2004 is when I, Mimi a 7 year old, ambitious girl who visited Mongolia for the first time in four years since I came to US. I was a girl that liked to help out, have fun and loved to get involved with anything. When we were in Mongolia, we split the time with my grandparents. Half the time in the traffic-jammed cluttered city with my mother’s parents and the other half in the grassy calm fields of the country side with my father’s parents. In the country side we stayed in my grandparent’s yurts, the warm little cozy homes that my father grew up in. These yurts were made up of wooden sticks to frame the structure and around it was a felt dwelling to keep it warm inside. At the top was a little window, so the stove’s chimney could let its smoke out. My grandparents lived on top of a big hill covered in grass. Down the hill was where all the animals (horses, bulls, goats, ox’s etc.) were free like the wind in a cold breezy fall, running around in the lush, olive green grass and drinking and resting by the calming navy blue lakes. You are never to go down there and bug them. My grandparents owned animals in the countryside. They owned goats and sheep, which would make the never ending “bahh” sounds. I liked it when I got to help out with milking the sheep and goats. My cousin Zolboo and my sister Sisi and I would always have a race to see who could fill their bucket the fullest at the end of milking. I had trouble with the goats that liked to kick whenever you got close to them; they tended to kick my bucket over, spilling all my hard work. My grandparents owned some horses too. The elders milked the horses, but the kids weren’t allowed because if we got kicked that would be very dangerous. I enjoyed watching the horses running and galloping around in all the free space the countryside has to offer, with their mains and tails against the wind. They looked so free like the wind. Furthermore, occasionally there would be stray dogs that come near our yurts wanting some food. Whenever I would see the dogs with their fur into clumps, their legs so weak from wandering around and their eyes that gaze into yours pleading you, to give them food always made me sad; wanting to give them food. One time I tried to give them food and my grandfather told me.
“Mimi, do not ever give those stray dogs food alright?” In curiosity asked him why I couldn’t give them food. I thought I was being nice and he answered me “Well that is very nice of you but if you give the stray dogs food they will keep coming back for more food and maybe even bring friends” After I heard him say that I understood why we never fed the dogs that come around time to time wondering if we will give them some food.
The country side was one of my favorite places to be. When I used to live in Mongolia I spent all the school time in the city and during summer break we would spend it all in the country side. You had no neighbors that live 5 feet away from yours and you have so much free space to do anything. As a family we often go on long wilderness walks after dinner. Sisi, Zolboo and I would be outside for the whole day, playing tag, having contests, and making fun relay races and just being kids. Zolboo our cousin was 12, the oldest out of the kids and then Sisi was second oldest being 10 years old. I as the youngest wanted to do whatever the older kids wanted to do. If the Sisi and Zolboo got asked to go down to the lake and get some drinking water, I would always want to come along.
One day my grandparents asked Zolboo to go herd the horses from down the hill. My sister and I heard the task Zolboo was going to do, and decided we wanted to come along. We didn’t tell the elders that we were going if Zolboo because we knew they would not let us come along with him. So we decided to go with him, to herd the horses without our parents’ permission. Down the hill we went…
When we got down there, there was mud everywhere! My sisters and I’s bright pink flip-flops slowly turned to brown. All of the buffalos were around us so calm and laying by the lake. For never being down the hill we made it a big deal and started to play tag and run around like crazy children. Zolboo the one in “charge” tries to get his job quickly by trying to herd the horses as fast as he could. When all the horses started run up the hill it startled the buffalos and all of them got up and started to trot away. The buffalos trying to get out of the way of the horses lead them to trot over where my sister and I were. Sisi and I still dancing around didn’t notice the buffalos running towards us at first, but when we realized the big furry animals running toward us, we flipped out. Screaming out of our lungs, we booked out little bodies back up the hill. Zolboo was already up the hill with the horses, in surprise when we got up there our parents and grandparents are laughing their heads off.
“Do you understand why we wouldn’t have let you go down the hill now?” They exclaim, still laughing.