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Phrase & Stories
Butchering the Pig

Butchering the Pig

During the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history, there lived a scholar called Zencius, known for being one of the 72 disciples of Confucius.

Before becoming a disciple, Zencius lived a poor life in the countryside, farming and studying at the same time. One day, his wife was about to go shopping in town, when their son said he wanted to go too. When she told him he couldn芒鈧劉t go along, he insisted and began to cry. Trying to comfort him, she said, 芒鈧揑t芒鈧劉s ok, just wait for Mom at home and I芒鈧劉ll make pork for dinner after I come back!芒鈧?/P>

At that time, the family could not afford to buy meat. Though they were raising a pig, it was for the upcoming Spring Festival feast. Hearing that his mother was to make him a nice dinner, the child stopped crying and went inside.

Forgetting all about the promise she had made to her son, Zencius芒鈧劉 wife returned home to find her husband about to butcher their pig in the courtyard. Surprised and bewildered, she ran over to Zencius. 芒鈧揥hy are you butchering the pig now?!?芒鈧?she asked.

芒鈧揇idn芒鈧劉t you promise our son?芒鈧?Zencius answered.

芒鈧揥hen did I make such a promise?芒鈧?/P>

芒鈧揟his morning.芒鈧?/P>

芒鈧揑 just said that to pacify him. How could you think I was serious?芒鈧?/P>

Zencius turned to his wife and said, 芒鈧揧ou were wrong to do that. You should never deceive a child. A child doesn芒鈧劉t know any better and will always do or think what you tell him. As his parents, if we deceive him, we芒鈧劉re just teaching him to deceive others. You know what they say, 芒鈧渓ike father, like son.芒鈧劉 Furthermore, if you deceive him once, he won芒鈧劉t trust you anymore. Do you think it芒鈧劉s worth it?芒鈧?/P>

Zencius芒鈧劉 wife blushed at his words and realized that she had made a mistake. Although they only had the one, Zencius butchered their pig that day and his wife made pork for dinner as promised.

In China, this story serves to warn people that the things adults do and say have a great impact on children. It is also often used to teach children to be honest.


 

 
   
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