Strategy 26 - Point at the Mulberry Tree to Curse the Locust Tree

2011-12-21 14:59 ChineseTime


Point at the Mulberry Tree to Curse the Locust Tree

zhǐ sāng mà huái 指桑骂槐

---Avoid directly confront, warn or discipline another. Instead use analogies and innuendos without naming names, thereby achieving the goal of dissuading or threatening another. 

  Ming Sian Zong was an incompetent emperor. The eunuch Wang Jhih was his favorite. Together with two of his men, Wang Yue and Chen Rong, they were a gang that did nothing but evil all over the country. The officials were too afraid to offend Wang Jhih, so no one dared reveal the truth to the emperor. 
  At that time, there was an eunuch by the name of A-Chou who was multi-talented and witty. The emperor liked him very much. Once Ming Sian Zong ordered A-Chou and his troupe to perform for him. A-Chou staged a show called "Drunk". When the show began, A-Chou appeared on the stage staggering as a drunkard. He was talking nonsense and the lines were so witty that the audience could not stop laughing. Then the role of the passers-by came onto the stage. The passers-by announced, "The minister is coming on official business. Clear the way and be quiet!" To his surprise, the drunken A-Chou pointed at the passers-by and scolded, "Who cares if you are a minister or a small official? Who cares if you are a black dog or a white dog? You go your way, and I go my way. In fact, I was here first! So it is you who should walk around me." The passers-by then announced, "The emperor is here!" But A-Chou burst out laughing, "The emperor is still dreaming! His mind is so clouded that he is even more drunk than I am…" The passers-by thought, "Hmm… Not even the emperor could scare him. Well, I have one last way to scare some senses into him." So he made one last announcement, "Wang Jhih is arriving!" A-Chou immediately knelt on all fours, trembling and pleading, "Pardon me! Pardon me!"
  Watching this, Ming Sian Zong got the message even though he was quite displeased by the performance.








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