Six Chinese Stories with Morals

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Kong Rong Gave Away Bigger Pears

In the Eastern Han Dynasty, there was a person called Kong Rong. He’d been smart ever since he was a little boy. He had five older brothers and one younger brother.

One day his father bought some pears, picking one of the largest and giving it to Kong Rong deliberately. But Kong Rong shook his head and picked up the smallest one. His dad was very curious, and asked: “Why?” Kong Rong said: “I am younger, so I should eat the smaller pear, and brothers should eat the bigger ones.”

His dad was very glad after hearing his words, but asked further: “What about your younger brother who is younger than you are?” Kong Rong said: “I am older than him, so I should leave the bigger one to my little brother.”

Later, Kong Rong became a great scholar.

Mencius’ Mother Moved House Three Times

Legend says that the name of Mencius’ mother was Chang-shih and that she changed her residence three times on account of her concern for Mencius.

At first they lived near a cemetery, and the young Mencius amused himself with acting the various scenes which he witnessed at the tombs. “This”, said his mother, “ is no place for my son ;”—and she moved to a house in the market­place.

But the change was no improvement. The boy took to playing the part of a salesman, boasting about his wares, and exchanging light chaff and banter with customers.

His mother sought a new house, and found one at last close by a public school.

There her child’s attention was caught by the various exercises in correct manners by which the scholars were taught, and he endeavored to imitate them. The mother was satisfied. “This,” she said, “is the proper place for my son.”

Stopping Halfway, Never Comes One’s Day

In the Warring States Period, in the state of Wei lived a man called Leyangtsi. His wife was very angelic and virtuous, who was loved and respected dearly by the husband.

One day, Leyangtsi found a piece of gold on his way home, and he was so delighted that he ran home as fast as he could to tell his wife.

Looking at the gold, his wife said calmly and gently, “As you know, it is usually said that a true man never drink the stolen water. How can you take such a piece of gold home which is not yours?” Leyangtsi was greatly moved by the words, and he immediately replaced it where it was.

The next year, Leyangtsi went to a distant place to study classics with a talent teacher, leaving his wife home alone. One day, his wife was weaving on the loom, when Leyangtsi entered. At his coming, the wife seemed to be worried, and she at once asked the reason why he came back so soon. The husband explained how he missed her. The wife got angry with what the husband did. Advising her husband to be fortitude and not too indulged in the love, the wife took up a pair of scissors and cut down what she had woven on the loom, which made Leyangtsi very puzzled. His wife declared, “If something is stopped halfway, it is just like the cut cloth on the loom.

The cloth will only be useful if finished. But now, it has been nothing but a mess, and so it is with your study.”

Leyangtsi was greatly moved by his wife. He left home resolutely and went on with his study. He didn’t return home to see his beloved wife until gaining great achievements.

Afterwards, the story was often used as a model to inspire those who would back out in competitions.

Ask a Fox For its Skin

Long ago, there lived a young man, called Lisheng, who had just married a beauty. The bride was very willful. One day, she had an idea that a coat of fox fur would look pretty on her. So she asked her husband to get her one. But the coat was rare and too expensive. The helpless husband was forced to walk around on the hillside. Just at the moment, a fox was walking by. He lost no time to catch it by the tail. “Well, dear fox, let’s make an agreement. Could you offer me a sheet of your skin? That isn’t a big deal, is it?.”

The fox was shocked at the request, but she replied calmly, “Well, my dear, that’s easy. But let my tail go so that I can pull off the skin for you.” So the delighted man let her free and waited for the skin. But the moment the fox got free, she ran away as quickly as she could into the forest.

The story can be well used for reference that it is hard to ask someone to act against his own will, even though only a little sometimes.

Bian Heh’s Jade

In the Spring and Autumn Period, Bian Heh in the Chu state got a rough jade on Mount Chu. He decided to present the valuable jade to the emperor to show his official loyalty to his sovereign, Chuli. Unluckily, the jade was judged as a common stone by the court jaders, which made Emperor Chuli very angry, and had Bian Heh’s left foot cut down cruelly.

After the enthronement of the new emperor Chuwu, Bian Heh decided to submit the jade to Chuwu to clarify matters. Emperor Chuwu also had it checked by the jaders in the court. And the conclusion resulted in the same fact that Bian Heh lost the other foot.

After the death of Emperor Chuwu, the prince Chuwen was enthroned, that gave the poor Bian Heh a gleam of light of proving his clear conscience. However, the moment he thought of what he had incurred, he couldn’t help crying beside a hill. He could not stop crying for several days and nights; he almost wept his heart out and even blood was dropping from his eyes. And it happened to be heard by the emperor in the court. He ordered his men to find out why he was so sad. Bian Heh sobbed out “Call a spade a spade. Why was a real jade mistaken as a plain stone again and again?

Why was a loyal man thought faithless time and time?” Emperor Chuwen was touched by Bian Heh’s deep grief and ordered the jaders to open the jade to have a close look. To their astonishment, in the rough coat, the pure content was sparkling and translucent. Then it was carefully cut and polished fine and at last the jade became a rare treasure of the state of Chu. In memory of the faithful man Bian Heh, the emperor named the jade by Bian Heh. And so the term “Bian’s Jade” came into being.

People usually describe something extremely precious in its value with Bian’s Jade.

Cheap Tricks Never Last – The Donkey Of Guizhou

Thousands of years ago, donkeys were not found in Guizhou province. But meddlers were always allured by anything. So they shipped one into this area.

One day, a tiger was walking around to find something to eat, when he saw the strange animal. The huge new-comer frightened him quite a bit. He hid himself between the bushes to study the donkey watchfully. It seemed all right. So the tiger came near to the donkey to have a close look. “Hawhee¡­” a loud noise burst upon, which sent the tiger running away as fast as he could. He could not have any time to think before he settled himself home. The humiliation stung in him. He must come back to that strange thing to see it clear though he was still haunted by the terrible noise.

The donkey was enraged when the tiger got too close. So the donkey brought his unique skill to bear on the offender —- to kick with his hooves. After several bouts, it became very clear that what the donkey had was so much. The tiger jumped upon the donkey in time and cut its throat.

People are always told the story to speak of one’s limited tricks.

(Last 4 By Charles Custer)

 

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