Skip to main content

The heron in going a thousand li at a single flight relies on only six quills.

Duke P’ing of Chin was happily drifting along the River and said, "Where am I to get worthy gentlemen to enjoy this with me?"

His boatman Ho Hsü knelt and replied, "It is simply because Your Highness does not care for worthy gentlemen that he has none. Now pearls from river and ocean, and jade from the K’un mountains, come to you without having feet, because of Your Highness' liking for them. If worthy gentlemen, possessed of feet, do not come, it means nothing else than that Your Highness does not care for gentlemen. Do not worry about there being no gentlemen."

Duke P’ing said, "As for the guests I support, to the left of the gate there are a thousand men, and to the right of the gate another thousand. If in the morning there is not enough for their support, in the evening I give them the market revenues; if in the evening there is not enough for their support, in the morning I give them the market revenues. Can it be said of me that I do not care for gentlemen?"
Ho Hsü replied, "Now the heron in going a thousand li at a single flight relies on only six quills. As for the feathers on his back and the down under his belly, should you add a handful he would not fly any higher, and should you take away a handful he would not fly any lower. Now these two thousand men Your Highness is supporting to the right and to the left of his gate— are there really six quills among them? Or are they all feathers on the back and down under the belly?"

The Ode says,

The counsellors are very many,
But on that account nothing is accomplished.



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 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 de

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