Han Fei Zi: Why Zeng Shen Killed the Pig ~ with English Translations




Why Zeng Shen Killed the Pig
One day, when Zeng Shen’s wife was going to the market, their son cried and clamoured to go with her.
“Go back now!” she wheedled him. “When I get home we’ll kill the pig for you.”
Upon her return, she found Zeng Shen about to kill the pig. She hastily stopped him.
“I didn’t really mean it,” she protested. “I just said that to keep the boy quiet.”
“How can you deceive a child like that?” asked Zeng Shen. “Children know nothing to begin with, but they copy their parents and learn from them. When you cheat the boy, you are teaching him to lie. If a mother deceives her child, he will not trust her, and that is no way to bring him up.”
So he killed the pig after all.
Han Fei Zi

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