Buying bones with 1,000 pieces of gold

Master 0sifu Folktale Buying Bones with 1,000 Pieces of Gold

Master 0sifu Folktale: Buying bones with 1,000 pieces of gold

Shortly after King Zhao of the State of Yan came to the throne, he went to visit Guo Kui, an able and virtuous scholar, and asked for his advice on how to govern the state and make it strong, and how to avenge his father and wipe off the shame of the state. Guo Kui told him the story of “Buying Bones with 1,000 Pieces of Gold”.



In ancient times, there was a king very fond of horses that could cover 1,000 1i a day. He sent many people, sought many means and spent lots of money to buy such horses. Yet three years had passed, and no such horses were available.



One day, a guard volunteered to help and said to the king: “I am willing to buy a thousand-li steed for Your Majesty.”



The king was pleasantly surprised. He asked: “You? Can you make it?”



“Your Majesty, you can rest assured,” replied the guard.



The king complied with his request and let him go on his mission.



The guard sought for the horse wholeheartedly. He spent three months, and after much effort found out the whereabouts of such a horse. But when he hastened there, the horse had already died. Without the least hesitation, he bought the bones of the horse with 500 pieces of gold, and returned to report to the king.



On seeing the horse bones the guard had actually bought, the king flew into a rage. “You! What I want is a live horse, but you have bought the bones of a dead horse. What is the use? You have wasted 500 pieces of gold. What punishment do you think you deserve?”



The guard replied calmly: “Your Majesty, this is to let the general public know that Your Majesty is willing to pay a high price for even a dead thousand-li horse, let alone a live one. All the people in the world will know that Your Majesty wishes to buy a thousand-li horse sincerely. Your Majesty, don’t be angry. Just wait and the horse you want will come very soon.”



As the guard had expected, the king bought three thousand-li horses within one year.






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