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A man of Chu lived by fostering monkeys, so people there called him Jugong (Monkey Master). Every morning Jugong must give monkeys assignments, appointing an old monkey to lead the tribe of the monkey to pick fruit and acorns in the mountain. When they came back, each monkey had to give in one tenth of its gains to Jugong as a tribute. If any one dared not to turn in, Jugong would whip that disobeying monkey. So all of the monkeys were suffering pains and fears, but none of them dared defy Jugong at all.
One day a young monkey questioned others, " Does Master plant the trees on the mountain?"
"Of course not. The tree had been there on the mountain by themselves."
"Does no one else have the right to pick the fruits except Master?"
"No, everyone has the right."
"Now that why must we rely on him and serve him?"
No sooner had the conversation ended than all monkeys suddenly saw the whole thing in a clear light.
In the dead of the night when Jugong fell into fast sleep, the monkeys broke the railings, fencings, and cages and took away all of the fruit and acorns that Jugong reserved. Together the monkeys run into the woods and never came back to Jugong.
Finally Jugong starved to death.
Liu Ji notes: Are the rulers who treat their people with political tricks, instead of lawful and reasonable administration, similar to that draconian Jugong? People may be just temporarily unaware of the truth, but once the people are enlightened, any political tricks will reach the end of the road.
|( 創作｜散文 )|