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The Mirror

In one place people did not know what they looked like because there were no mirrors. Zhaxi was a local businessman who lived with his mother, father, and young wife. One day Zhaxi told his family that he had decided to travel to other lands and find special things to sell. His family supported the idea and he left the next day.

Several months later, Zhaxi returned with many things that he had bought during his travels. He told his family about the journey and said that he had found something very special. Just as he was about to describe what it was, he had to go outside on an errand.

In the meantime his wife went into their bedroom and noticed something bright on their bedroom table. When she looked at it, she realized it was a picture of a beautiful young woman. She put it back on the table, began weeping, ran to her mother-in-law, and told her Zhaxi had married a beautiful young woman while he was away on his travel.

The old woman did not believe this, impatiently went to the bedroom, picked up the bright thing, looked at it, and saw an ugly old woman. She angrily wondered, "If Zhaxi married again, why did he marry such an ugly old woman?"

When she told her husband. He went into the bedroom, picked up the bright thing, looked at it and saw an old man. He excitedly reported to his wife and daughter-in-law that the picture was actually of the new wife's father-in-law.

When Zhaxi returned he said, "Now I will show you the very special thing I found. It is a mirror and you can see yourselves in it."

When his family members heard this, they all laughed.

Donkey Butter

A king owned much property. Every year the king charged the local people a butter tax. If they did not pay the butter tax, he punished them severely. For this reason the local people did not like the king. One day Uncle Dunba went near the king's home with his son and began beating his son. When the king saw this he asked Uncle Dunba, "Why are you beating your son?"

Uncle Dunba sadly replied, "My son killed my donkey. Now I cannot pay you your butter tax." The king was speechless for a moment and then replied, "You pay your tax with donkey butter?"

"That's right," said Uncle Dunba.

The king took Uncle Dunba to his storeroom and asked, "Do you know which is the donkey butter?"

"Yes," replied Uncle Dunba.

The king said, "I don't eat donkey butter. Please take your donkey butter out of my storeroom." Uncle Dunba chose the best butter and happily returned home.

Two Rabbits and a Bear

Two young rabbits were hopping through the forest. One said to the other, "We are good friends. We must help each other. If any beast comes at you, I'll stay and help you."

The other rabbit said, "I will help you, too, if any beast comes at you."

After a while, they heard a loud noise. It was a large bear. One rabbit climbed up a tree. The other was too fat to climb up. Instead, he threw himself at the foot of the tree and pretended to be dead.

A moment later, the bear looked at the fat young rabbit and then sniffed him. The young rabbit held its breath. The bear thought he was dead and left.

The young rabbit hiding in the tree asked his friend, "The bear put his mouth near your ear. What did he say?"

The other rabbit answered, "He said, 'Don't trust your friend. He ran away from you when you needed his help the most."'


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