The Clever Old Woman: Hang Ying’s Commentary on the Book of Songs ~ 《韩诗外传》 with English Translations




The Clever Old Woman
An old woman was friendly with a young wife, whose mother-in-law suspected her of stealing some meat and wanted to drive her away. In despair she went to complain to the old woman.
“Where can you go?” demanded her old neighbor. “I shall get your mother-in-law to call you back.”
Then she took a bundle of straw to the house where the young woman lived.
“My dogs are fighting over some stolen meat,” she said. “So I want to light a fire to give them a beating.”
As soon as the mother-in-law heard that, she sent to recall her daughter-in-law.
This old woman was not gifted with eloquence, and taking a bundle of straw to ask for a light is not the usual means of effecting a reconciliation; but when you do the right thing you achieve results.
Hang Ying’s Commentary on the Book of Songs

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