”

  我看着小山似的茄子堆,问父亲:队里为什么摘这么多茄子?

明天端午节,生产队给社员分菜啊。剩下的,队里还能卖钱,”父亲搽一下眼角的汗水,笑着说“明天让你妈给你熬茄子吃。”

 

快中午了,大伙来到老柳树下,凑在一起,有说有笑。小四最年轻,不过二十岁,笑起来眼睛就眯成了一条缝,是有名的调皮蛋。虽然年龄小,身体却壮得像一头牛,他有使不完的力气。此时,小四半躺在地上,翘着大腿,嘴里叼一根狗尾巴草,盯着花瑛嫂那鼓起的大肚子,朝曾建国使个眼色。花瑛嫂瞅见小四又在逗自己,脸不改色:“瞅啥呢,四蛋!

这小四最不喜欢叫他四蛋,有时反而特别喜欢,一听花瑛嫂接上了话茬,高兴起来:我没瞅什么啊。嫂子,实话实说,留印哥真能干!

  “死小子,看我不砸死你!”花瑛嫂顺手捡个大茄子朝小四砸去。小四一看,拔腿就跑。东打西应,正好砸在曾建国的脖子里。曾建国一边捂着脖子,一边叫嚷:“小四说你,你砸我干啥?!

  “你也不是好东西!”花瑛嫂笑得直不起腰。

  曾建国笑着对花瑛说:“你应该请假在家歇歇,养养身子。留印老弟也太不懂事了。

  我就说,你也不是好东西嘛。”花瑛嫂抄起扁担,朝他二人撵去。

大家伙哄堂大笑。

 

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  土坯房门口,伙夫挥舞着大勺子,声音拉得老长老长:“开饭了,每人一份炖羊肉,一个白面馒头——

听说生产队死了一只羊,今天中午给社员改善伙食,每个劳力一碗炖羊肉,一个馒头,不够吃还有蒸南瓜。

蒸笼里的白面馒头散发着甜香,鲜红的南瓜还冒着热气,让人看了直流口水。

  父亲盛满一饭盒,领一个馒头,一齐放在我面前的板凳上。肥嫩的炖羊肉,软香的的茄子块,上面漂一层金黄的油花。父亲把馒头递给我,让我先吃。这饭太好吃了,我从来都没有见过这么丰盛的饭菜

  父亲用树枝做了一双筷子,捧着蒸南瓜走了过来。只有一个馒头,父亲只有吃南瓜,我歪着头望着父亲那高大的身影,感觉自己是多么地幸福。

  看菜园的张爷爷一只手端着菜碗,一只手拿着一块鲜红的蒸南瓜,凑到我身边,说:“馒头你吃,你爹吃南瓜。”老头嘴里鼓鼓的,两腮像两个乒乓球,里外滚动着。

  “我爹没有吃馒头的。”我心里有些愧疚。

  “你爹不舍得。”老人笑着用手在我头上弹了一下,我羞得不知道怎么说,看了看父亲手中的南瓜。

  老人放下菜碗,捋捋胡子,似乎自言自语:“父母对孩子,无怨无悔;孩子对父母,一句话说不清。

  父亲低头看着我:“长大了,孝顺不孝顺由他去呗。”

  老人手指远处的一道沙岭,对我说:“吃完饭,我带你去那儿玩。”

  远远向北望去,那道沙岭气势恢宏,如同一条长龙,横贯东西,无边无沿。岭上树木茂盛,树干低矮,杂草纵生,朦朦胧胧与蓝天相连,或许那就是天边。成群的小鸟,空中翱翔,唧唧喳喳,偶尔又传来几声“呱呱”怪叫,不知道是什么鸟,也看不见它的身影。那里简直是鸟儿的天堂,热闹非凡。老人告诉我:那道岭是古代为了防止鲜卑人入侵而堆建起来的。

  我非常好奇。

  老人搽了搽嘴角,得意地说:“沙岭近处有个水塘,那里有无数的野鸭子。你在水边上转两圈,兴许还能捡到一窝野鸭子蛋哩。你知道一窝野鸭蛋有多少个?多的有五十个。去年我就捡到一窝,整整四十七个。

  “张叔的运气好啊。”父亲笑着说。

  “那可不。还没给你说呐,去年这个时侯,我在草丛碰到一窝野鸡蛋,鸡仔都快出壳了,我用布衫把它全兜了回来。现在都养大了,就是和咱们家鸡不一样,打鸣只会咯咯两声,也养不肥。

老人看看我,说:“不说了,爷爷给你摘个西瓜去。”老人非常喜欢我,撂下饭碗,径直走向西瓜地

我感觉老头人好,逐渐与他熟悉起来,跟在他后边。老人猫着腰,在一个西瓜上敲两下,就掰掉了瓜蒂,单手举起来,手掌一伸,“啪”,西瓜被劈成两半,递给我说:“用手挖着吃。”可把我乐坏了。

张爷爷今年五十九岁,原本有一个儿子叫爱国,十九岁参军。一九五八年,青海回臧暴乱。兰州军区根据毛主席指示,武力平叛。六月,张爱国执行任务,驾驶军车通过平安县群加小镇,遭遇藏民截击,汽车中弹爆炸,爱国当场牺牲,年仅20岁。噩耗传来,老两口痛不欲生。公社考虑到老人年近花甲,四年以来,逢年过节,民政所都要送来一斤白面。为了体现党的关怀,生产队特意安排老人看护菜园,轻轻松松,不用出力。

 

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  歇了一会儿,张爷爷砍下一根树杈,他说这叫探路杆。去草甸子,必须拿一根棍子探路,以免不小心被虫蛇咬到。张爷爷前面走,我跟在后面,高一脚低一脚走近水塘边。突然,“扑棱棱”飞起上百只野鸭,“嘎嘎叫着飞进草丛,霎时间,不见了踪影,四周又是一片寂静。

  水塘有三间房子那么大,岸边长满了一米多高的草葱,夹杂着野草,密密麻麻,简直无法下脚,张爷爷教我用探路杆把草拨开,小心翼翼慢慢走。刚到水边,千万只青蛙噗噗通通”一齐跳入水中。只有癞蛤蟆若无其事,懒洋洋像个绅士,迈着八字步朝水边爬去。或许它明白人们厌恶它的长相,不会与它去较劲吧。

  围着水塘转了两圈,没有找到野鸭蛋。突然,爷爷拉住我,轻声喊道:“慢着、慢着”。

  “哎呀!”我吓得要跳起来。草地上卧一只硕大的刺猬,一动不动。可能是刺猬受到了惊吓,全身蜷缩,棘刺竖立,像是一个带刺的皮球,看不见它的头和脚。爷爷崴了一根野麻杆,剥下皮做一根绳子,把刺猬拴了起来,说:“它不会咬人,你拎着,回家玩。”我怯怯地拎着刺猬,伸直胳膊,与它远远的,唯恐它猛然咬我一口。

  “回吧,爷爷给你做把抢去。”                 

 

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