Once, there was a man with a very bad memory. He would forget to stop when he was walking and forget to get up when he was resting.
His wife was very concerned and said to him: “I heard that there is a Doctor Ai who is very funny and smart. He can cure a fatal disease. Why don’t you visit him to get a treatment?”
The man happily accepted his wife’s advice. He took off riding a horse and took along his arrows. Before long, he needed to relieve himself. He dismounted and found a place in the woods, but first stuck an arrow in the ground and tied the horse to a tree.
After he finished, he looked to his left and found the arrow that he had stuck in the ground. He exclaimed: “Gracious, I’m so lucky the arrow is stuck in the ground. If it were closer, I might have been killed. It’s a blessing from Heaven!”
Then the man looked to his right and saw his own horse. He was very happy and said to himself: “I am in shock, and so happy to find a horse left behind by someone.” He took the horse and wanted to turn around, but he suddenly stepped in his excrement. He stomped and said: “Who did this? My good pair of boots is dirty now; what a pity!”
The man rode the horse home. When he was outside his home, he wondered: “I don’t know whose house this is — is it Doctor Ai’s house?” His wife heard the noise and when she came out and saw her husband, she knew that he had forgotten things. So she started to blame him.
The forgetful husband was overwhelmed. He complained: “Madam, you and I have never met before. I did not do anything to you. Why are you hurting me with your mean words? Are you looking for trouble?”
About Good Laughs
Good Laughs (笑得好) is a collection of short stories edited by the 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.”