[FOUNTAIN]Don’t ignore wolf’s natureDuring the Warring States Period, there was a state called Zhongshan Guo near Shijiazhuang, Hubei Province in China. There was a fable set in Zhongshan Guo. Master Dongguo was a scholar who had stubbornly devoted his life to study. He was into reading books that had little practical use, and he was known for being conservative and narrow-minded. One day, he ran into a bleeding wolf while strolling in the woods. The wolf, which was being chased, begged him, “Please let me hide in your bag and misdirect the hunters.” Master Dongguo was so kind-hearted that he even offered to tie the wolf with a rope so that it could better fit into the bag. When the hunters came along, the wolf was safely hidden in the bag and avoided capture. However, once the wolf escaped death, it revealed its true self. “You have been kind once, so why don’t you give me another favor,” said the wolf, trying to eat Master Dongguo.
Master Dongguo requested help from a farmer who happened to pass by. “I cannot figure out what’s going on here,” said the farmer, asking them to re-enact the situation. Master Dongguo tied up the wolf and stuffed the beast into his bag. Once the wolf was in the bag, the farmer tied up the bag and beat the wolf to death.
The fable does not break the expectation of readers. The farmer gave Master Dongguo a lesson that the evil nature of a beast could never change and it was foolish of him to offer mercy to a wolf.
The story of Master Dongguo and the Wolf of Zhongshan is a satire of fake generosity that naively neglects to realize the essence of the situation. Today, Master Dongguo is a synonym for a “thoughtless helper” among Chinese.
A parable explains abstract concepts spoken by a person, animal or plant. While there might be some exaggeration on the subject or the situation, a fable takes a refreshing and direct approach to its topic.
The North Korean nuclear crisis is growing more complicated. Those countries with indirect interests, such as the United States and China, have made their positions clear, but the Republic of Korea is struggling with internal troubles.
The foreign affairs line is confused over a comment from Kim Jong-il, and a high-ranking official is provoking the United States, an ally, with remarks not suitable to the current situation.
Failing to recognize the nature of the wolf, being oblivious to the existence of the hunters, and being ignorant of the inappropriateness of his favor, the Korean government is acting just like Master Dongguo.
by Yoo Kwang-jong
The writer is the Beijing correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo.