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The 24 Filial Exemplars (22)

Dīng Lán 丁兰

22. HE CARVED WOOD TO SERVE HIS PARENTS

The father and mother of Dīng Lán of the Hàn dynasty died when Lán was young and never received support and service from him. But he thought often of their "grievous toil."* He carved wooden statues and served them as though they were alive. His wife began after a time not to revere them. [One day] she took a needle and pricked their fingers in mockery. Blood flowed, and when the wooden statues saw Lán, tears fell from their eyes. Lán inquired about their condition; then he divorced his wife and cast her out.** There is a verse which says:
He carves wooden statues of his mother and father,

Giving them the appearance they had in life;

And this is to caution every son and nephew,

that each must be filial towards his parents.

*-Cf. Tale 5, verse & note.

**-This is the one story which some modern editors most often rewrite, apparently in order to avoid the divorce. In a couple of retellings in my collection, the wife, seeing the statues react, is grief-stricken, reforms, and is forgiven rather than divorced by her husband. In one elaborately illustrated, heavy-paper edition designed for younger children, a neighbor's wife, come to borrow something, scoffs at Dīng Lán's wife at her devotions. Dīng Lán's wife, angered, refuses to lend her what she wants. The neighbor's wife returns home and sends her husband over, who sneers and beats the statues with his stick. Dīng Lán returns, sees the weeping statues, hears the tale, and stabs the neighbor to death. The magistrate, rather than punishing him, commends him as a fine example of filial piety.
二十二、刻木事亲
汉。丁兰幼丧父母。未得奉养。而思念劬劳之恩。刻木为像。事之如生。其妻久而不敬。以针戏刺其指。则出血。木像见兰。又眼中垂泪。兰问得其情。将妻出弃之。有诗为颂。 诗曰
刻木为父母。形容如在时。寄言诸子侄。各要孝亲帏。


22. Kē Mù Shì Qīn
Hàn Dīng Lán yòu sàng fùmǔ. Wèi dé fèng yàng. Ér sī niàn qú láo zhi ēn. Kē mù wéi xiàng. Shì zhī rú shēng. Qí qī jiǔ ér bú ji`ng. Yǐ zhēn xì cì qí zhǐ. Zé xiě chū. Mù xiàng jiàn Lán. Yòu yǎn zhōng chuí lèi. Län wèn dé qí qíng. Jiāng qī chū qì zhī. Yǒu shī wéi sòng.
Shī yuē:
Kē mù wéi fùmǔ. Xíngrǒng rú zài shí. Jì yán zhū zǐ zhí. Gè yào xiào qīn wéi.


二十二、刻木事親
漢。丁蘭幼喪父母。未得奉養。而思念劬勞之恩。刻木為像。事之如生。其妻久而不敬。以針戲刺其指。則出血。木像見蘭。又眼中垂淚。蘭問得其情。將妻出棄之。有詩為頌。 詩曰
刻木為父母。形容如在時。寄言諸子姪。各要孝親幃。
picture


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