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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,
*-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.
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.
Kē mù wéi fùmǔ. Xíngrǒng rú zài shí. Jì yán zhū zǐ zhí. Gè yào xiào qīn wéi.
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