Ancient Chinese Fable (for Advanced Learners)
Once upon a time, there was a man who went to his wife’s home where he saw people removing the husk from rice. He stole some rice and hid it in his mouth. When the wife came to talk to him, he could not answer her with his mouth full. He disliked to leave it lest he would put her to shame. So he stood speechless.
That aroused her curiosity all the more. Looking at him and feeling him with her hands, she found his mouth swollen. Thereupon she said to her father, „On his way over, my husband suddenly got a swollen mouth and is unable to speak.“
Immediately her father sent for a doctor who said, „Very serious is your illness. It will be cured by an operation.“
Then an operation on his mouth was done and his act of theft was exposed.
This is also held to be true with the people at large. In doing evil deeds to break the pure commandments and hiding sins, people descend to the Three Evil Ways of hells, beats and hungry ghosts. This is just like the stupid man, being reluctant to let out rice, on account of a trifling shame matter, and undergoing an operation on his mouth to reveal his sins.
Modern Chinese Translation - 白话:
曾有一人到丈母娘家去，见她在家捣米，就去那儿偷了一把米含在嘴里。妻子来见丈夫，想跟他说话，而他满 口含着米，唔唔地不应答，因为在妻子面前怕难为情，不肯吐弃出来，也就不说话了。妻子见他不说话，奇怪了，抬手摸看，以为他口肿了，便对父亲说：「我丈夫 刚来，忽然患了口肿，都不能说话了。」她父亲随即叫来医生替他治疗。医生说：「这病极重，开了刀，方可治好。」就用刀决破了他的口，米从中泻了出来，事情 败露了。