Discover the enigmatic actions of animals, drawing parallels with corrupt officials and their impact on society.
I once heard Taigong Li Jingyi tell a story like this: The story goes that there was a person in Shenyang, having a banquet on a mountain top with guests. When this person looked down the mountain, they saw a tiger approaching from afar with something in its mouth. The tiger dug a hole in the ground with its claws, buried the object in the hole, and covered it up before leaving. So, they sent someone down the mountain to see what the tiger had buried. It turned out to be a dead deer. They had the deer taken out and the hole lightly covered again. After a while, the tiger led a black wild beast, whose fur was several inches long, to the same spot. The tiger walked in front as if welcoming an esteemed guest. When they reached the hole, the black beast crouched on the side, glaring fiercely at the tiger. The tiger reached into the hole and found that the dead deer was gone. It trembled all over and dared not move. The black beast, furious at being deceived, struck the tiger’s forehead with its claws. The tiger immediately fell dead, and the black beast left on its own.
The chronicler of strange tales said: This black beast’s name is unknown. However, judging from the description, it is certainly not larger than a tiger. So why did the tiger stretch its neck out and wait for death with such fear? Everything in the world is subject to some form of constraint, and this principle is truly hard to understand. For example, the macaque monkey is most afraid of the gibbon. When they see a gibbon from a distance, a group of macaques immediately kneels down, not daring to run away. The macaques stare intently at the gibbon, waiting for it to approach. The gibbon uses its hands to check the macaques one by one, and if one is fat, the gibbon places a stone on its head as a mark. The macaque then crouches with the stone on its head, scared stiff, afraid the stone might accidentally fall to the ground. After checking the fat and thin ones and marking them, the gibbon proceeds to eat the fat macaques in the order the stones were placed, and only then do the remaining macaques dare to scatter. I have said before that corrupt officials are like gibbons, marking the rich and poor among the common people and then consuming them accordingly. The common people bow their heads, submit, and allow themselves to be devoured, not daring to even breathe, displaying the same ignorant and foolish behavior as the macaques. It is truly a sorrowful sight!