Saturday, September 06, 2008

Choosing a Wife

A resident of the state of Chu had two wives. Another man tried to seduce the two women. First, he tried his tricks on the elder one, but was sworn at. Next, he approached the younger one, who easily fell prey to his charms.

Before very long, the husband of the two women died. Both of them were ready to remarry.
The go-between asked the interloper, "Which of the two women do you wish to marry?"
"I prefer the elder one."
The matchmaker replied, "Didn't the elder one curse you? And didn't the younger one comply with your wishes?"
"What you say is true. As long as the younger one was another man's wife, I was glad to have her as my lover, but I prefer a fierce woman who knows how to swear and is unlikely to become another man's lover."

Ding Cong, Wit & Humour from Ancient China (Asiapac, 1997), translated by Ma Mingtong & Xu Hui

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of wisdom in that, Constantine.

Here's a fable that relates to this:

A young girl is walking home through the woods on a bitterly cold winter day, when a snake slithers out onto the path before her.

"Please, help me. I'm dying." the snake said.

"You're a snake!" the girl responded, backing away.

"I won't bite you," the snake promised, "just pick me up and take me home. I wouldn't hurt you if you were taking care of me."

The girl felt compassion for the snake, and picked it up. She brought it home and prepared some food for it. But as she set it down, the snake bit her hand.

"I don't understand," the girl sobbed as she lay dying, "You said you wouldn't bite me!"

The snake shrugged. "I'm a snake, it's what I do. And you knew that when you picked me up."

Sun Sep 07, 07:55:00 am 2008  

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