Almost all Chinese fables, especially the older ones, are small stories that contain great teachings. They have passed down from generation to generation and many still survive today. They range from word of mouth or, as in this case, from article to article.
Chinese fables are a form of popular literature.Many have not been written but have circulated through the oral tradition.They represent a didactic way of transmitting the main values of the oriental culture to the new generations.
We will present three traditional Chinese fables. Each of them seeks to show, with the help of an example, how the values (or the absence of values) push us towards certain consequences. So here they are, hoping you will enjoy them.
"From the heights of reason, the story looks like a fable."
-Théodore Simon Jouffroy-
1. Seagull and goodness, one of the most beautiful Chinese fables
It is said that in an old kingdom there lived a wealthy and powerful man who loved seagulls.Every morning he would get up and look towards the sea, which was very close to his home. He spent hours contemplating the white birds that amazed him.
One day, he found a seagull on his terrace. Moved, he slowly approached her and noticed that she was hurt. With extreme caution, he took her in his arms and asked her doctors to look after her.The wound was not very deep and the seagull healed quickly.
Delighted, the man wanted to treat her like a queen.He made sure that the best meals were prepared for him … pheasant, exotic meats, delicious fruits and dishes of all kinds.However, the seagull did not eat anything. The man was trying to convince her but she did not want to. Three days passed and the seagull finally died.
This is a Chinese fable that teaches us that love is sometimes not love but selfishness.The man in this story thought that the seagull would like what he loved. She needed something else.
2. The man who lives no one
In the ancient kingdom of Qi lived a man who longed for gold.Unfortunately, he was very poor and his work did not allow him to acquire great wealth. He had barely enough to survive. Still, he was completely fascinated by the idea of getting gold.
This man knew that, on the market, several tradesmen placed beautiful gold statuettes on their stalls. They were placed on a beautiful velvet tablecloth.The rich men of the city approached and took them in their hands to observe them. Sometimes they bought them. At other times they rested them and went away.
The man in our story thought of a plan to appropriate one of those statuettes that shone in the sun. One day, he put on his best clothes andwent to the market. There, he pretended to observe the gold figurines. Then, very quickly, he caught one and ran away.He was caught two blocks away.
The guards asked him what had gone through his head. How did he think he could steal a gold object in the middle of the day, with hundreds of witnesses around him?The man replied that he had not thought of all that. He had just thought about gold and had not seen anything else.So here is a Chinese fable that tells us about the blindness linked to lust.
3. The man who loved dragons
A man named Ye had an obsessive passion for dragons.He admired their form, their eyes. He was amazed by the works that represented them spitting fire and subjecting all the enemies they faced.
His admiration was so great that he knew all the legends that mentioned the dragons.He also asked that gigantic dragons be combed at his home, both on the walls and on the roofs.His house looked like a temple dedicated to dragons.
One night, a dragon's head suddenly rises through one of the windows of his house. The animal began to spit fire throughout the house, without giving man time to react.This passionate dragoon screamed and ran in all directions. He did everything he could to escape.This is one of the Chinese fables that teaches us to love concrete realities. Not those in our minds.
Chinese fables have and will always have an incomparable charm.They represent a millennial culture. Within the latter, the most social values have always been of great importance.