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Monday, September 22, 2008

"Cooking a Goose"

Some debates or discussions among religionists and politicians remind me of this Chinese tale:

A man noticed a wild goose flying across the sky. He was about to shoot it with an arrow, and said: 'Once I shoot it down I shall have it stewed.' His brother intervened and said: 'A goose flying straight ahead is good for stewing, while one which flies in circles is good for roasting.' This squabble continued until they met an old man who advised cutting the goose in half, one half for stewing and the other for roasting. They accepted this suggestion, but when they returned to the original spot the goose was gone.

- Source: Ding Cong, Wit and Humor from Ancient China, trans. Ma Mingtong (Beijing: New World Press, 2000), 112.

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