The Lake of the Flayed Child

In old China, filial piety was honoured and enforced by law to its extreme, whosoever curses father or mother is to die.

Once a woman was frightening a stubborn boy by crying, ‘Come, mandarin, come! the boy has struck his mother.’ Which cries was heard by a passing by mandarin, and he stopped his chair. The mother explained that she was talking in sport. She urged that the child was not old enough to know good and evil.

‘We will see about that, ‘ said the magistrate. ‘Bring a bowl of rice and a bowl of muck.’

The child chose the former.

‘He does know, you see. Flay him.’

It was done.

The place where this cruel incident happened was called the Lake of the Flayed Child to this day. Although some say, in Chinese, the sounds, being almost identical with those of melon seeds, those two words, and not the flayed child, may form the more correct name of the place.

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