Taoist Tales of Chuang Tzu Instructions: Read the following tales. Answer the questions for each tale in at least one complete sentences each

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Taoist Tales of Chuang Tzu

Instructions: Read the following tales. Answer the questions for each tale in at least one complete sentences each.

The Man Who Was Scared of his Shadow

There was once a man who was terrified of his own shadow and lived in fear of the sound of his own footsteps. Walking along one day he entered a panic and tried to flee at top speed. But as fast as he ran, his shadow and footsteps kept up with him and made him run all the faster, until he finally collapsed of exhaustion and died. If he had only sat down in the shade of a tree, he would no longer have been able to see his shadow or hear his own footsteps.



What is this tale about?

What Taoist beliefs does this tale represent?

What is the Taoist moral of the story?

The Butcher
There was once a butcher who was carving a joint of meat for a customer who had been coming for many years.

“Pardon me,” the customer asked, “But isn’t that the same knife you had last year? Do you need to sharpen it often?”

“It’s the same knife I’ve had for the last 17 years,” the butcher replied, “And I haven’t had to sharpen it even once. For, when I cut the meat, I allow the knife to find its own way through the flesh without effort or stress.

“And when I come to a tricky bit with lots of cartilage, I just slow down and allow the mystery to solve itself and in no time the meat falls right off the blade.”


What is this tale about?


What Taoist beliefs does this tale represent?

What is the Taoist moral of the story?

 Chuang Tzu and the Turtle

It happened that the emperor was in need of a good counselor and, as he had heard so much about the wisdom of the Taoist, Chuang Tzu, he ordered that he be brought to the palace.

The emperor’s soldiers hunted far and wide and they finally found Chuang Tzu sitting in the shade of an old tree. They explained the emperor’s command and the old sage smiled and asked:

“There was a turtle who was sitting in a mud pool when he was captured and taken to the palace to be sacrificed there. It was, of course, a great honor but don’t you suppose he might have been happier in his pool of mud?”

“Of course.” The soldiers answered.



“Then leave me be in my pool of mud and be gone.”

What is this tale about?

What Taoist beliefs does this tale represent?

What is the Taoist moral of the story?


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