Write a story based on the poem A Traveller's Song by Meng Jiao, a Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. You can choose to write a true story or an imaginary one. You should provide your own title and write between 600 and 800 words.
A Traveller's Song
By Meng Jiao
Translated by Liu Jianxun
The thread in the hands of a fond-hearted mother
Makes clothes for the body of her wayward boy;
Carefully she sews and thoroughly she mends,
Dreading the delays that will keep him late from home.
But how much love has the inch-long grass
For three spring months of the light of the sun?
通过审题，我认为这次记叙文的创作主题明确指向亲情。这种主题的故事写起来格外容易流于俗套和矫作，因而，如何把一个司空见惯的主题写得兼具新意和真情便成为了我构思的重点。出于描写深挚情感的需要，我决定采用书信体进行写作，并通过化用茨威格的Letter from an Unknown Woman确定了我的标题。我同样用生死的问题来解释“unknown”一词，但比起茨威格小说中绝望的感情，我认为《游子吟》传递的恰恰相反，是充满希望的感激，由此明确了故事的整体走向。
A Letter from an Unknown Child
I have encountered the poem A Traveler's Song again in my class in the strange land where I feel lonely, and I cannot help writing something for you, Mom, even though we have been separated since long and I have to travel so much that I never actually speak to you. Now I'm writing to you to tell my story about your absence.
True, life was hard without you. When I travelled in this world at the age of ten, I was always bullied by others who enjoyed the jocund company of their mothers. They laughed at me, teasing me as a "pathetic pity", as some primitive creature with no family teaching. I tried to fight back, wrestling with the boys and pulling other girls' hair, which augmented the hatred between us. Other less malicious children would shun from my presence. Things became more tricky when I entered puberty, as a growing girl lacking common sense. I was too timid to ask Dad about the changes in my body, to whose answer I had to secretly search on the Internet for. How unfair! I'm nothing less than the others. The point is just that I travel away from you while others stay with your counterparts.
I did hate you, sometimes, but always I did not. I asked Dad where you stayed, and he answered, with a hushed sob that you were travelling all around the world. That was when I burnt your photos furiously and then buried the ashes in the ground, for I thought you were such an irresponsible mother to travel all the way with no caring for your own child. Yet I came to understand, gradually, that it was my dad and I who travelled constantly and even willingly, that you were always there, waiting to hold me and caress my face in reunion.
I understand this because I found the gifts that you had made for me: a hill of handmade sweaters which are meticulously designed and crafted at every corner, dazzling and rejoicing like a garden of unfurling flowers in spring; a mountain of toys for both girls and boys ( which I understand fully because you knew not my gender ); a box of letters that you composed for me, full of words like "dear" and "baby" and "my angel". Then I finally learned to love you. I learned to write, and the very first writing was about you; I tried to paint, and I without hesitation drew down my image of you. I returned to where I had buried your photos and dug out the ashes and turned the pitch black clay into a shimmering statue of you. Father loves you as well, by the way, keeping your slippers beside his bed and renewing your transportation pass every month. Only if we could cease to travel and go back to you!
However, I know I must keep traveling, because this is your wish for me, but your wish will never stop me from blaming myself. I have discovered the secret, to tell you the truth. Don't tell Dad, for I'm aware of how hard he has been trying to seal this. I overheard the reason why you were left alone and unable to travel with us when Dad was talking to my grandmother with every line on his face suffused with severe sorrow, that you had to leave because of me, that you left when I came to this world and embarked on my journey. But...but...how could you be so hard like a stone! To make me love you and let me blame myself! How could you let me kill you! I was paralyzed with an unnamed fit at that time and I rushed back to my own room, feeling something cold and sad streaking down my face.
I remember that night when leaves fell without wind, and I wished to barter my life for yours in vain. I remember in the dream that you tapped on my head like a ghost and sighed, with which I soon recovered and braved my lonely journey.
Now I have decided to live, not only for me, but for you. I still wear the sweaters you made, and I answer the letters you wrote, feeling your being perching on the bough of my soul. I shed tears, really, when I read the poem again. I know I must return late from my travel which is a life-long one, but I assure you that I will never forget you and never stop feeling grateful.
What a pity that you may not know my name, but I will always love you.
标题乃是文眼，“A Letter from an Unknown Child”立刻映入读者眼帘，使人忍不往下读。“unknown child”是谁？给谁的信？为什么要写信？发生了什么事儿？悬念迭起。
一波未平，一波又起。“我”偶然获知，原来“你”的死皆因“我”起，原来“你”知道“我”的来临便是“你”的死期。“我”不禁感叹：“To make me love you and let me blame myself! How could you let me kill you!”“我”曾对“你”何等残忍、何等不公！“我”愿以“我”的命换“你”的，如果可以。“你”永远待在原地，“你”爱光芒照射我四周，从未远离；而“我”必须前行，这亦是“你”的希望。无风叶落的秋夜，你再入梦来，轻弹我的额头，于是我孤独的旅程再无恐惧。
应该说，在关键处，特别是感情饱满处，行文语言流畅自然，感人至深。例如“The point is just that I travel away from you while others stay with your counterparts”“Yet I came to understand, gradually, that it was my dad and I who travelled constantly and even willingly, that you were always there, waiting to hold me and caress my face in reunion”“Then I finally learned to love you. I learned to …; I tried to …. I returned to … and turned the pitch black clay into a shimmering statue of you”“I remember that night …. I remember in dream that you tapped my head ….”等。
题目要求基于《游子吟》写一篇故事，选手干脆就写了一篇“慈母手中线，游子身上衣”的故事。这是第一个照应。故事开头因读诗开始，最后以读诗结尾，这是与材料的第二个照应。第三个照应，无论是有意无意，可说是“妙”——是“travel”的隐喻使用。“我”是他乡的游子；“我”和父亲无时无刻不在路途中；“Only if we could cease to travel and go back to you”；“我”必须“keep traveling”以完成“你”的遗愿——“你”死“我”生那一刻，已注定“我”的不归路；“你”梦中的安抚，扫去“我”途中的孤寂与恐惧。“我”生来是游子，一路上都是故事，故事里充满对“你”的情思。
贯穿全篇的“travel”和“journey”让人想起“Life is a journey, and we are all travelers”的比喻——只要有时空和人的存在，又有什么时间轴上的延展不是journey呢？这个比喻并不是故事的焦点，却让人回味深长。