A Wooden Cock

A classic tale from ancient China. Quite short but well worth the read!

An Ancient Chinese Fable
Translated by Hirotoshi Kimura

A man named Ji Shengzi was charged with training a gamecock for the King.
Ten days later, the King came around and asked, “Is it ready yet?”
To which the trainer said, “No, Your Majesty. It still exhibits some air of bluster.”
Another ten days passed and the King asked again.
To which the trainer said, “Not yet, Your Majesty. It still exhibits some agitation in the presence of, or in earshot of, its opponent.”
Still another ten days passed and the King asked again.
To which the trainer said, “No, Your Majesty. It fastens its baleful look straight upon its opponent trying to intimidate it.”
Ten days passed again and the King came back and asked.
To which the trainer said, for the first time, “So-so, Your Majesty. The most bellicose crow would fail to remotely ruffle its repose—it looks for all the world like a wooden cock.
Its virtue has blossomed. Now, no cock would dare fight this one. Just one look, and it would be cowed into quick retreat.”

http://www.geocities.jp/sybrma/424souji.bokukei.html
English translation © 2015 Hirotoshi Kimura. All rights reserved.