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A Chinese Folk Tale about Fear

Defeated by His Own Fear

A long, long time ago, China was not a big united country.  Instead, it was composed of three smaller countries.  The three countries were always fighting with each other.  Among the three countries, Shu was the weakest but was fortunately headed by a very wise man, Zhuge Liang.  In fact, Zhuge Liang was regarded as one of the wisest men in China.

 

One day, General Sima Yi  from the country Wei led hundred thousands of soldiers coming to attack Shu.  Master Zhuge knew this would happen sooner or later and had a ready plan to defend his country.  He called in General Ma and told him about his plan.

 

But General Ma was a very arrogant man.  He said to himself: “Why should I follow Zhuge’s plan?  If I defeat Sima Yi’s army in my own way, everybody will see that I am smarter than Zhuge.”   So he led his men to fight in his own way.  So he lost, badly. Only a handful of men managed to escape and reported the bad news to Master Zhuge.

 

Upon this shocking bad news, Master Zhuge only lost his composure for a minute.  He had to think out something fast or the whole city and his whole country would be smashed.  There were only two thousand soldiers in the city.  But Master Zhuge sent them all but twenty to wait in the steep mountains of a valley.  People in the city were instructed to stay in their houses and nobody should come out to walk in the streets.  Master Zhuge then ordered the twenty soldiers to remove all the war flags and weapons from the city walls and open as widely as possible the gate to the city.  He then asked the twenty soldiers to take off their army uniforms and changed into street sweepers’ clothes.  While the twenty men were calmly sprinkling water and sweeping the streets, Master Zhuge came to the wall above the gate with his favorite Qin, an ancient Chinese music instrument.

 

When General Sima’s army came near to the city, he sent his son and a group of soldiers to spy on their enemy.  Shortly his son and his men returned.  They reported that they didn’t see any sign of the enemy army, only a widely open gate, some street swipers and an old man playing peaceful music on the wall.  General Sima then went closer to the city wall with his son.  He could recognize the old man.  He told his son: “That’s not an ordinary old man.  He is Master Zhuge himself!”

 

His son asked: “Should we ride into the city and seize him?”  Looking at the open gate and the calm street sweepers for a moment, General Sima said: “Let’s withdraw!” “But why?” asked his son.  General Sima said: “Master Zhuge must have set up a trap in the city for us and he is just using the open gate and himself to entice us to jump into the trap.”

 

So General Sima’s army turned back and marched away from the city.  When they came to the valley, Zhuge Liang’s two thousand soldiers were waiting for them.  This sudden attack made General Sima even surer that Zhuge Liang also had a trap in the city.

 

After General Sima’s army left, Master Zhuge came down from the wall.  Somebody asked Master Zhuge why General Sima did not come into the city.  Another asked: “Master Zhuge, did you find a secret weapon to defeat the enemy while we were hiding?”   To that, Master Zhuge laughed and answered: “  Yes we used a secret weapon. Our secret weapon was our enemy’s own fear.”

A Poem about Christmas Cheer

A WHOLE YEAR OF CHRISTMAS CHEER

I wish there was a way to save all this Christmas cheer. I’d put it in a bottle and spread it through the year. It would be a very, very merry January. In fact, we’d make the spirit last right through February.We’d have our Christmas cheer in March, April, May and June. Even in July and then beneath the August moon. Then early in September when the leaves come falling down, we’d still have Christmas cheer to spare and spread it all around. October when our cheer begins to run a little low, that Christmas spirit from within would keep us all aglow. Come November we’d remember time is drawing near, to fill our bowl of Christmas cheer for another year.

Copyright © 2016, Reading Friend

  • December 12th, 2016
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A Poem about Thankfulness

OUR LUCKY STAR

Let’s be a little kinder to everyone who’s near. Let’s be a better minder for Mom and Dad so dear.

Let’s be a little braver, and put away our fears. Let’s thank our lucky star that Christmas time is here.

Don’t you know, don’t you see, how lucky we are, both you and me? There’s Christmas glow, and Christmas glee, and a shining star on the Christmas tree.

So let’s be a little better than we were last year. Let’s be a real go-getter and smile instead of sneer.

Let’s be a little stronger and dry up all the tears. Let’s thank our lucky star that Christmas time is here.

Don’t you know, don’t you see, how lucky we are, both you and me. There’s Christmas glow, and Christmas glee, and a shining star on the Christmas tree.

Let’s pledge forever after to always be sincere.  Let’s shout it from the rafters so everyone can hear.

Let’s have a little laughter and spread a little cheer. Let’s thank our lucky star that Christmas time is here.

Copyright © 2016, Reading Friend

  • December 5th, 2016
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A Short Poem about Environmental Citizenship

 

TAKE A LITTLE TIME TO BE KIND TO THE EARTH

Take a little time to be kind to the Earth. Lend a helping hand wherever you can. Make up your mind to be first in line. We’ve got to save this land.

We can recycle, we can reuse, and things that pollute, we can  simply refuse.  We can save more, we can use less, and when we see trash, we can clean up the mess.

So take a little time to be kind to the Earth. Lend a helping hand wherever you can.

Copyright © 2016 Reading Friend

 

 

  • December 4th, 2016
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A Poem about a Christmas Dream

SWEET-TOOTH DREAMS

On Christmas Eve when I’m asleep
I have the sweetest dream,
Where creamy sugar-coated frosting
Covers everything.

Sugar sprinkles drifting down
Like the falling snow.
Candy kisses all around
Everywhere I go.
Frosty boughs hold sugar plums
High up in the trees.
They’ll come falling one by one,
Just say, “Pretty, please.”

With all the yummy things I see,
I wish I may I wish I might,
Oh, how my tummy sings to me,
“I wish I had a little bite!”

Chocolate Santas melt my heart,
Filled with fudgy cream.
Christmas cookies by the hearth,
Made of red and green.
Cotton candy clouds drift by
In my sweet-tooth dreams.
Sugar reindeer fill the sky,
At least that’s how it seems.

With all the yummy things I see,
I wish I may I wish I might,
Oh, how my tummy sings to me,
“I wish I had a little bite!”

Snowman cookies cool their heels,
Waiting for the frost.
Christmas cakes on window seals,
Draped in honey sauce.
Smell the sweetest apple pie,
Baking in the pan.
Gingerbread men tease me by
Saying, “Catch me if you can!”

Copyright © 2016, Reading Friend

  • December 2nd, 2016
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A Poem about Christmas Time

MERRY CHRISTMAS TIME

All my troubles and my fears
Just seem to disappear
Now that Merry Christmas Time is here.

All the worries of the day
Just seem to melt away
When I’m riding on a Christmas sleigh.

Christmas Eve and Christmas night,
Christmas trees and twinkling lights.
Christmas joy and Christmas cheer,
Christmas toys and eight reindeer.

Christmas lists and Christmas fun,
Christmas gifts for everyone.
Christmas bells and Christmas bows,
Christmas elves and ho ho ho’s.

All the doubts inside of me
Seem to vanish magically
When I see a child on Santa’s knee.

All my problems are erased,
They’re gone without a trace,
When I see a smile on Santa’s face.

Christmas photos, Christmas cards,
Christmas snow out in the yard.
Christmas plays and Christmas shows,
Christmas sleighs and Rudolph’s nose.

Christmas pudding in the air,
Christmas stockings hung with care.
Christmas wishes I can keep,
Christmas kisses while I sleep.

Copyright © 2016, Reading Friend

  • December 1st, 2016
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