畏饅頭

葉 夢得

有窮書生、欲食饅頭。計無従得。一日見市肆有列而鬻者。輒大叫仆地。主人驚問。曰、「吾畏饅頭。」主人曰、「安有是。」乃設饅頭百枚置空室中。閉之伺於 外、寂不聞声。穴壁窺之、則食過半矣。亟開門詰其故。曰、「吾今日見此、忽自不畏。」主人知其詐、怒叱曰、「若尚有畏乎。」曰、「更畏臘茶両椀爾。」


Afraid of Steamed Dumplings

She Mengde

An indigent student wanted to eat steamed dumplings, and he planned how he would get them without paying. One day he went to the market and there was a shopkeeper selling them. The student cried out and fell to the ground. Alarmed, the shopkeeper asked what was the matter, and the student said, “I’m afraid of steamed dumplings.” “That’s absurd,” said the shopkeeper, and he put 100 dumplings in a vacant room, shut the student into the room, and kept watch from outside, but he didn’t hear a thing. Making a hole in the wall and peeking into the room, he saw that the student had eaten over half of the dumplings. He quickly opened the door and demanded to know the reason. “Today when I saw these dumplings,” explained the student, “I was no longer afraid of them.” The shopkeeper realized he’d been had, and angrily said, “What else are you afraid of?” Said the student, “Right now a cup of tea would scare me.”