Strange stories from a Chinese studio/The She-wolf and the Herd-boys

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Strange stories from a Chinese studio
by Pu Songling, translated by Herbert Allen Giles
The She-wolf and the Herd-boys
3285559Strange stories from a Chinese studio — The She-wolf and the Herd-boysHerbert Allen GilesPu Songling


Two herd-boys went up among the hills and found a wolf's lair with two little wolves in it. Seizing each of them one, they forthwith climbed two trees which stood there, at a distance of forty or fifty paces apart. Before long the old wolf came back, and, finding her cubs gone, was in a great state of distress. Just then, one of the herd-boys pinched his cub and made it squeak; whereupon the mother ran angrily towards the tree whence the sound proceeded, and tried to climb up it. At this juncture, the boy in the other tree pinched the other cub, and thereby diverted the wolf's attention in that direction. But no sooner had she reached the foot of the second tree, than the boy who had first pinched his cub did so again, and away ran the old wolf back to the tree in which her other young one was. Thus they went on time after time, until the mother was dead tired, and lay down exhausted on the ground. Then, when after some time she showed no signs of moving, the herd-boys crept stealthily down, and found that the wolf was already stiff and cold. And truly, it is better to meet a blustering foe with his hand upon his sword-hilt, by retiring within doors, and leaving him to fret his violence away unopposed; for such is but the behaviour of brute beasts, of which men thus take advantage.