Lu Ban making a magpie

Master 0sifu Folktale Lu Ban making a magpie

Master 0sifu Folktale: Lu Ban making a magpie

During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476B.C), a skillful craftsman named Gongshu Zi in the State of Lu, Known to people as “Lu Ban”, made a magpie with bamboo and wood.



A machine was installed in this magpie which, when started, could fly high like a real bird. It actually flew continually for three days and nights before it landed.



Gongshu Zi greatly appreciated this excellent work of his own.



When Mo Zi (Master of the Mohist School) heard of this, he went immediately to see Gongshu Zi and said to him:



“As you know, it takes an ordinary carpenter a very short time to make a linchpin of a wheel with the minimum amount of timber. A vehicle with a linchpin inserted into each end of an axle can carry many things and bear a heavy load of 50 dan(1 hectolitre.)” But you took painstaking effort to make this wooden magpie. Thought pretty and able to fly, it cannot compare with the linchpin in terms of practical value. Things made by a carpenter should be useful for people’s life, so that everyone will praise him for his cleverness and skill. Otherwise, he is bound to be derided.






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