The Love of Life

37. A Bad Story


Now we have to tell you a bad story.

Long ago, there was a government official whose favorite dishes were geese’s feet and live goat’s heart. When he wanted to eat a goose’s feet, he had the goose hung above an iron wok with a fire under it. When the fire heated the wok, the goose would twist and cry, but the official didn’t care. The heat of the fire would make the goose’s feet swell up, and the blood would run into its feet as the goose was cooked to death. What a cruel way to prepare a dish!

Then the official would have a goat tied to a stake. The cooks would skin its ribs and reach in to pluck out its heart and liver. They cooked these and served them with liquor. The poor goat would bleat in pain until it died.

The official killed many geese and goats in this brutal way.

One day, a man who looked like a scholar advised the official to change his ways and stop killing innocent animals. The official didn’t take his advice. Instead, he yelled at him and called him bad names.

“Then you’re going to die of boils.” The scholar said that and left.

The official yelled more insults after him, but sure enough, before long, he got boils all over his body. Every day he lived in pain. Many famous doctors treated him, but nobody could cure his boils. He died soon, and his body smelled so bad nobody could come near him.

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