he case.
They should’ve bargained with him a little more so they had a silver bell left to buy some ducks!

However, she didn’t criticise her sister, and Mo Ling let her sit on the hand plough as she happily carted her to the area of the market where animals were sold.
Most of the animals sold there were livestock such as pigs and sheep.
Mo Yan heard other people negotiating prices, and found out a donkey cost a dozen silver taels, so it’d be equivalent to the price of a dozen hand ploughs!

“Ducklings! Sis, I found ducklings, come look!”

Mo Ling stopped, and Mo Yan hurriedly got off the hand plough, running towards the sound of small ducks quacking.
Inside a crate was a bunch of small, newly-hatched ducklings.
In another crate were many small, fluffy and adorable chicks.

“How much for a duckling?” Mo Yan asked.

“It’s 5 dollars per.” The man selling the ducklings had a hand stretched out, with all five of his fingers splayed outwards.

Mo Yan looked back to see her sister, not knowing if she had any money to spare to buy the ducklings.
Only to see Mo Ling smile as she grabbed a silver bell from her purse, sitting squarely on her palm.

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Sis really kept one of the silver bells! Mo Yan was so happy she was about to jump up in joy.

“Sis, how many ducklings can this buy?”

Mo Ling’s eyes whirled, “Well, the eleven silver bells we used to buy the hand plough earlier were worth roughly a silver tael…”

She was trying to test her younger sister.

A silver tael was a thousand dollars, so this silver bell was worth just under a hundred dollars.

Mo Yan raised the silver bell up to the person selling ducks and asked, “I’ll trade this for twenty ducklings.
What do you say?”

The duck seller was on the fence about making the deal, as he wasn’t sure whether the silver bell was authentic or not.
Mo Yan knew he wasn’t confident, but she remembered what the cashier at the plough shop said.

She gave the silver bell a gentle shake in front of the seller’s face as she said, “This was made by the Feng bank, and it was even part of my mum’s dowry! We’ve even used them at the plough shop, you can go check if you have to.”

The Feng bank was very prominent in the local area, and it was where people would go to buy accessories for a wedding.

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The duck seller took the silver bell with a smile, “It seems high-quality, and there’s a horse engraved on it too.
It happens that my son belongs under the horse zodiac sign, so I can sew this onto his hat.”

Sewing bells onto children’s hats would produce a jingling sound when they moved, which was said to be able to chase away spirits.

The man grabbed a few ratty straw cages and started putting the ducklings in them as Mo Yan kept reminding him to put females into the basket.
He counted twenty ducklings in the baskets, and gave the cages to them.
Mo Ling grabbed both the duck cages and Mo Yan and put them on the hand plough, then pushed them back home.

The ducks were tiny, so they couldn’t be placed into water.
They had to be cared for at home for a few days first.
So Mo Yan’s daily mission from then on was to take care of the ducklings; she forewent going to the school to do this.

The two acres of farmland the Mo family hand had been tilled, and the seeds had been sown.
However, there hadn’t been good rain recently, so they didn’t know if the harvest would turn out well or not.

There were some families in the village who hadn’t finished reaping their first harvest yet, such as Cao Zhang’s family.
Cao Zhang’s father was a doctor, and he had a clinic in Qianshui City, so he rarely worked in the fields.
While Cao Zhang’s mother had been pampered her whole life and wasn’t used to working in the fields.

The Cao family had a whopping thirty acres of good farmland, and was considered rich by the village’s standards.
Every harvest, they were always in need of more hands to work their fields, and this year was no different.

Post-edit note: Ok, so if the monetary system got a little confusing here’s a quick summary.
1000 dollars is equal to a silver tael, while 10 taels is equal to a silver tael.
Mo Zhenian (Mo Yan’s dad) sends home 2000 taels every year, which is equivalent to 20 silver taels, just enough to buy a single ox.
Also, a kilogram of silver is equal to 20 silver taels, in case anyone was confused about that.
So Mrs.
Liang’s dowry was roughly 5 silver taels, with the silver bells being worth just over a silver tael.

[1] I knew Cao Zhang would be relevant in the future!

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