- No! That's my airplane!
- But it’s my turn!
Peter and Marisa were fighting again.
Dad said, "Stop that, if you want dessert for supper."
Peter raced to Grandfather's room. Marisa ran after him with the plane.
"Gramps," Peter said, "Girls are awful. They don't play right."
Marisa said, "Don't believe him, Gramps. He always wants to be first."
Gramps said, "That reminds me of Chin and his sister. When I was an engineer in Taiwan, they had a quarrel.”
Peter and Marisa forgot their fight.
They always knew when Gramps had a story to tell.
Gramps said, "Just like you, Chin and his sister had a quarrel."
Peter said, "Gramps, you knew a person named Chin."
Gramps said, "Yes, that was his last name. We called him Chin. Chin and his sister were angry with one another. They belonged to an aboriginal people who migrated from New Guinea to Taiwan a long time ago.”
"Abbbor.., abbbor.. what’s abbbor . . .," Peter asked.
"Aboriginal. The first people who live in a place," Gramps said.
Peter opened the big atlas Gramps kept on his table.
Marisa said, "Let me see. Let me see, too."
Peter found the map of New Guinea. Then he found Taiwan.
"Where were you in Taiwan, Gramps," he asked?
"Right here in these mountains. I got sent up there to fix the water supply."
"And did Chin and his sister have a big fight, or did they just fight with words," Marisa asked?
Gramps said, "Oh, they were so angry, they weren't speaking to each other. And they belonged to the Saiset Tribe. Saisets like peace. So, the elders told them to take their rice bowls and go up to the mountain top."
Peter said, "They had to climb a mountain because they had a fight?"
Marisa said, "Sometimes Mom sends us to our room, but so far she hasn't made us climb a mountain."
Peter said, "And she doesn’t like us to take food to our room."
Marisa said, "What did they do on the mountain, Gramps, try to push one another over?"
Gramps said, "No, no. The Saisets really know how to make peace. They took their bowls of rice and they went up there to talk to God. They call God, the Grandfather of Heaven."
"And what did God tell them," Marisa said.
"According to their custom, they had to stand there silently. In their hearts, they told God all about their quarrel."
Peter said, "Oh, I know, that's like when Mom says, we have to have a time out."
Marisa said to Peter, "You always make a mad face. You don't talk to God."
Gramps went on, "After they told God all about their quarrel, they stayed there and listened to God. Then, together, they tossed their rice into the air. When the rice mixed, they were at peace, because they had talked to God and God had listened to them. They could come down from the mountain, and live in peace."
"Gramps," Marisa said. "If Peter and I toss rice in the air to make up, Mom won’t like it."
"I think you're right, Marisa. Rice is very precious to the Saisets. You would need to use something you really want."
"Marisa always wants what I have," Peter said.
"That's it," Marisa said.
"What's it," Peter asked?
"We can toss your plane into the air," Marisa said.
"Okay, I'll toss it and you wait for the landing, then you toss it back to me."
Gramps said, "You're forgetting the important part.”
Peter folded his hands and bowed his head. Marisa did the same. They talked to God.
Marisa and Peter thanked Gramps for the story.
Then the plane flew out of Gramps' room and into the living room.
It flew over Dad’s newspaper.
Marisa whispered, "Maybe we better fly it in your room.”
"Yeah," Peter said. "I wonder what's for dessert."