Her first customer was mongoose, who trotted over happily and requested cut noodles with cabbage. He proffered a large bowl of fine, white porcelain. The noodle maker separated a portion of dough from the sheet on her left shoulder, folded it in thirds on the board, quickly sliced it into long skinny noodles with the sharp cleaver, and dropped the tangled handful into one of the boiling pots.
“Shave ice man go up Snow Mountain, eh?” said mongoose.
“Did he?” the noodle maker asked, keeping her voice steady. She handed mongoose a pair of chopsticks from the crock. “I had no idea.”