the essay of a small pond

The Essay of A Small Pond

Walking more than 120 steps from the hill to the west, I could hear the sound of running water coming through the bamboo grove. It was like the sound of jade pendants hitting each other. Thus, I felt very pleased. Then I cut down bamboo to open up a path. I looked down and saw a small pond. The water was exceptionally clear and cool. The pond had a solid rock bottom, and near the shore parts of the rock bottom rolled up out of the water, like an island in the water, and there were jagged stones and little rocks. Green trees and green vines, covering, winding, shaking, linking, uneven, blowing with the wind.
There were about a hundred fish in the pond, all of which seemed to be swimming in the air, with nothing to rely on. The sun shone down on the bottom and the fish cast their shadows on the rocks. Sometimes the fish were motionless, other times they suddenly swam away into the distance, coming and going, light and nimble, as if playing with people.
To the southwest of the small stone pond, there was a river. The river twisted and turned like the big dipper or a crawling snake, looking past a section of visible, a section of invisible. Its banks were as jagged as a dog's teeth, and I could not tell where the stream came from.

I sat by the pond, all silent and empty, surrounded by bamboo and trees. The scene made me feel sad, cold, quiet and profound, filled with the atmosphere of sadness. Because the environment here is too bleak, I could not stay for a long time, so I wrote down the scene here and left.

Wu Wulin, Kong Ku, and my cousin Tsongxuan went to visit with me. The trip also included two young men surnamed Cui: one named Shuji, the other named Feng yi.

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