Tagged: Richard Wilhelm

Favorite folk- and fairy tales about greed

Folk- and fairy tales hand down a morality and principles for living together in a society. Since greed is such a wide-spread human trait, it became one of the most famous motives in folk and fairy tales. The uncontrolled longing or desire to gain and accumulate more food, wealth, prestige by few can easily spoil efforts to make life better for everyone. In the Christian world, greed is one of the seven deadly sins and any Christian should abstain from it. In more collectivist Eastern philosophies, greed as a selfhish trait, is contradictory to principle of the greater good. As...

THE PUNISHMENT OF GREED (The Chinese Fairy Book, 1921) by Richard Wilhelm

ONCE upon a time there lived a man south of the Yangtze-kiang. He had taken a position as a teacher in Sutschoufu, on the border of Shantung. But when he got there he found that the schoolhouse had not yet been completed. Yet a two-story building in the neighborhood had been rented, in which the teacher was to live and hold school in the meantime. This house stood outside the village, not far from the river bank. A broad plain, overgrown with tangled brush, stretched out from it on every side. The teacher was pleased with the view. Well, one...

THE FLOWER-ELVES – (The Chinese Fairy Book, 1921) by Richard Wilhelm

ONCE upon a time there was a scholar who lived retired from the world in order to gain hidden wisdom. He lived alone and in a secret place. And all about the little house in which he dwelt he had planted every kind of flower, and bamboos and other trees. There it lay, quite concealed in its thick grove of flowers. With him he had only a boy servant, who dwelt in a separate hut, and who carried out his orders. He was not allowed to appear before his master unless summoned. The scholar loved his flowers as he did...

THE FAVORITE OF FORTUNE AND THE CHILD OF ILL LUCK – (The Chinese Fairy Book, 1921) by Richard Wilhelm

ONCE upon a time there was a proud prince who had a daughter. But the daughter was a child of ill luck. When it came time for her to marry, she had all her suitors assemble before her father’s palace. She was going to throw down a ball of red silk among them, and whoever caught it was to be her husband. Now there were many princes and counts gathered before the castle, and in their midst there was also a beggar. And the princess could see dragons crawling into his ears and crawling out again from his nostrils, for...

THE MAGIC CASK – (The Chinese Fairy Book, 1921) by Richard Wilhelm

ONCE upon a time there was a man who dug up a big, earthenware cask in his field. So he took it home with him and told his wife to clean it out. But when his wife started brushing the inside of the cask, the cask suddenly began to fill itself with brushes. No matter how many were taken out, others kept on taking their place. So the man sold the brushes, and the family managed to live quite comfortably. Once a coin fell into the cask by mistake. At once the brushes disappeared and the cask began to fill...

WHO WAS THE SINNER? – (The Chinese Fairy Book, 1921) by Richard Wilhelm

ONCE upon a time there were ten farmers, who were crossing a field together. They were surprised by a heavy thunder-storm, and took refuge in a half-ruined temple. But the thunder drew ever nearer, and so great was the tumult that the air trembled about them, while the lightning flew around the temple in a continuous circle. The farmers were greatly frightened, and thought that there must be a sinner among them, whom the lightning would strike. In order to find out who it might be, they agreed to hang their straw hats up before the door, and he whose...