To many traditional Chinese families, having a son is critically important in order to carry on the family name, especially when there is a single son in the family. During the Qing Dynasty in Wuxi in Jiangxi Province, a family of farmers with the last name Chen had an only son named Ajian. To the family, their only son was so precious, like a delicate gem, so that they never scolded or corrected him even when he made mistakes. Ajian became a spoiled brat.
When he was 6 or 7 years old, Ajian began stealing. One day, a fish and egg vendor passed by Ajian’s house and rested against the wall. Ajian sneaked up to the vendor and stole a fish. At that time, he did not wear clothes and was bare-chested so he hid the fish behind him against the wall. At the same time, he stole two eggs and hid them under his armpits. After the vendor left, he took the fish and eggs home to his mother. Instead of criticizing him for stealing, his mother was very proud. Ajian thought highly of himself for his cleverness. On that day, the idea of stealing took root in his young mind. Ajian’s mother never expected that her greed and the way she was raising her son would ultimately destroy his future.
Ajian started to practice martial arts and levitating technique, and he eventually developed these skills after a few years. On the surface, he was a farmer, but in reality, he was a thief and accumulated a lot of wealth within a short time.
On a snowy night, Ajian went to Suzhou to commit a robbery. He stole two thousand taels of silver and hid them under a broken bridge. Before dawn, he broke into a soy milk shop to steal copperware and intentionally let himself get caught by the owner so he could be sent to the magistrate.
On the following day, the family who lost the two thousand taels of silver discovered the theft and reported it to the magistrate. A veteran detective suspected Ajian for the robbery, so he went to Wuxi to investigate the case. The detective found out that Ajian had been locked up for stealing from the soy milk shop on the day of the Suzhou robbery. Ajian had created an alibi to prove that he could not have committed the crime in Suzhou.
Ajian took pride in himself for fooling the detective. He was locked up for a few days and was set free. He continued to steal in other provinces and eventually was caught. Ajian committed many crimes and never felt remorse. He was sentenced to death.
On the day of execution, Ajian requested his mother to visit him at the execution site. He told his mother that he wanted to experience breast feeding again before his death. To fulfill her son’s last wish, his mother opened up her blouse and let her son suck on her nipple. Ajian bit off his mother’s nipple and blamed his mother resentfully: “If you had raised me properly and corrected my mistakes when I was young, I would not have ended up like this today!”
The moral of the story is: “Loving a child without teaching them morals is not true love, but a grave mistake! It destroys the child, the world, and yourself.”
Translated by Chua BC and edited by Angela