It is said: "A thief is a person of low position, but he can outwit a man of
In the Shuifu Temple of my county, there was a big hanging bell. Once some
countrymen from Baling came down the river and moored their boat nearby. They
wanted to steal the bell with which to cast farming tools. Between them they
removed the bell from the belfry and lowered it onto the ground. Having stuffed
the bell with mud, they smashed it into pieces and carried the fragments away
with shoulder poles. Not a sound was heard by the villagers in the neighborhood.
Again I heard of a thief who broke into a house in broad daylight and stole a
chime stone. * When he stepped out the door into the street, he fell in with the
master of the house coming home.
"Grandpa," the thief greeted him and asked, " do you want to buy
a chime stone?"
"No, thanks," replied the old man, " I already have one at
Thereupon, the thief walked off with what he had stolen. It was only when the
old man looked for his chime stone toward evening that he realized the man had
Another story goes that a man was walking along the street with a cauldron on
his back when he felt a call of nature. He put it on the ground to pass water.
It so happened that a thief walking by saw it. Surreptitiously he took it and
putting it on his head stood there and passed water also. When the owner of the
cauldron finished and looked for it, he could not find it anywhere.
"How careless of you!" the thief blamed him. "You see the
cauldron on my head? I put it there to guard against theft. Imagine putting
yours on the ground. No wonder it was stolen."
The above incidents show that thieves are crafty and can outwit men of noble