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Chuang Tzu Stories

  1. Apologies

  2. The Empty Boat

  3. Means and ends

  4. The Useless

  5. Three in the Morning

  6. The Owl and the Phoenix

  7. The need to win

  8. Three Friends

  9. Chuang Tzu’s funeral

  10. The Man of Tao

  11. When the shoe fits

  12. The Tower of the Spirit

  13. Flight from the Shadow

  14. Fighting Cock

  15. Monkey Mountain

  16. Symphony for a seabird

  17. Autumn floods

  18. The Turtle

  19. Duke Hwan & the Wheelwright

  20. Man is born in Tao

  21. Wholeness



Chuang Tzu Story - Three Friends

There were three friends, discussing life.
One said: “Can men live together and know nothing of it,
Work together and produce nothing?
Can they fly around in space and forget to exist,
World without end?”

The three friends looked at each other
And burst out laughing.
They had no explanation,
Thus they were better friends than before.

Then one friend died.
Confusius sent a disciple
To help the other two chant his obsequies.

The disciple found that one friend had composed a song,
While the other played the lute.

They sang:
“Hey, Sung Hu, where’d you go?
Hey, Sung Hu, wher’d you go?
You have gone where you really were,
And we are here – damn it, we are here!”

Then the disciple of Confucius
Burst in on them and exclaimed:
“May I enquire where you found this
in the rubrics for obsequies,
this frivolous caroling
in the presence of the departed?”

The two friends looked at each other
And laughed:
“Poor fellow,
he does not know the new liturgy!”