The Man Who was Found in the Well
The Ding family in the state of Song had no well of its own. Someone in the family sometimes had to spend a whole day doing nothing but fetch water from a distance.
To save trouble, they had a well sunk in their courtyard.
After the job was finished, they said to one another happily, “It seems with the sinking of the well one more person is added to our household.”
One of Ding’s friends heard of the remark and the word passed from that friend to that friend’s friend and yet to another, until the story ran as follows: “The Dings had a well sunk and found a man inside!”
When the Duke of Song heard the tale he sent for Ding of inquire into the matter.
“With the sinking of the well it is as though your obedient servant has secured the help of a man,” explained Ding to the duke, “it isn’t that I actually found a man in the well.”
Zi Hua Zi