The Poor Man Who Bragged

A poor person is bragging to his friends. (Image: Bernadette Wolf / Vision Times)
A poor person is bragging to his friends. (Image: Bernadette Wolf / Vision Times)

A poor man bragged to his friends: “I am not very rich, but I have all of life’s necessities.” Then he counted his fingers and said: “Except for a dragon vehicle and a phoenix wagon.”

He then said: “I have all kinds of food and drinks.” He then counted his fingers and said: “Except for a dragon heart and a phoenix liver.”

His child was next to him. The child frowned and said: “We do not even have a bed to sleep in. We sleep on the floor covered with some grass. Tonight, we do not have a grain of rice and you still brag to people.”

The man looked up and thought it over. He said: “It is very, very true. I have everything at home except for a dragon heart, a phoenix liver, and rice. We have everything except for a dragon vehicle, a phoenix wagon, and a bed.”

About Good Laughs

(Image: Bernadette Wolf / Vision Times)

Cheng-Jin Shi. (Image: Bernadette Wolf / Vision Times)

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.”

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