The Boy Who Stands on his Head (from: A New Interpretation of Chinese Taoist Philosophy, Chapter 6)

Have you ever seen a boy trying to stand on his head? Toddlers are keen to explore their bodies and their potentials. But one boy was particularly interested. He not only succeeded in standing on his head at his first try but also kept doing so year after year, and was eventually able to walk on his head and hands as fast as those using their feet. He won numerous things by betting with others or as gifts from admirers. He later recruited several followers. One day there was an extra boy standing on his head beside them. This was the prince. When he became the king, he decided to have an entire army standing on their heads. Those boys were now all high ranking officials. It happened that a neighbour country came to invade this country but withdrew immediately when they first saw an army on their heads. Their arrows missed the targets as they were dazzled by all the waving feet in the air but their heads and chests received arrow shots from the ground. At the celebration of the victory, all participants including the elderly prime minister were standing on their heads. Now everybody in the whole country wanted to stand on the heads. The king was so kind as to allow his elderly and sick citizens to use a special device to help them stand upside down. Of course some fell down and even suffered strokes. But nobody wanted such things to dampen the country’s spirit. The injured ones were carried away stealthily and died at home with shame. The health Minister issued a booklet to circulate in the country detailing all the health benefits of standing on one’s head. (By Anonymous)
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