A Faithful Aunt

One day in the Spring-Autumn Period, the army of Qi State which invaded Lu State came to a field and saw a woman held a child in her arms and another child followed her. When this woman saw many troops of Qi came, she put down the child that she held, and held the other child who followed her in her arms. The child who was put down cried and ran to follow, but the woman disregarded him and ran away to a mountain. The general of Qi’s army was surprised, and asked the child, “That woman who runs away is your mother, isn’t she?” The child answered, “Yes.” The general asked, “Who is held by your mother?” The child answered, “I don’t know.” The astonished general led several soldiers to pursue after that woman. The troops pretended that they would shoot at her, and shouted, “Stop! Or we will shoot at you!” The woman had to stop running.

The general asked the woman who were the two children. The woman answered, “The child that I hold is the son of my older brother, and the abandoned child is my son. I saw your army come, and I am not able to protect them completely, so I abandoned my son.” The general said, “A child is most intimate for his mother. Now you abandoned him and hold your brother’s son, why?” The woman answered, “My son is only my personal love, but cherishing my brother’s son is a common righteousness. If I abandon the common righteousness and become partial to my personal love, lose my brother’s child and keep my child, maybe we can survive, but the monarch, officers and compatriots of Lu State will disdain me, and then I have no standing room. Though I cherish my son deeply, what is the righteousness in my heart? So I was hardhearted to abandon my son, and did the righteous thing. I can’t be unrighteous to face Lu State.”

The general of Qi State was moved very much. He stopped his army, and wrote to the monarch of Qi State, “Lu State can’t be attacked. When we entered this state, we met a peasant woman. Such a peasant woman can know keeping moral integrity and doing righteousness, and for her personal things she doesn’t harm common interests. Even a peasant woman can be so, and it is to say nothing of officers and learned persons. So I ask for withdraw the army.” The monarch of Qi State agreed. When the monarch of Lu State heard this thing, he gave her many presents and a title “Faithful Aunt”.

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