Once upon a time, there was a man named Tao Hong Jing, studying herbs and such, for he was a herbalist. This is the story of his childhood- he was curious, determined, and stubborn! He would always ask,”Why?” and give people headaches because of it.
“Hong Jing? Hong Jing?” a scent drifted past the old man’s nose. “What is that smell? Disgusting! Shao Ye, what’s this?” he asked.
“This book said that this kind of medicine will cure my Mother of her sickness. Here, help me stir for a while.”
The servant came and started stirring, meanwhile complaining of its stench.
Tao Hong Jing came and put more ingredients. Suddenly, the pot of medicine spilled, and they both screamed.
“Ahh! Why is it so stinky? Looks like we have to try again…”
“Little Master, why don’t you ask your teachers about it?”
Hong Jing nodded.
The next day, Hong Jing ran to find his teacher.
“TEEAACHEEEEEEEERRR!” he yelled.
“It’s the ‘why’ kid! He’s here again!” one of the teachers muttered.
Hong Jing started asking a stream of questions, and he got his answers.
There was a cry. “Oh? There’s a child crying!”
Hong Jing ran towards the sound. They found a baby wailing.
“Who left a child here? Who left their child? Who left their child?” Hong Jing shouted.
“Hong Jing, you need not shout anymore. There’s no one.” his teacher said. “Let’s take him back.”
“Eh? The kid is fat and chubby. Sort of like you!”
“Teacher, let’s name him!” Hong Jing said.
“How about Ah Fu?” Hong Jing said.
“No, neither. Ming Ling Zi!”
“Ah, that’s a good name!”
“Sir, what are you talking about? I don’t get it.”
The teacher started to explain in poetry.
Hong Jing was confused.
“How do you expect him to understand?” the other teacher stated. ” There’s a wasp in the forest, and they abduct caterpillars. After that, the caterpillar turns into a wasp, becoming the other wasp’s son!”
“Impossible. Have you seen it with your own eyes?” Hong Jing asked.
The teachers laughed.
Hong Jing was left to think all by himself. “Impossible.. No! I must see for myself!”
He searched in the bushes for the wasps, and he finally found a hive. There were a bunch of angry wasps flying above his head, wondering why he had their hive. They had sharp stingers, and Hong Jing whined. He ran. He finally put the hive down, examining the wasps.
Hong Jing turned around to show a red nose, stung by the wasps.
The servant was taken aback by Hong Jing’s red nose.
“It’s fine! Come and look!” Hong Jing whispered.
“Oh. What are you doing with a bunch of bees?”
“It’s not a bee! They’re wasps! A special kind!” he explained the theory about the caterpillars.
“Isn’t that the Ming Ling Yi Zi myth?”
“Yes! You’ve heard it? I don’t believe it, though!”
“Don’t not believe it, shao ye. It’s in the books. Come now, let’s get you back home.”
Hong Jing stubbornly stayed.
A wasp fluttered above the servant’s head. “Ahh! Shao Ye! Run!”
He tripped over a log, and ended up with a red nose himself.
Hong Jing, meanwhile, chased a wasp for examination.
The wasps finally got a caterpillar, and Hong Jing carefully watched.
“I have suspicions..”
“The books are wrong!”
Hours passed, and more and more villagers came to examine.
During the next lesson, the teacher recited the theory.
“Due to Hong Jing’s examinations, it proves that the books are incorrect! Eh? Hong Jing? Why are you staring at my fan?”
“Sir, why do fans produce wind? Right, where does wind come from? Why?”
The teacher started getting a headache from all those questions.
“AHH! I can’t take it! Why do you have so much questions?!”
The teacher ran outside, getting chased by Hong Jing.
“TEACHER, DON’T LEAVE! WHY?”
Hong Jing proved a theory wrong, due to his careful examinations, and finally became a great herbalist.
Translated by Liana 8-15-12