When I was in elementary school, the piggy banks sold in stores were literally ‘piggy banks.’ To put coins into a bright red piggy bank made of stiff rubber, you had to cut the slot on the back with a knife. The character for fortune (福) was embossed on the side, or the body was made of a square or golden color, but the basic shape was still a pig. There were several such piggy banks in our house. Most of them were just a few coins jingling, and only the piggy bank placed on top of the old record player was heavy. It was her dad’s.
I often wandered around my dad’s piggy bank. When the sound of the coin falling became short and dull, I secretly lifted the piggy bank and measured its weight. The right time was when the coin was half full. Unlike me, who was in the lower grades of elementary school, my sisters came home late and my mom and dad were busy with construction. I squatted under the record player in an empty house in the middle of the day and started shaking my piggy bank. When I shook it suddenly, the end of the coin popped out of the slot. With the coins I took out, I ran to the local supermarket. I bought sweet and cold things, colorful and sweet and sour things, and diligently popped them into my mouth. It was a time when Kandori was 50 won and Dalgona was 100 won.
That day too, I was shaking my piggy bank vigorously. The fear of being caught disappeared immediately, and as soon as I returned home, I started picking up my piggy bank. The coins just rolled around inside the piggy bank with a loose sound and rarely came out. I tried to pull out the coins with a hairpin and lost them both. I hurriedly shook the piggy bank, but the hairpin with the thick end didn’t even come close to the slot. When he imagined his father getting angry when he found the hairpin that cut open the pig’s stomach, his vision became dark. I whimpered, putting my eyes to the coin slot and peering into the pig’s stomach, which was as dark as my heart.
It was then that my sister took the piggy bank out of my hand. I didn’t know when she came home or where she was looking from. My sister pushed hard on the side of her coin slot to open the gap, then slowly shook her piggy bank from side to side to pull out her hairpin. Which would be more fatal to me: her father discovering her hairpin or her older sister’s taunting? I was struck with another panic. My sister picked up her jump rope, which she had left on the floor, and left. He didn’t question me or scold me. The sound of a skipping rope could be heard outside the gate. The regular sound of hitting the floor, the sound of someone attempting a double jump, and a short sigh after stepping on a rope were alternately heard. As the lively and healthy sound continued, my face grew hot as I remembered the crude and dismal sound of shaking the piggy bank. I put the piggy bank back on the record player.
There was no condescension, no advice, no gossip, but I never touched the piggy bank again. Rather than humiliating and humiliating the person who committed a mistake, give them time to realize it themselves. Isn’t what’s really important is giving yourself a chance to stop? (Of course, my sister may have just wanted to jump rope quickly.) I still often think of the sound of jumping rope that day. Then, you will definitely want to live an honest and healthy life.
Ahn Bo-yoon novelist
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