“Grandpa, come quick!” I yelled. “There is a pig in the bedroom.”
“Linkee, how could a pig be in the bedroom? I think you made a mistake,” he said.
“There IS a pig. I can hear it,” I said. “They sound just like that when I go down to the pigpen to tease them.”
“Linkee,” he said sternly. “You know you are not supposed to be out wandering around without a grownup. It’s too dangerous for you. And you especially have been warned to stay away from those pigs.”
Oops, I hadn’t meant to tell Grandpa about that. I know I’m not supposed to tease the pigs, but they are so funny when they see me jumping around on their fence. When I throw things in the pen, they run and make funny snorty noises — just like the one in the bedroom was making right then.
“Just come and see,” I said desperately. “That pig will make a big mess in the bedroom.” It’s true! Their pen stinks and is always nasty.
Grandpa got up from the table where he was studying and came with me to the bedroom. I jumped on his shoulder so the pig wouldn’t get me when he opened the door.
“Be careful,” I said. “He may run out and knock you over. One almost knocked me off the fence one time.”
“Linkee,” Grandpa said in his warning voice. He was going to talk to me about being naughty — but I wanted to find out about the pig.
I hung on tight around Grandpa’s neck. He opened the door — and we didn’t see a pig. We saw Grandma! She sounded just like a pig! She was saying “nnnggaaaa,” “nngggguhhh,” “nnnuugggnnn”
I almost fell off Grandpa’s shoulder, I was so surprised. “Grandma,” I cried. “Why are you making pig noises?”
Grandma laughed. “I’m not trying to make pig noises, Linkee,” she said. “I’m trying to make Thai sounds. They have sounds that we don’t have in English. This is one of them.”
What a surprise! “Do the Thai people talk like pigs? I haven’t heard the children talk like that.”
“I don’t think I’m saying it quite right,” she said. “This word is the name of a fruit. It’s called “nga.” We are supposed to say it through our noses. That’s what makes it sound piggy.”
I couldn’t imagine what kind of fruit would have a name like that, but it was time to go to Thanksgiving at Na Hui. The children were glad to see me.
Grandma stuck me in her purse while she took pictures of the kids. She didn’t see Gracie come over and pick me out of the purse. Gracie gave me a big hug. She likes me a lot! I liked the hug, but I was worried I would be left behind, because Gracie was staying home that day. The other kids saw, though, and pointed me out to Grandma.
“Linkee has to come with me today,” she told Gracie. “Put him in my bag, please.” Gracie is little, but I think she understands some English. She put me back in the purse.
We got to ride in Grandpa’s new pickup. I wanted to ride in the back with the kids, but Grandma thought I would be safer up front.
We didn’t have to travel very far to this Thanksgiving. We heard lots and lots of singing, like always. Then Grandpa preached and Brother Anond translated what he said into Lahu and into Thai. HE didn’t sound like a pig.
Then it was lunch time. There was lots and lots of food. And there was a big plate of nga. This is what it looked like.
They looked like strawberries with green hair. Grandma gave me one, but I couldn’t figure out how to eat it.
“I will help you,” she said. She cut it open, and out popped the juicy, white insides. It tasted sweet and yummy.
“I think it should have a nicer-sounding name,” I said. “Not like an angry pig.”
“That reminds me, Linkee,” Grandpa said. “We need to talk about someone disobeying and teasing the pigs.”
Oops! I did it again. I accidentally told about being naughty. Why do I do that? Grandpa might have forgotten about it. But I had reminded him, so I had to stay in the room that night. I couldn’t go out to play with the children.
“We want you to remember to do right,” Grandpa said. “We don’t want you to get hurt. You might not always understand why we tell you that you may not do some things, but we always have a good reason. You must trust us and obey.”
I decided I might as well obey. It seems like Grandpa and Grandma always find out when I’ve been naughty, even when they don’t see me. I wonder why that happens? Grandma brought home some nga. Maybe she will let me have some for a snack when she comes back from playing with the kids.
I think I sound funny, too. Can you say “nga?” If you say “song” and leave off the “so” you will have the “ng” sound. Nga really do taste yummy!
Have you ever done something in secret, like Linkee did, and then someone finds out? I think God lets mothers and fathers — and grandmas and grandpas — find out secret things, because He wants to help us raise our children right. We want to keep you safe and happy!
Sometimes God will tell you things in His word that are hard to understand. Sometimes it will be difficult to obey. Remember that God always sees you. He only forbids the things that are bad and will hurt you. He disciplines you because He loves you.
I love you, too — lots and lots!