Skip to main content

A Tale of Two Friends

You know the Chinese proverb, “It is on road that determines the strength of the horse.' Well, let me tell you a tale of two good friends.

Let us call the friends Leu Yao [long road] and Ma Lih [horse strength]. The words Leu and Ma happen to be surnames, you know. Leu Yao was a young man of considerable means. Ma Lih went in for gambling, and was often in difficulties, from which his generous friend helped him out several times. He at length followed his friend's advice, and reformed, passed his examinations, and became a mandarin.

Leu Yao, however, had bad luck, lost all his relatives except his mother, and was so reduced in means that he had to live in a mat hut. Hearing of his friend's good fortune, he determined to go and visit him, a journey of some hundreds of li. He left all the cash he had with his mother, and begged his way to his friend's yamun. Ma Lih received him heartily, but took no notice of his tale of sorrow, merely bidding him to eat, drink, and be merry.

At last he became angry at his friend's disregard of his mother, and said he must return. He asked for two thousand cash. Would he not like a horse as well ? his friend suggested. But he only gave him a lame donkey. He went off cut to the heart. Ma Lih then ordered one of his retainers to mount a fine horse, overtake Leu Yao, and offer him both the horse and three hundred taels, blaming Ma Lih when he had heard his tale. This he did, and exchanged beasts, for he said he did not live far off, and wanted to do some good deeds. Leu Yao thanked him profusely, and galloped away home.

Arriving at the place where his hut used to be, he found a fine house. He did not know where his mother was. She was within, living in great comfort. Ma Lih had sent swift messengers to order its erection directly he saw his old friend. Then Leu Yao knew the heart of his friend.


Popular posts from this blog

The wonderful pear-tree

Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry." "Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The o

The Fox and The Tiger

ONE day a fox encountered a tiger. The tiger showed his fangs and waved his claws and wanted to eat him up. But the fox said: 'Good sir, you must not think that you alone are the king of beasts. Your courage is no match for mine. Let us go together and you keep behind me. If the humans are not afraid of me when they see me, then you may eat me up.' The tiger agreed and so the fox led him to a big high-way. As soon as the travellers saw the tiger in the distance they were seized with fear and ran away. Then the said: 'You see? I was walking in front; they saw me before they could See you.' Then the tiger put his tail between his legs and ran away. The tiger had seen that the humans were afraid of the fox but he had not realized that the fox had merely borrowed his own terrible appearance. [This story was translated by Ewald Osers from German, published by George Bell & Sons, in the book 'Chinese Folktales'.  Osers noted that this story was

The Legend of The Three-Life Stone

The Buddhist believe metempsychosis, or the migration of the souls of animated beings, people's relationships are predestined through three states of life: the past, present, and future life. Legend has it that there's a road called Yellow Spring Road, which leads to Fogotten River. Over the river there's a bridge called Helpless Bridge (Naihe Bridge), at one end of the bridge sits a crimson stone called Three-life Stone. When two people die, they take this route to reincarnation. if they carve their name on the Three-life Stone together while they pass the stone, they are to be predestined to be together in their future life. Although before their rebirth they will be given a MengPo Soup to drink and thereby their memory of past life are obliterated. In reality, San-Sheng Shi (三生石), or Three-Life Stone is located beside Flying Mountain near the West Lake, Hangzhou. On the stone, there is seal with three Chinese characters that say "The Three-life Stone," and a