Ancient Chinese fable – A Good Man Is Easy to Bully








A Good Man Is Easy to Bully

In the temple by the roadside of a village there was a wooden image of a deity. A man passing by found a ditch across his path, so he pulled down the image and placed it over the ditch as a bridge. Another passer-by saw the figure on the ground and, feeling sorry for it, restored it to its place. But the image took umbrage because he had offered no sacrifice to it, and placed a curse on him, causing him to suffer a bad headache.

The spirits of the kingdom of the underworld were non-plussed. “You let the one who trod on you go free, but punished the one who helped you up. Why?”

“You don’t understand,” said the deity. “It is so easy to bully a good man.”

Xiao Zan (In Praise of Laughter)

(杨宪益、戴乃迭 译)

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