Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A History: Old Horse Knows the Way, by Dianwen

Guanzhong and Xipeng (two tacticians), followed the King of Qi on a crusade. Spring passed and winter came; they got lost on the way home with no guide available. Guanzhong suggested,"We can take advantage of the intelligence of old horses." And so they released old horses ahead of the army, and followed them as they would well go. Actually, they found the right way back.
As they marched in mountains and found no water, Xipeng said, "Ants live in the south side of a mountain in winter and in the north side in winter. There is water eight feet under ants' lair." So they dug ant liars and found water.
Despite Guanzhong and Xipeng's wisdom, they didn't regard learning from old horses and ants as shameful things to do. People nowadays, however, avoid admitting their ignorance and learning from the saint. Isn't the ignorance, then, their fault?

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