Huang Xiang Warming His Father’s Sleeping-Bag
Huang Xiang was a nine-year-old boy of the East Han. It was a cold winter, but Huang Xiang, the son would read and learn every day while the father went to do farming. One day, it was extremely cold with a strong northwest wind blowing, the sky full of thick dark clouds and the sun totally unseen. The father went to the farm to work as usual and the son managed to read and learn all the same. However, it was so cold that Huang Xiang found it hard to take firm hold of the book with both his stiff hands and fingers and difficult to bear the cat-bitten-like aches of both feet. He couldn’t help walking up and down the room to get warmth back to his feet and hands over reading and learning. It was getting late and towards evening, the father came back from the farm. His lips were both dark purple and his tongue was not flexible. Hence he could not speak clearly. On his beard and eye-bows were all small pieces of ice or frost. He was shivering all over. As there was no food, he could drink some hot water to get himself warmed. Soon it would be bedtime, and Huang Xiang went to make bed for his father in the usual way. When touching the sleeping quilt, Huang Xiang felt it icily cold. Instantly he began to worry, thinking, “How could Father have a good sleep in such a cold quilt after a day’s toiling? And he will have to do farm work tomorrow.” All of a sudden, he had an idea. He took off his shoes and clothes immediately and and got into his father’s sleeping bag. The sleeping bag was warmed when the father went to bed. In the warm sleeping bag, the father soon fell asleep.And the son was delighted. During the remaining days of the very cold winter, he persisted in warming the sleeping bag for his father. From that winter on, Huang Xiang kept doing so every winter. The parents praised him as a good son. Neighbors had high opinions of him for his filial piety and every one else filial followed his sample.
Credit: Chinese Culture