This is a story-listening demonstration by Beniko Mason. It is based on a traditional story.

Chuang Tzu and his Wife

Chuang-tzu saw a young woman. She was grieving, and vigorously fanning a new grave. He asked her why she was fanning a grave. She replied, “ “I am doing this because my husband begged me to wait until the earth on his tomb was dry before I remarried!”

Chuang-tzu offered to help her, and as soon as he waved the fan once, the earth was dry. The young widow thanked him and departed.

On his return home, Chuang-tzu related this incident to his wife. She expressed astonishment at such conduct on the part of a wife.

“There’s nothing to be surprised at,” rejoined the husband. “That’s how things go in this world.”

She said that she would never do a thing like that.

Some time after this Chuang-tzu died. His wife grieved, and buried him.

A few days later a young man named Chu Wang-sun came to her house. He said that he was an old friend of her husband. When he heard that her husband was dead he went to his tomb and bowed. He said that he wanted to stay in Chuang-tzu’s room and wanted to study there.

After half a month had passed, the widow asked an old servant who had accompanied Wang-sun if the young man was married. On his replying in the negative, she requested the old servant to propose a match between them. Wang-sun disagreed, saying that people would criticize their conduct. He said, “It has been only two weeks!”

“Since my husband is dead, what can people say?” replied the widow. She then took off her mourning garments and prepared for the wedding.

Wang-sun took her to the grave of her husband, and said to her, “Your husband has returned to life!”

She looked at Wang-sun and recognized the features of her husband. It was her husband! She was so overwhelmed with shame that she hanged herself.

Chuang-tzu buried her in an empty tomb.

The End

(link to the PDF of this story)