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The Buried Treasure - Story

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Shanice Bianca

on 6 March 2013

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Transcript of The Buried Treasure - Story

a Chinese folk tale; retold by Laurence Yep The Buried Treasure Synopsis : There was once a rich man who heard that there was no lock that could not be picked. So he put his money into jars and buried them in secret places. In fact, the whole town nicknamed him “Old Jarhead.” Now Jarhead had two sons. The older son, Yue Cang, already managed the family’s lands and properties. However, the younger son, Yue Sheng, cared neither for books nor for business. Old Jarhead scolded and begged him to change, and each time the young man promised to behave. However, he never remembered his promise. Since Yue Sheng was also a friendly fellow, he never turned a guest away from his door. Often, he had to provide meals for three or even four guests a day. Everyone took advantage of him. As a result, his money poured through his hands like water. One Day When Old Jarhead fell sick, he summoned his sons to his bedside and told them the contents of his will. To the older son, he left everything. His younger sun Yue Sheng, would receive nothing.
Hurt, Yue Sheng sighed. “Well, it isn’t as if you didn’t warn me”.
Alarmed, Old Jarhead tried to sit up but could not. “I’m not trying to punish you,” he wheezed. “I have money set aside for you. But if I gave it to you now you’d spent it all. You’ll get it when you’ve learned the value of hardwork.”
Despite his fault, Yue Sheng was a good son. Bowing his head he said, “Father, May the day of your death never come. May you live a thousand years.” However, Old Jarhead grew steadily worse and died shortly after that. Yue Sheng wept until his eyes were purple, for he truly love his father, though he had not listened to him. His older brother hardly shed a tear for he had loved their father’s wealth more than their father. When Yue Sheng asked his brother about the burials, his brother replied, “I’m too busy. You handle it.” So Yue Sheng organized everything by himself.
Old Jarhead had been an important man in town. Yue Sheng was determined that he should have a proper funeral. He ordered an elaborate coffin and then asked a priest to name a good date on which to bury his father. On the appointed day, Yue Sheng hired a band of musicians and scattered lots of glittering ghost money. Ghosts were too stupid to tell the shiny paper money from real money. They would be so busy trying to pick it up that they would leave Old Jarhead’s ghost alone. At the grave side, Yue Sheng set out a banquet for his father’s spirit. At home, he put out yet another feast for the many mourners. He even let his father’s tenant farmers have seats , though his older brother protested.
Everyone in town said the elaborate funeral was fitting for someone as important as Old Jarhead. Although Yue Sheng had arranged everything, his older brother took all the credit. Yet when the bills came due, the older brother passed them on to Yue Sheng, “I would never have ordered anything so extravagant,” Yue Cang said. “This is much too wasteful. I refuse to pay.”
The funeral had indeed been very expensive so Yue Sheng sold everything he owed to settle the debt. But when Yue Sheng lost his house, he lost his friends. None of them would give him so much as a bowl of rice.
Naturally, Yue Sheng went to his brother to borrow some money. He found Yue Cang tearing down their father’s old house. That upset Yue Sheng very much.
“Why are you destroying all of our memories?” Yue Sheng demanded.
“This old pile is riddled with termites,” his older brother explained, "And I found a much better place to build. I’m very busy, brother.What do you want ?" When Yue Sheng asked for help, his brother sniffed. “Humph, I’m not going to feed every moocher in town. You’re still much too wasteful.” He gave Yue Sheng only a few copper coins. “This will keep you from starving if you’re careful. I have expenses of my own.”
After this, Yue Sheng went down to his brother’s fields. Yue Cang rented the fields to farmers who paid him with a share of their crops.

The tenants were surprised to see Yue Sheng there.

“Please show me what to do,” Yue Sheng humbly begged them. “If I don’t work, i’ll starve.” One of the tenants, a fellow named Turnip Nose, grunted. “So you’re brother’s so small hearted that he turned his back on you. Well, you’re father was a nice gent. For his sake, I’ll give you part of my share. But you’ll have to work very hard.”
“I’m not afraid to use my hands,” Yue Sheng said. Each season, then, Turnip Nose told him what to do. In the spring, Yue Sheng pulled the plow himself to turn up the soil. Next, he planted seed and weeded the rice plants and tended them. When the crops ripened, he harvested them and Turnip Nose gave him a small part of what they had grown. If Yue Sheng was careful it would be just enough rice to live on. As year followed year, Yue Sheng became lean and tough as wood. One day when he was washing up, he saw his reflection in the bucket and thought, “If father could see me, he would laugh. I certainly know all about hardwork now.” That night, Yue Sheng dreamed that he was walking on their old estate. He passed by two pine trees growing from the same trunk. Behind them was an old well that had been filled in. Next to it where the ruins of an old brick wall. Right at the corner, he dug beneath the foundation and there in the dirt was a jar of gold. As soon as Yue Sheng awoke the next morning, he jumped up. Trembling, he went back to the site of his father’s house. The walls had all been turned down but the twin pine trees still grew. Beyond them, he found the well that his brother’s men had filled in. Then he traced the remains of the wall until he came to the corner. With his hoe, Yue Sheng began to dig. When he reached the foundation, he heard a clink. Falling to his knees , he scrabbled in the dirt. Gradually he uncovered a jar with shaking fingers, he unsealed the lid. The jar was crammed with gleaming gold ingots.
Yue Sheng lifted some of the heavy ingots into his hands. The sun shone from their sides. “This is the gold father intended for me when i learned what work meant,” he said aloud. Yet as he stared at them, he felt guilty, “But father left the house to my older brother. By rights, the jar still belongs to him.” The honest man put back the gold Ingots and covered the jar again. Then he went to his brother’s house. However, the gatekeeper would not let him inside, “I’m sorry, Young master, but your brother has ordered me not to let you in. He doesn’t want to see you anymore. Please don’t beg.”
So Yue Sheng asked for ink and paper to write a note. In it he told his brother where the treasure was. Folding it up, he asked the gatekeeper to take it to his brother. At first, Yue Cang was just going to tear the note up without reading it. However, his wife scolded him saying, “Your brother could be very sick. Imagine what people would say if we let him die.”
Reluctantly, the older brother read the note. As soon as he finished he jumped up and called for his servants. “What’s wrong?” his wife asked. The older brother rushed from the room, bellowing to his servants. Some brought his sedan chairs; others snatched up shovels and hoes. Cursing and shouting, the older brother guided everyone to the ruins of the old house. Getting out of his sedan chair, he went to the spot described in the note and commanded his men to dig there. When they had uncovered the jar, Yue Cang told them to stand back. Then he knelt and lifted the lid. Immediately, he fell backward with a scream. When the curious servants peeked inside, they saw the jar was full of snakes. After the older brother had recovered himself, he straightened his robes and dusted himself off. "This is not a funny prank at all," he said sternly. Getting back into his sedan chair, Yue Cang ordered his servants to take him and the jar to his brother's hut. Yue Sheng was sitting outside, eating a simple meal of rice with a few salted vegetables.
When Yue Sheng saw the jar in a servant's arms, he set down his bowl ang stood up. "What are you doing here?"
His brother glared from his sedan chair. "I'm returning your jar to you."
"But father gave the house to you. The jar is yours," Yue Sheng protested. "No. It's all yours," his brother said, then gestured to his servants. As they all marched forward, one threw the jar at Yue Sheng's feet. When it shattered, shining gold ingots spilled around his ankles.
"Where are the snakes?" the older brother asked, bewildered.
"There was only gold in the jar when I looked," Yue Sheng explained. Then Yue Cang understood. "It's a sign from our father that this gold is destined only for you," he said. "This is the share he always meant to give you." Although Yue Sheng offered him the gold again, his brother refused to take even a share. So Yue Sheng used the money to buy a house and fields of his own. But he was always careful with his money, for he knew his father was not likely to send him another dream. Congratulations!
You found the treasure :) END :) A chinese folk tale that tells about two brothers who are different in many ways and how each confronts obstacles.
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