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Liyang Lake: A Paradoxical Story
The old woman asked why, but the boy left without answering.
By Sam Chen Posted in Strange Stories on 01/05/2019 6 Comments 1 min read
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Liyang Lake

A Paradoxical Story

There was an old woman in Liyang county. She was very kind and often did good deeds. One day, a young man went to her door to beg. The old woman helped him warmly, giving him the best food in her house. The boy was very grateful to her. Before he left, the boy said to the old woman: “You should go and check the country government office often. If you see blood on the threshold of its entrance, please run into the mountain to seek asylum as soon as possible.” The old woman asked why, but the boy left without answering.

The old woman took the boy at his word. She checked the threshold every day. Over time, a janitor asked her what she wanted to do. The old woman made no secret of it, telling the janitor what the boy said. The janitor laughed, he thought the old woman was crazy. One day, he decided to play a joke on her. The janitor rubbed chicken blood on the threshold. The old woman saw it and went into the mountain with her belongings.

In the evening of that same day, the land of Liyang county sank and formed a deep hole, killing everyone. It became a big lake. This was the origin of Liyang Lake.

China Liyang Lake paradox Strange Chinese Stories Tang dynasty


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  1. Wow, This is interesting. The didactic element of this story is that it is good to do good. I never knew this was the history behind liyang lake not until I read this. I love this site and I will start following you from now on to get historical stories. Thanks for sharing this informative and educative article on liyang lake.

  2. That’s actually a pretty cool story, that really makes you think, yet still manages to leave you a little confused. 

    How did the boy know this was going to happen – was he a higher power?

    Why did the old woman have that sort of power over the area, and why did the janitor decide to be so cruel and play the joke?

    All questions that have no answer really – you have to make your own mind up! 

    1. Hey, Chris! I think maybe the boy had a superpower. What makes this story so thought-provoking is that: would it have happened anyway?

      If the woman hadn’t told tell the janitor the truth, so the janitor wouldn’t have rubbed chicken blood on the threshold. Would it have happened later? As a trigger, what important role did the blood play? Maybe if the janitor hadn’t done it, the land of Liyang county wouldn’t have sunk or maybe other people or other accidents would have put blood on the threshold? There are so many possibilities and so much room for the imagination.

  3. Amazing, This is fascinating. The instructional component of this story is that it is a great idea to do great. I never realized this was the history behind liyang lake not until the point that I read this. I adore this site and I will begin tailing you starting now and into the foreseeable future to get verifiable stories. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this educational and educative article on liyang lake. I really enjoyed the folk tale

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