“The Foolish Old Man Moves the Mountain” is a fable essay in “Liezi”. The article narrates the story of Foolish Father, who is not afraid of hardships, perseveres, and digs the mountain, and finally moved the mountain away.
The comparison between Yugong’s perseverance and wise old man’s timidity, as well as the contrast between “stupid” and “wisdom”, shows the confidence and perseverance of the working people in ancient China, and illustrates the principle of perseverance to overcome difficulties. The full text is neatly narrated, echoes from the beginning to the end, the plot is complete, the dialogue is lively, and the dialogue that meets the personality is an excellent promotion of the development of the story plot.
The two mountains, Taihang and Wangwu, have a radius of seven hundred miles and are seven or eight thousand feet high. They were originally located in the south of Jizhou and the north of the north bank of the Yellow River.
There is a man named Yu Gong below Beishan, who is nearly 90 years old, and lives directly opposite the mountain. Suffering from the obstruction in the northern part of the mountain, he had to take a detour when he went out and went in, so he summoned his family to discuss, “I will try my best to dig the steep mountain and make the road lead to the southern part of Yuzhou and reach the south bank of Hanshui River, okay?” Agree. His wife asked, “With your strength, even the hill of Kuifu can’t be flattened. How about Taihang and Wangwu? Besides, where should the dug soil and stones be laid?” The crowd said: “” Throw it to the edge of the Bohai Sea, to the north of Yintu.” So Yugong led three of his children and grandchildren who could carry a burden on the mountain, chiseled rocks, digged the soil, and transported them to the Bohai Sea with a dustpan. The neighbouring widow of the Jingcheng clan has an orphan, just seven or eight years old, jumping to help him. Only one round trip can be done when the season changes between winter and summer.
The wise old man in Hequ laughed at Yu Gong and prevented him from doing this, saying, “You are so stupid! With your remaining years and strength, you can’t even move a grass on the mountain, and you can move the soil and stones. How is it?” Beishan Yugong sighed and said, “Your thinking is so stubborn that you can’t open your mind. You can’t even compare to orphans and widows. Even if I die, there will still be a son. Give birth to sons; sons have sons, sons have grandchildren; the descendants are endless, but the mountains will not increase and increase, are you afraid of digging uneven?” Hequ’s wise old man had nothing to answer.
The mountain god holding the snake heard about this, fearing that he would dig endlessly and report it to the Emperor of Heaven. The Emperor of Heaven was moved by Yu Gong’s sincerity and ordered the two sons of the Hercules Kua’e to carry the two mountains, one in the east of Shuofang and the other in the south of Yongzhou. From then on, from the south of Jizhou to the south bank of the Hanshui River, there was no high mountain barrier anymore.