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Emperor Chin


My son wanted to hear a bedtime story, so I made one up on the spot. It contains some real people and places, but otherwise is total fiction. He liked it. I apologize in advance to my Chinese friends and any historians who may be reading.

There was once an Emperor Chin, who China was named after. While he unified China, he was a really vicious ruler. He would order his troops to go to cities hundreds of miles away and take everything and kill everybody. He was known for wearing yellow silk clothes, and all of his furniture was made of actual gold. He sat around and ate meat all day, meat that he would steal from the towns he raided.

Hundreds of miles away, in a water city called Suzhou, there was a quiet fisherman named Kwai. Kwai would spend hours everyday fishing, by balancing on his canoe, and swinging a heavy wooden pole with heavy metal chain basket to catch even the largest of fish. He had done this for about 20 years: balancing on the edge of his canoe, swinging his heavy stick and basket, and wrangling heavy, wiggly fish, over and over and over. For fun he would also jump from his boat to the arch bridges over the canals, do some pullups, and then jump back into his boat. He sold his fish at the local market.

One day, Emperor Chin decided he wanted to take Suzhou's resources, and sent his best troops to Suzhou. They arrived hours later with lit torches in one hand and sharp swords in the other.




It was an absolute bloodbath! However, Kwai (!!!) decided that one soldier should be allowed to escape, and that is how we have this story. That soldier staggered back to the Emperor, bloody, and said his final words

"The fisherma..."

before collapsing dead on the floor. Emperor Chin decided to let Suzhou alone and that is why it is so beautiful of a city today.

What is the moral of the story? Don't underestimate your enemies, everyday people have "kung-fu" powers that can protect them when needed, and maybe water beats fire.

My son also said that eating fish is good for you.

Thanks for reading.

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