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Once upon a time, there was a rich man in the east of Wuchang City. He claimed to be a Buddhist, and he usually gave small favors to win people's hearts. Some people flattered him and called him "Wang Shanren", which he happily accepted. There is a teacher named Zhou Wenqing in the west of Wuchang City. He is knowledgeable, upright, and good at fighting injustices. Everyone respectfully calls him Mr. Zhou. One year there was a severe drought in Wuchang, and the farmers had no harvest, but the businessmen in the city hoarded the goods and did nothing to save them. The hungry people had no way to borrow money, so they had to go to the wealthy man Wang Shanren's house to buy food. When Wang Shanren saw his neighbors flocking to buy food, he wanted to refuse them, but he was afraid of ruining his reputation, so he thought of a way to let them leave. Wang Shanren thought about it for a long time, and finally came up with an idea, and said to everyone: "Wang doesn't have much food, but he can't ignore death, and he is a native of his hometown. But you also have to satisfy me with a small Please, Mr. Wang’s biggest hobby in his life is to listen to other people telling stories. If any of you tell a story that can win me a ‘good’ word, I will open a warehouse to sell grain; if I can’t get this ‘good’ word, then I have no choice but to Please find another way."

The people were so hungry that they had no intention of telling stories. Although they knew that Wang Shanren was deliberately making things difficult, they had no choice. Besides, he, Wang Shanren, didn’t want to borrow food. No matter how good your story is, he won’t say yes. Isn’t it a waste of effort? After waiting for a long time, Wang Shanren saw that everyone was silent, so he said with a smile: "Since you don't want to show your favor, please go back. I want to rest." At this moment, a young junior student suddenly shouted: "I'll tell you." After saying that, he separated from everyone and came to Wang Shanren. Wang Shanren squinted one eye and said coldly: "You tell me." The young man began to speak in a neither humble nor arrogant manner: "Once upon a time, there was a louse and a flea playing together. Suddenly they found a flea in the haystack. They started to argue. The louse said, I laid the egg and it should belong to me. The flea said, I obviously laid the egg and it should belong to me. The two quarreled and started fighting. At this moment, they walked away. A bedbug came over. The bedbug asked about the situation and said, "Don't fight anymore, I have a solution. Give me this egg and wait for me to hatch it. If it jumps, it's a flea." If it doesn't jump, it's the cub of a louse." As soon as he said this, Wang Shanren shouted: "Good boy, how dare you make insinuations and hurt people with hidden arrows, let me catch you!" Several servants swarmed up to him. , wanting to tie up the young man with all kinds of flowers.

At this moment, Mr. Zhou happened to be passing by. Seeing this, he quickly stepped forward, bowed his hands to Wang Shanren, and said politely: "Master, this young man is ignorant and has offended the master. I will tell the master a nice story and apologize for him. If If you tell it well, I will open a warehouse to sell grain; if you tell it badly, you will deal with the two of us." Wang Shanren thought for a while and said: "I don't like to hear some bullshit story about playing the piano. If you want to tell it, just tell it in a serious book. Yes." Mr. Zhou bowed again and said with a smile: "Okay. I will tell you a story of the Three Kingdoms, called Uncle Liu Huang's Leaping Horse across the Tanxi River." Wang Shanren said: "I love to hear the story of the Three Kingdoms the most. You can tell it. ." Mr. Zhou then spoke calmly: "During the Three Kingdoms period, Sun Quan followed Zhou Yu's plan and wanted to kill Liu Bei by pretending to marry him. Liu Bei followed Zhuge Liang's plan and came to Soochow alone. Who knew Sun Quan's plan? When his mother Wu Guotai saw Liu Bei's ghost stories at Ganlu Temple, she took a fancy to this talent. So she ignored Sun Quan's advice and actually betrothed her daughter to Liu Bei as his wife. Zhou Yu was so angry that he plotted to kill Liu Bei. Mrs. Sun knew After that, he secretly informed Liu Bei to escape, and personally gave him a good horse named "De Lu", and left the city overnight. Liu Bei rode Lu, and the horse whipped faster. As he was running, he was unexpectedly blocked by a creek. The stream was about ten feet wide and the current was very fast. Liu Bei was stalling on his horse and was in a dilemma when he suddenly heard the sound of killing and galloping horse hooves from behind. Liu Bei knew that Zhou Yu had sent troops to chase him, and he was so anxious that he was so anxious. Beads of sweat broke out, but the Luma was lingering by the stream and did not dare to jump over.

At this critical moment, Liu Bei pulled the reins of the horse, took a few steps back, then patted Lu Ma on the head and said angrily: "Beast, jump quickly!" Jump quickly, if you don't jump, I will die. The horse seemed to understand human nature. Suddenly it roared, its hooves flew into the air, and with a whoosh, it jumped across Tanxi River! " "good! Well said! "Wang Shanren was attracted by Mr. Zhou's colorful story and couldn't help but cheer. He had already forgotten his promise. When Mr. Zhou heard this, he stopped talking. He was listening with great interest. Wang Shanren said eagerly: "Tell me, what will happen next? "

Mr. Zhou smiled and said: "Master, you have said 'good' to the story I told you. You should just open a warehouse and sell grain. A gentleman's words are like a horse that can't be chased. When you finish selling grain, we will continue to tell the story." ." At this time, the hungry people were impatient with waiting, and everyone echoed in unison: "Master, you must keep your word. After listening to the story and saying yes, it's time to open the warehouse and sell grain!" Wang Shanren saw everyone. He looked angry and did not dare to offend, so he had to bear the pain and open a warehouse to sell grain to the people. After everyone left, Wang Shanren thought about it carefully and shouted "Damn it!" It turns out who is the best at telling ghost stories ? Only now did he realize that Mr. Zhou was also scolding him in a roundabout way (Editor’s note: the word “jump” in Lu has the same pronunciation as the word “粜” in “粜利”). Wang Shanren thought: It's not just that he gave away food to those poor people, but he also received a scolding from this old man. The bad breath in his chest was really unbearable, so he must wait for the right time to deal with the man surnamed Zhou! In the autumn of this year, Wang Shanren opened a lotus pond library in Ailian Pavilion, a scenic spot in Wuchang. He wanted his son and some children from wealthy families to read some poems and books here.

In order to select capable teachers, Wang Shanren specially put out a list to recruit talents. After Mr. Zhou Wenqing heard the news, although he knew that Wang Shanren was not a good person, he had to bite the bullet and apply for the job for the sake of the family's livelihood. Mr. Zhou was well-read in poetry and books, and was talented, so he was naturally selected by the Wang family to become a private school teacher. However, Wang Shanren, who was extremely wealthy, was very stingy and only gave Mr. Zhou some sour rice, rotten vegetable leaves, and moldy radishes to eat every day. Mr. Zhou was very angry, but he couldn't get angry easily. One day, Wang Shanren came to the library and asked about his son's study. Mr. Zhou said: "Congratulations, your son has made great progress and can make double-character couplets." Wang Shanren was very happy when he heard that his son could make double-character couplets. He pretended to thank you and said, "Mr. Quan Zhan has worked hard to cultivate me. Do you want to take the test tomorrow?" Mr. Zhou said, "Okay." After Wang Shanren left, Mr. Zhou called Wang Shanren's son and said, "Your father is going to take the test on you in person tomorrow. You have to prepare." !" When Wang Xiaozi heard this, he was dumbfounded and said in surprise: "Sir, I… can't handle it, how can I prepare for it?" Mr. Zhou said: "Don't worry, no matter what problem your father has tomorrow, you just need to prepare for it." Just the word 'radish' will do." The next day, Mr. Zhou brought Wang Shanren's son to the living room of the Wang family. Wang Shanren came out to greet him and asked Mr. Zhou to take a seat. Wang Shanren's son stood aside tremblingly, not daring to raise his head. After the host and guest exchanged a few polite words, Wang Shanren said to his son: "I heard from Mr. Zhou that you have made progress in your studies recently. I will give you a few couplets today. Listen: 'Silk.'" Wang Shanren's The son frowned and muttered in a low voice: "Carrot."

Wang Shanren didn't hear clearly and asked his son to say it again. Wang Xiaozi raised his voice slightly in fear and answered again. Wang Shanren scolded him as soon as he heard this: "You bastard, how can silk and satin be turned into carrots? You are really playing the piano randomly." Wang was so frightened that he was speechless and shrank into a ball. At this time, Mr. Zhou said with a smile: "Master, calm down. The young master got the answer right. Why are you still scolding him?" Wang Shanren asked puzzledly: "What? He got the answer right?" Mr. Zhou said: "The silk you are talking about is silk fabric. , your son's answer of 'Luobo' is also a silk fabric, isn't Luobo very appropriate for silk and satin?" After hearing this, Wang Shanren's furrowed brows relaxed, and he said repeatedly: "What you say makes sense! What you say makes sense!" Then he continued. Wang Shanren came up with a second pair: "Qin and Se." This time, Wang Shanren was brave and answered loudly without thinking: "Carrot!" Wang Shanren's eyes popped out with anger and he cursed: "What the hell, it's another one. Carrot!" Mr. Zhou smiled and said: "Master, the young master got the answer right again." "How do you know?" Mr. Zhou said: "The qin and cymbals are silk string instruments, and the 'gong and cymbals' are also brass instruments. , why not?" Wang Shanren was stunned and speechless by what Mr. Zhou said. After a while of silence, Wang Shanren came up with the third pair: "Yue Fei." As soon as he finished speaking, the boy Wang immediately replied: "Radish." "Beast! Where did you get so many radishes?" Mr. Zhou burst out laughing. He kept saying: "That's right!" Wang Shanren asked puzzledly: "Why, Luobo got the answer right again?" Mr. Zhou said: "Of course Luobo is right. Yue Fei is a loyal minister, and the carrot your son answered is 'Fu Luobo' '. Fu Luobo is a well-known filial son. Isn't it good to treat a filial son with a loyal minister?" Wang Shanren nodded repeatedly: "That's right! I don't know much about it. It seems that the boy has indeed made progress. I have to thank you very much. ." Mr. Zhou sneered and said, "No need to thank you. I was inspired by the master, because he likes radishes. Every meal is either steamed radish, boiled radish, salty radish or sour radish. So when I teach the young master, I also I always work hard on the word 'radish'." When Wang Shanren heard this, he was ashamed and angry, but there was nothing he could do.

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