Zhuang Zhou's family was poor. Once, he went to the official who supervised1 rivers to borrow some grain. The official said: "Well, wait until the end of the year when I collect the taxes from the people, then I will lend you 300 gold pieces. All right?"
When Zhuang Zhou heard this, he was so angry that the colow of his face changed. But he told the official this story: When I came here yesterday, on the way I heard a voice calling 'Help!' I turned my head and saw a small crucian carp in the dried-up carriage ditch2."
I went over and asked: "Little crucian carp, why are you calling for help?"
The little crucian carp answered: "I am a subject of the Dragon King of the East China Sea. Unfortunately I fell down here. Can you give me a little water to save my life?"
I said: "All right, I am just going to the south to sell ideas to the kings of the States of Wu and Yue. I will ask them to stir3 up the water of the Xijiang River to welcome you. Will that do?"
When the crucian carp heard this, it got angry and said: "When I lose the water which is always with me, I cannot survive. Now, I want only a little bit of water so that I can survive.Yet you say such things. Then you'd better go to the salt-fish shop to look for me."
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