In the Chow dynasty, in the country of Tsoo lived the venerable Lâi-dze (Lao Lâi-dze老莱子), who was very obedient and reverential towards his parents, manifesting his dutifulness by exerting himself to provide them with every delicacy.
When Lao Lâi-dze overheard his parents lamenting one day, “Look at our son, he’s already in his dotage! Surely our own days must be drawing to a close!” His heart could not endure the helpless feelings that arose. Although upwards of severty of years of age, he was so old that he had lost nearly all his teeth, he declared that he was not yet old, even never mentioned the word “old” in their hearing, and usually dressed himself in partycoloured embroidered garments, and like a child would playfully stand by the side of his parents.
One day he accidentally tripped and fell when he carried two buckets of water into the house, he saw the concerned looks on his parents’ faces, he started wailing and crying like a child, and wriggling on the wet floor and soaking his foolish looking wig, this ridiculous show sent the old folks into gales of laughter. From this incident he would often trip up on purpose, sending water showering over the floor, feigning to slip, falling to the ground, wailing and crying like a child, and all these things he did to divert his parents from their melancholy feelings.
Whenever the venerable Lao Lâi-dze acted like a playful child, his mother was delighted, and manifested her joy in her countenance, thus did they forget her old age.