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Rice a short story by manuel arguilla

Earn Extra Money at Home! Sunday, April 3, 2011 Rice by Manuel E. Arguilla Slowly, Pablo unhitched the carabao from the empty sled.

Story of rice by manuel arguilla

He laid a horny palm on the back of the tired animal; the thick; coarse-haired skin was warm and dry like sun heated earth. The carabao by quietly, licking with its dark colored tongue and beads of moisture that hung on the stiff hairs around its nostrils. Dropping the yoke inside the sled, Pablo led the beast to a young tamarind tree almost as high as nipa hut beside it.

A bundle of fresh green zacate lay under the tree and the carabao began to feed upon it hungrily. Pablo watched the animal a moment, half listening to its snuffling as it buried its mouth in the sweet-smelling zacate.

A sudden weakness came upon him and black spots whirled before his eyes. He felt so hungry he could have gone down on his knees beside the carabao and chewed the grass. He bent low to pass under a length of hard bamboo used as a storm prop, muttering to himself how careless of his wife it was to leave the house with the door open. Toward the side where the prop slanted upward against the eaves, the hunt leaned sharply. The whole frail structure in fact looked as though it might collapse at any moments.

But this year it has weathered four heavy storms without any greater damage than the sharp inclined toward the west, and that has been taken care of by the prop. As he looked at the house, Pablo did not see how squalid it was.

He saw the snapping nipa walls, the shutterless windows, the rotting floor of the shaky batalan, the roofless shed over the low ladder,but there were familiar sights that had ceased to arouse his interest.

He wiped his muddy feet on the grass that grew knee deep in the yard. He could hear the sound of pounding in the neighboring hut and, going to the broken-down fence that separated the two houses, he called out weakly, "Osiang, do you where my wife and children have gone?

You are home already? Where are your companions? Did you see my husband? Did you not come together? Where is the shameless son-of-a-whore?

Osiang, do you know where Sebia and the children are? I am so hungry I cannot even drag my bones away from stove. What is he doing at the house of Elis, the shameless, good rice a short story by manuel arguilla nothing son-of-a-whore? Sebia told me you are to cook the rice as soon as you came home. She went with thechildren to the creek for snails. I told them to be careful and throw away whatever they gather if they see a watchman coming.

God save rice a short story by manuel arguilla souls! What kind of life is this when we cannot even get snails from the fields?

Pay a multa of five cavanes for a handful of snails! She had not once shown her face. Pablo could hear her busily pounding in a little stone mortar. He felt too tired and weak to raise his voice. He sat on the ladder and waited for his wife and children. He removed his rain-stained hat of buri palm leaf, placing it atop one of the upright pieces of bamboo supporting the steps of the ladder.

Before him, as far as his uncertain gaze could make out, stretched the rice fields of the Hacienda Consuelo. The afternoon sun brought out the gold in the green of the young rice plants. Harvest time was two months off and in the house of Pablo there was no rice to eat. That morning he and several other tenants had driven over with their sleds to the house of the Senora to borrow grain.

The sleds had been loaded with the cavanes of rice. Pablo remembered with what willingness he had heaved the sacks to his sled-five sacks-the rice grains bursting through the tiny holes of the juice covers. Although they used to find even this arrangement difficult and burdensome, they now insisted upon it eagerly.

What will be left to us? In the end every man had silently emptied his loaded sled and prepared to leave. The senora had come out, her cane beating a rapid tattoo on the polished floor of the porch; she was an old woman with a chin that quivered as she spoke to them, lifeless false teeth clenched tightly in her anger.

Then I hope you all starve you ungrateful beasts! The sacks of rice lay there in the yard in the sun, piled across each other. If you have no fire, come here under the window with some dry ice straw and I'll give you two of three coals from my stove.

I am boiling a pinchful of bran. It will do to check my hunger a bit while I wait for that shameless Andres. He came down with the sheaf of rice straw in his fist. Passing the tamarind tree, he pulled down a lomb covered with new leaves, light green and juicy. He filed his mouth with them and walked on to Osiang's hut, munching the sourish leaves. She came to the window talking loudly.

Her face, when she looked out, was a dark, earthy brown with high, sharp cheekbones and small pig-like eyes. She had a wide mouth and large teeth discolored from smoking tobacco.

Short, graying hair fell straight on either side of her face, escaping from the loose knot she had at the back of her head. A square necked white cotton dress exposed half of her flat, bony chest. Pablo looked up to her and wanted to tell her again that there was no rice, but he could not bring himself to do it.

Osiang went back to her pounding after all.

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He spat out the greenish liquid. It reminded him of crushed caterpillars. Smoke began to issue forth fro the twisted straw in his hand. He was preparing to climb over the intervening fence when he saw Andres coming down the path from the direction of Eli's house. The man appeared excited.

He gestured with his arm to Pablo to wait for him. Pablo drew back the leg he had over the fence. The smoking sheaf of straw in his hand, he went slowly to meet Andres. Osiang was still pounding in her little stone mortar. The sharp thudding of the stone pestle against the mortar seemed to Pablo unnaturally loud. Anders had stopped beneath the clump of bamboo some distance from his hut. He stood beside his carabao - a much younger man than Pablo - dark, broad, squat. He wrote a printed camisa de chino, threadbare at the neck and shoulders, the sleeves cut short above the elbows so that his arm hung out, thick-muscled awkward.

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There was in his small eyes a fierce, desperate look that Pablo found to meet. He glared at the older man. But Pablo was looking down at the smoking straw in his hand. He could feel the heat steadily increasing and he shifted his hold farther from the burning end. Andres turned to his carabao with a curse.

  1. The carabao by quietly, licking with its dark colored tongue and beads of moisture that hung on the stiff hairs around its nostrils. But first he drew a bucketful of water from the well, setting the bucket on a rock.
  2. The grating of the cartwheels on the pebbles of the road and the almost soundless shuffle of the weary bull but emphasized the stillness. Such a clumsy creature I am.
  3. After a while he put on his hat and hurriedly walked the short distance through the gorge up to the road where his cart stood. He worked at the Bureau for three years until the latter half of 1943.

Pablo took a step forward until he stood close to the younger man. That will be robbery. Who will feed them? Will you go on robbing? The rice is ours. He threw it away. It fell in path, the fire dying out as the straw scattered and burning coals rolled in all directions.

He had seen his wife and three children approaching the hut from the fields.

They were accompanied by a man. He hurried to meet them.

  • He brought up his knees and, dropping his face between them, wept like a child;
  • That will be robbery.

A moment later the loud voice of Osiang burst out of the hut of Andres, but Pablo had no ear for other things just then. The man with his wife was the field watchman. Her skirt clung to her thin legs dripping water and slow trickle of mud. He turned and strode away.

Pablo watched the broad, khaki covered back of the watchman. He looked at his wife, weeping noisily, and the children streak with dark-blue mud, the two older boys thin like sticks, and the youngest a girl of six.

Rice by Manuel Arguilla Essay

Five cavanes of rice for a handful of snails! How much is five cavanes to five hungry people? The two boys looked up at him mutely.