The Gods Help a Dutiful Son
Zheng Jian, Contributor, Dora Li, Contributing Translator
In the Ming Dynasty, there was a man named Peng Da. He lived in Cili County in Hunan Province. His family was very poor, and he had only an old mother. Peng Da was a dutiful son with filial piety. He worked for a rich family, and when the lord gave him meat and wine, he always took it home to give to his mother. In summer, during the evenings, he always stood in front of his mother’s bed and fanned her until she fell asleep. In the winter, he helped to warm his mother’s feet. He sometimes woke up several times during the night to get his mother hot tea or soup to drink. He did that for many years. When he talked to his mother, he always spoke with a soft voice and hoped that whatever he said would bring a smile to his mother’s face.
One day, his mother wanted pears to eat. Peng Da did not hesitate for even a moment and immediately set out for the market. The distance from his home to the market was more than three miles, and there was a big mountain on the way. There was a narrow mountain road along a cliff. On one side of the road was a steep cliff face, and on the other side was a deep stream. The drop from the cliff into the stream was so high that people became dizzy when looking down. The mountain road was only about a foot wide at times and thus very dangerous, so people who took this road all walked very slowly.
That day, when Peng Da was coming back from the market and was walking on the narrow road, he suddenly heard tigers roaring behind him. When he turned back to look, he saw two tigers behind him. He was terrified and ran as fast as he could. At that moment, the earth suddenly shook and there was a thunderous sound. He turned and saw a landslide! Soon the road he just passed was buried by stones. If the tigers had not appeared, he would not have started run- ning and would have certainly been crushed.
The Gods always protect kind people. Peng Da was a dutiful son with filial piety, so he was helped by the Gods when he was in a dangerous situation.