Ancient Chinese Stories: The Blind Woman and Heartless Neighbor

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In a small village in Northeast China, there was an old blind woman called Grandma Liu. Although she could not see, she had a very kind heart. Whoever came to her for help, she would happily help them. She had a neighbor called Aunt Sun. Aunt Sun had many children at home, so she often went to borrow rice and flour from Grandma Liu, and every time she did so, Grandma Liu would happily lend it to her, even trusting her to measure it out herself.

Every time Aunt Sun filled the container with rice or flour, before she left, she would let Grandma Liu touch the rice to let her know that the rice inside the container was at the same level as the rim of the container. When she returned the rice, she would do the same: take it to Grandma Liu and let her touch the rice in the container. Gradually, the process had become a routine for Aunt Sun.

Later, Aunt Sun became greedy and wanted to take advantage of blind Grandma Liu. After careful planning, Aunt Sun decided to use the basket that was used to sift flour. She used the large side of the basket when borrowing and the small side when returning so that what was returned was not even one-tenth of the amount of rice or flour that was borrowed. Of course, Grandma Liu didn’t notice, and in this way Aunt Sun cheated her for several years.

One day, out of the blue, Aunt Sun contracted a strange disease and had terrible pain all over her body. The doctor could not heal her and finally she died. Grandma Liu heard the news and felt very sad about losing such a good neighbor.

The next spring, she had a strange dream. In the dream, Aunt Sun was still wearing the same black clothes as when she died. She walked up to Grandma Liu and ashamedly told her that she was coming to pay back a debt. Grandma Liu felt surprised and kept rubbing her eyes. She was so happy that she could see, and could even see Aunt Sun. The next morning, in Grandma Liu’s home, among a group of chicks that just hatched, there was one black one while all the others were white. When the black chick grew up, it laid far more eggs than the other chickens.

One night, three years later, Grandma Liu dreamed another strange dream in which she could again see. She saw the black chicken fly to her bed and, in only a blink of an eye, change into Aunt Sun. Aunt Sun said she felt terribly sorry for all the wrong she had done to Grandma Liu and that she had reincarnated into a chicken to pay back the debt for three years. After she spoke, she jumped to the ground and left.

Grandma Liu called Aunt Sun’s name and woke up. That morning, she found that the black chicken had died. Grandma Liu thought for a while and connected the two dreams together. Finally, she figured out that Aunt Sun had cheated her for a long time and was paying her back.

Just as the saying goes, “A dark heart cannot escape the eye of God.” Everything we are doing in human society is recorded, and it is true that good and evil will be rewarded and that Heaven’s laws are absolutely fair.

Translated by Dora Li into English, this story is reprinted with permission from the book “Treasured Tales of China,” Vol. 1, available on Amazon.


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