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At the spring six feet underground
We'll meet again at the spring six feet underground, mother.
The ruler of the State of Zheng (present day Xin Zheng county in
Henan province) married a woman named Jiang who bore him two sons.
The elder one was called Breech because he was a breech baby. The
younger one was named Duan whom she loved dearly. She hated Breech as
he gave her a lot of trouble during his birth.
Breech was entrusted to succeed his father. Jiang approached her
husband many a time to replace Breech with Duan, the ruler would not
listen to her.
The ruler died and Breech was installed as the new ruler. His mother
(Jiang) asked him to delegate power to his younger brother to rule a
district called Zhi (present day Si Shui county in Hensn province).
However, Breech turned down his mother's request on the ground that Zhi
was too far and remote from the capital. Breech said that Zhi was not a
safe place for his brother. However, he would obey if she could name
another place. So his mother asked for the city of Jing (present day Ying
Yang county in Henan province) which Breech gladly obliged. Thus Duan
became the ruler of Jing city.
However, the Premier, Ji Zhong, advised Breech not to do so as Jing
city was bigger than the capital. He also advised Breech that it was
against the State's tradition and further emphasized that Duan would rebel
against him when he had become powerful. Breech ignored his advice.
Duan the new ruler of the city of Jing was very ambitious. He ordered
the citizens who lived in the vicinities of west and east parts of city of
Jing to pay taxes to him only. He even told his citizens that he should
be the rightful ruler of Zheng instead of Breech.
Duan began to build walled-cities and began to conscript the young
citizens in his domain into his own private army. His aim was to replace
Breech as the ruler of Zheng.
A few years later his private army had become very strong and it was
time to take on his brother. He conspired with his mother in the capital
to overthrow Breech who somehow knew about the intrigue between his mother
and his younger brother.
The day that Duan was supposed to attack the capital Breech preempted
him by a surprise attack. Duan's army were routed and he fled to Yan
(present day Yan Ling county in Henan province).
On the 16th day of the 5th Moon Breech's army attacked Yan and Duan
fled further north and crossed the Yellow River.
Breech was angry with his mother and he banished her from the capital
to the city of Ying (present day Ying Ling county in Henan province).
Before he exiled his mother he told her,
"From now on we will not meet again.
The only meeting place for us is
the spring at six feet underground".
A few months later he started to regret for expelling his mother.
There were rumours by his subjects that he was an unfilial piety son.
He felt remorseful, but he had given his words that he would only meet
her at the spring at six feet underground and no where else.
The mayor of the city of Ying heard the rumours. With a few presents
the mayor went to see Breech who invited him for dinner. The mayor was
served with delicious roast meat. Before the mayor began to eat he wrapped
a few pieces of meat with his handkerchief. Curious about his action,
Breech asked his guest why he did that. The mayor answered that he had an
old mother at home and whenever he had meat to eat he always kept a few
pieces for her.
On hearing this Breech heaved a deep sigh and said,
"You are lucky as you have a mother.
I have a mother too yet I have none."
Pretenting to be ignorant the mayor asked for the meaning for this
statement. Breech related to him how he exiled his mother and promised
not to see her again. The only meeting place for them was at the spring
six feet underground. The mayor replied that he could arrange a meeting
for him to meet his father. He told Breech to engage a few of his soldiers
to dig a big and deep hole. When it struck the spring water at the bottom
of the big hole he should ask his soldiers to lower his mother to the
bottom. After that he could then climb down there to meet his mother.
That should have solved his problems.
Breech told the mayor that it was a great idea.
A few day later Breech sent for his mother. He did what the mayor had
told him. Finally mother and son were happily united at the oozing spring
at the bottom of a big hold.
1st chapter, Zuo3 Chuan2 by Zuo3 Qiu Ming2
"Huang2 Quan2 Zhi Xia4".
CHUNG Yoon-Ngan. email@example.com