One day when Mr. Zhang and Mr. Li were traveling together, a large sedan chair carrying a rich man, followed by many servants, was headed their direction.
Zhang immediately took Li to hide behind a door. He said: “The man in the sedan chair is my close relative. If I did not avoid meeting him, he would come down and bow to me. It is too much trouble for both of us!” Li said: “This makes sense.”
So they continued their journey afterward. Shortly, they saw a powerful and prestigious man riding. The man was well-dressed and there were many people following him. Zhang once again pulled Li behind a door. He said: “The man on the horse and I have known each other since childhood. We have a great friendship. If I did not avoid meeting him, he would come down and bow to me. It is too much trouble for both of us!” Li agreed: “This is also true.”
After that, the two continued to walk. They glimpsed a beggar in shabby clothes moving slowly toward them. Li quickly pulled Zhang to hide behind a door. He said: “This beggar is my close relative and a good friend of mine. I should avoid meeting him; otherwise, wouldn’t he be ashamed of seeing me?”
Zhang was surprised. He asked Li: “How could you have such a friend and relative?” Li replied: “You have picked all the rich and powerful ones. There is only a beggar left for me.”
About Good Laughs
Good Laughs (笑得好) is a collection of short stories edited by Chinese doctor Cheng-Jin Shi (石成金) of the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912). This collection can be considered as the Chinese version of Aesop’s Fables. Dr. Shi was believed to have lived between the Kangxi and early Qianlong reigns. He also authored many other books on remedies for life and health.
Good Laughs is meant to nourish the heart with stories. In the preface, Dr. Shi wrote: “People are entertained by being sarcastic; I inspire people with sarcasm. It entertains the heart, but it can also save a life like acupuncture.”