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《Chinese Tales for Everyone__Real and Imaginary: (7) Pears for Everyone》__ Kong Shiu Loon (53)

Tales Real and Imaginary

(7) Pears for Everyone

In Central China long ago, a farmer filled his harvest of pears on a wagon to sell on a market day. They were ripe juicy pears, and people crowded to buy, each choosing the largest and best. It was good business on a sunny day.

A monk pushed himself in wearing rags. He begged the farmer to give him a small pear to eat because he was hungry and thirsty. His presence caused people to leave because he smelled as if he had not washed for days.

The farmer was annoyed. He drove the monk away. The latter refused and said: “Please Sir, all I ask is a small pear out of hundreds you have, it won’t be a loss for you.”

“Go away, you dirty lazy beggar! You are driving my customers away and say no loss for me. Just shake your leg and be off!” The farmer shouted.

People in the crowd offered different remarks. One onlooker asked the farmer: “Be kind and give him a smallest pear so he will leave.”

“Yes, that will send him away for sure.” agreed a second onlooker.

“How he stinks! I have lost my appetite.” declared a third.

But the farmer would not budge, and the monk kept on begging, creating a commotion.

A generous onlooker gave the monk a pear that he had bought, and advised him to leave. But the monk still called the farmer names, infuriating him to shout back. The market guard came in to settle the dispute. The monk walked away saying; “What a stingy farmer! Let me offer everyone a free pear.”

The crowd followed him. He bitted the pear open to get a seed. He planted it in the soil and said: “It will take just a few moments. You will all have your pears.”

People looked on with great interest. They saw the seed sprouting to become a small plant. Everybody applauded.

The plant grew into a tree, causing more amazement.

“It’s a pear tree!” shouted an onlooker. In a wink, beautiful, ripe pears hanged all over the branches for people to pick. Excitement and laughter abound, attracting half the people in the market to come to share the fun.

When all the pears had been plucked and the crowd began to disperse, the monk wandered off, smiling.

All this time, the farmer had been watching the strange event in awe. When

the din had subsided, he returned to his wagon, shocked. His pears had all gone!

He looked at the pears some people were joyfully eating, and realized that they were his pears. The monk had played magic. But he could only accept. He sat beside his empty wagon and fretted.

An old gentleman lingered to console the farmer. He advised: “Son, it is always good to be kind and generous to people, whatever their position and appearance might be. If you did, you would not be suffering now.”

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Note: This is an English narration of a tale in the book民間故事, popular among people of all ages and genders. It taught us the virtue of generosity and fairness to all people, regardless of who they are. Often, making a small gift can avoid a big loss.

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