The Zhao State was taking up arms against the Yan State, and Su Dai (a military strategist during the Warring States period, and little brother to Su Qin of the School of Diplomacy) traveled to speak with King HuiWen of Zhao on behalf of the Yan State, and he told the following fable:
“When I was coming here I passed over some gentle water, and by chance I happened to see a clam sunning itself. A sandpiper seized the opportunity to peck at the clam’s meat, but the clam slammed the two wings of its hard shell shut on the sandpiper’s beak. The sandpiper said, ‘Today it won’t rain, tomorrow it won’t rain, and there will be one dead clam!’ The clam gave as good as he got, saying: ‘I won’t come out today, I won’t come out tomorrow (so your beak won’t be free), and there will be one dead sandpiper!’ Neither party was willing to give up, and at this time, a fisherman scooped them both up and carried them off. If Yan and Zhao oppose each other, we’ll both fight ourselves weary. I’m afraid the strong Qin State is playing the role of the fisherman, so I hope that your majesty will carefully deliberate on this matter.”
During the Spring and Autumn period, Nobleman ZhiBo of the Jin state eliminated the Fan clan [in battle]. There was a person who sought to take advantage of the defeated [and thus absent] Fan clan to steal some things from their house, and he saw that in their yard dangled a large bell. The bell was molded from the finest bronze, its shape and design were very fine indeed. The thief was extremely happy, thinking to take this refined bell and carry it back to his own house. But the bell was both big and heavy, and howsoever he tried, he couldn’t move it. He thought and thought, and came up with just one solution, which was to break the bell to bits, then take the pieces separately back to his house.
The thief found a sledgehammer, and swung at the bell with all his might. A loud “gong” sound rang out, startling the thief. The thief panicked, thinking this [enterprise] was spoiled, thinking “that kind of noise is tantamount to telling people that I’m here stealing the bell, isn’t it?” He was worried, and he flung is body at the bell, stretching his arms around it to try to still the sound, but really how could he stop it? The sound went on and on, ringing far and wide.
The longer he heard it, the more afraid he became, and withdrew his hands to press them against his ears with all his strength. “Yi, the sound has lessened, I can’t hear it anymore!” The thief became happy again, “How wonderful! If I cover my ears well, the sound can’t be heard!” covered his ears well, he couldn’t hear the sound at all! He immediately found two pieces of cloth and stopped up his ears, thinking that this way, no one else could hear the bell’s sound either. So he began smashing the bell, hitting it again and again, the ringing of the bell being heard even in far away places. People heard the bells sounds and came in great numbers, catching the thief.春秋时侯，晋国贵族智伯灭掉了范氏。有人趁机跑到范氏家里想偷点东西，看见院子里吊着一口大钟。钟是用上等青铜铸成的，造型和图案都很精美。小偷心里高兴极了，想把这口精美的大钟背回自已家去。可是钟又大又重，怎么也挪不动。他想来想去，只有一个办法，那就是把钟敲碎，然后再分别搬回家。
During the Qin dynasty, there was a kind and beautify woman, called Meng JiangNv. One day, she was in her garden doing housework, when she suddenly realized that someone was hiding in the grape arbor. She was hugely startled, and was about to call out, when she saw the person repeatedly wave his hands, and begged her, “Don’t call out, don’t call out, save me! I am Fan XiLiang, and I’m running away from trouble.” Well, during this time, [Emperor] Qin Shi Huang, in order to build the great wall, was seizing people from everywhere to [force them to] do labor, and he’d already worked and starved countless people to death! Meng JiangNv rescued Fan XiLiang, and when she saw that he was well educated and sensible, and good looking with delicate features as well, she began to love him, and Fan XiLiang also liked Meng JiangNv. Their two hearts beat as one, and after seeking the approval of their parents, prepared to become husband and wife.
On the wedding day, the Meng house was lit with lanterns and colored banners, and was jam-packed with guests – it was a joyous scene. When it was almost dark out, and those that had come to drink the marriage wine slowly scattered, the bride and groom prepared to enter the marriage chamber, suddenly came the sounds of birds crying and dogs barking, and soon after a company of fierce officers and soldiers charged in, and without listening to any explanation, locked up Fan XiLiang in iron chains and hauled him off to the Great Wall to work. The lovely wedding had come to nothing, and Meng JiangNv felt both grief and indignation, and she longed for her husband day and night. She thought: Instead of sitting here worrying hopelessly, it’s better if I go to the Great Wall and search for him. Yes! That’s what I’ll do! So Meng JiangNv immediately prepared her traveling clothes and set out on the road.
On the road, though she couldn’t count how many times she endured wind, frost, rain and snow, trudged across dangerous mountains and treacherous rapids, Meng JiangNv never spoke one word of complaint, never spilled one tear, and finally, drawing strength from her tenacious willpower, and drawing strength from her deep love for her husband, she reached the Great Wall. The Great Wall at this time was made up of many small construction sites that had been strung together to form a long city wall, and Meng JiangNv went from each construction site to the next, but she never saw a trace of her husband. Finally, she drummed up her courage, and asked a group of workers who were just about to begin work: “Do any of you know a Fan XiLiang?” The workers said, “Yes, there was a man like that, he’d just arrived.” When Meng JiangNv heard that, she was indescribably happy! She immediately asked, “Where is he?” The worker said, “He’s dead, his corpse has already been tossed into the wall.”
When Meng JiangNv heard this grievous news, it was like a clap of thunder from a clear sky, Meng’s eyes went dark, and [she felt] a burst of sadness, and began to sob. She cried for a full three days and three nights, she cried until the sky was twilight and the earth was dark, [until] even Heaven and Earth were moved. The sky became more and more gloomy, the wind more and more fierce, and then there was a great “crash”, and a section of the Wall had been cried down, and Fan XiLiang’s corpse was revealed; Meng JiangNv’s tears dripped on his badly mutilated face. She finally was able to see the husband she loved, but he wasn’t able to see her, because he had already been killed by the cruel Qin ShiHuang.