A boy stood writing as his father entered the room,” Child, let us go and visit Captain Yuan.”
The boy replied,” Yes, Father. Let me go and tell Mother!” He ran to the room where his mother sat embroidering. “Mother, Father and I are going to visit Captain Yuan. Rest well at home! We will come back soon.”
His Mother nodded and replied,” Son, you must listen to what your Father says. Remember what I taught you?”
“Yes, of course I remember!” the boy said tapping his head with his finger.” I must be polite, have manners, respect my elders, and be a good child!”
“Alright child, hurry and go! Don’t make your Father impatient!”
“Of course!” said the boy as he ran off.
The Father and his boy climbed into the horse driven carriage and eventually arrived at Captain Yuan’s manor. They entered, and the boy greeted the captain respectfully. Soon, father and son were seated comfortably with a dish of fresh fruit in front of them.
“Have a taste child,” said Captain Yuan.” These were recently bought just for you.”
“Thank you, Captain Yuan.” the boy said politely. He reached for a tangerine and popped a piece into his mouth. He chewed, swallowed, and found it quite tasty. Then, thinking of his mother, he slipped 2 tangerines into his sleeve to bring home to her.
Soon the sun sank low, and the father and his son prepared to leave. The boy bowed low to Captain Yuan, but at that moment, the tangerines he took fell and rolled to the Captain’s feet. Flushing in shame and embarrassment, he bowed his head.
“How dare you steal other people’s things!” his Father bellowed.” Kneel down! You still dare to cry!”
“Er.. he’s just a child, so it’s natural to commit wrongdoing. You shouldn’t be that mad.” said the captain.
Turning back to the boy, the Father said,” Say it, boy! Why did you steal the tangerines?!”
“Mother used to love eating tangerines! I just wanted to bring some back for her since Captain Yuan’s were so delicious!”
His Father gasped. He didn’t know his boy did it for such a good reason. Captain Yuan admired the boy’s good reasons, and sent them home with a basketfull of tangerines.
Translated by Ireen Chau 🙂
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