Once there was an old grandmother who believed in taboo. On New Year's Day and other festival days, she would try only to say nice things,
and never let the word "no" rashly fall from her mouth.
One lunar New Year's Day, as soon as the grandmother got up, her little granddaughter passed her a bowl of sweet rice porridge. She drank it up joyfully.
"Grandma, will you take another bowl of
rice porridge?" asked the granddaughter
"All right," replied the grandmother.
The little girl passed her the second bowl of
rice porridge and quickly she drank it.
"Some more rice porridge?" asked the granddaughter.
The grandmother thought that during New
Year's Day she couldn't say "no", and so she replied promptly, "O.K., I'll drink a third bowl."
In this way the grandmother drank six bowls, and
her stomach was like a big drum.
The little girl who wasn't very sensible still
asked persistently, "Grandma, would you like
to drink some more sweet rice porridge?"
The grandmother couldn't help shaking her
hand, and said hurriedly, "No, no, no more, no
more! If I drink any more, I'll bloat myself to
Nothing in the Head
A scholar was preparing to take the civil
examinations. His wife was very puzzled by his
"Look at you, you worthless wretch," she
said. "You probably think that it's more difficult
for a man to write an essay than for a woman to
give birth to a child."
"It is easy for you women to give birth to
children," the scholar sighed.
"How's that?" she asked.
"You women can bear children easily because
you carry the child in your stomach," the scholar
said. "But I have nothing in my head, so how
do you expect me to think of something to write?"
A Cursive Hand
Prime Minister Zhang was fond of handwriting, but he didn't put in a lot of effort to do
his exercises. Everybody sneered at his bad handwriting, and the Prime Minister himself really
One day he happened to draft a beautiful
sentence and at once wielded his writing brush to
write it down, indeed, there were dragons flying
and snakes dancing all over the paper. Then
he ordered his nephew to copy it.
When beginning to copy, his nephew stared
tongue-tied and did not know where to start.
The young man had to take the manuscript back
to the Prime Minister.
"Uncle, I can't read your handwriting, please
tell me what words they are."
The Prime Minister read his cursive hand
a long time, and did not know what Chinese characters they were, either. He then turned to blame his nephew. "Why didn't you come earlier to ask
me? I myself have forgotten the words which
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