During the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty, the county magistrate Zhu of Yu County held a paper-cut competition every autumn in order to encourage the county’s paper-cut industry to continue to innovate.
Only one “God Scissor” is selected in the annual paper-cutting competition, and the prize is a pair of golden scissors. The most eye-catching is Zhu Peipei, who won the first prize last year. This girl is talented and dexterous. Everyone thinks that she will win the top spot this year. Another one that should not be underestimated is Liu Qiaoqiao, who also made it into the top three after passing all the way.
In the end, Zhu Peipei and Liu Qiaoqiao performed on the same stage and competed for the ownership of the golden scissors. Zhu Peipei cut the story of the black cat and ghost like the wind , and cut it until noon, before finishing cutting a piece of “Rich Peonies”. There are more than 30 peonies in different shapes on this paper-cut. It has reached perfection, and the ten squires who judged clapped their hands and cheered.
Liu Qiaoqiao appeared on the stage calmly holding scissors. She took out a dozen sheets of black paper and cut them up and down. A dozen big black cats of different shapes appeared on the paper. .
These big black cats are cut delicately and nimbly, but everyone in this county knows how to cut cats, so it’s hard to be elegant. Everyone said that it seems that this year is the victory of Zhu Peipei. At this time, Liu Qiaoqiao waved the black cat paper-cut in her hand and said, “Father folks, the black cat cut by the little girl can also repel rats!”
It is an anecdote that a paper-cut black cat can repel mice. Seeing that the squires didn’t believe it, Liu Qiaoqiao distributed the black cat paper-cuts: “Squires, as long as you take home the little girl’s black cat paper-cuts and hang them in the room where there are rats, you will know that the black cat paper-cuts are true. Amazing!”
After listening to Liu Qiaoqiao’s speech, County Magistrate Zhu also found it a bit unbelievable. Anyway, the golden scissors can’t escape, so it’s not a bad idea to try whether the black cat paper-cut has the effect of repelling mice. He returned home with a black cat paper-cut and asked the housekeeper to hang it in a rat-infested miscellaneous room. County magistrate Zhu’s bedroom was very close to the miscellaneous room. He poked a hole in the window paper and sat in the room to observe the movement outside. At Haishi, the first mouse appeared. This mouse sneaked out of the miscellaneous room, crawled quickly along the base of the wall, and then went out of the yard, and then five or six mice came out. long queue.
Early the next morning, all the country gentry came to see magistrate Zhu. It turned out that the paper-cutting of the black cat was really effective. It was hung until midnight, and even the mice in their house were scared away.
A squire said: “I heard from the old people that when someone was cutting a picture of a cat, they deliberately poured cat urine on it, and the paper-cutting of the cat picture will have the effect of repelling mice!”
County magistrate Zhu took the paper-cut black cat from the cake, put it under his nose and sniffed it, but there was no smell at all, it seemed that it was all thanks to the scissors!
So, Zhu county magistrate took the stage and announced Liu Qiaoqiao’s victory. But three days later, the black cat paper-cuts in the homes of the squires failed. The mice moved back one after another, ignoring the black cat paper-cut.
County magistrate Zhu called Liu Qiaoqiao to the county government office. When asked why, Liu Qiaoqiao smiled and said, “The paper cat is not a real cat. If you are scared for one day, it will not work well on the third day!”
County magistrate Zhu dismissed all the yamen servants, and said in a low voice: “Liu Qiaoqiao , the story of the black cat ghost , it’s not too late for you to tell the truth. If you insist on concealing it, once I ask my lord to find out the reason, don’t blame me for treating you.” You’re welcome!”
Liu Qiaoqiao knelt down on the ground with a “plop”, and said, “Master Liu, you are a good official, and the black cat paper-cuts made by folk girls are not effective at repelling rats at all!”
It turned out that the night when the paper-cutting competition was held was the day when the people of the whole county paid food to the county. After the officials in charge of the grain in the county collected the grain, they had to send all the grain to the warehouse outside the city in a horse-drawn cart overnight. However, the bags containing the grain were all old canvas bags, full of holes from insects and rats, and the grain was transported back to the warehouse. On the road, food was scattered all the way. So what to do with the missing food? Of course, I want it from the common people. This is called “rat consumption”!
The mouse’s nose is so good. Since there is plenty of food on the road outside, the mouse will run to the street to eat for three days from that night onwards. This is the secret of the black cat’s paper-cutting ability to repel mice!
Liu Qiaoqiao’s use of this method to win the gold scissors is secondary, the purpose is to remind the county magistrate Zhu that there are so many disadvantages and loopholes in the seemingly simple link of grain transportation, it is time to think of a way.