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This tale originating from China unravels the story of two women and how the wheel of fortune smiles upon them for doing one simple kind act.
Siew Mei and Silk
An elderly widow lived in a cottage in the woods. Years earlier, a tiger had slain her husband. She and her daughter Siew Mei had a challenging life. All of the cooking and cleaning was done by Siew Mei. She also took care of the garden’s silkworms. They made magnificent silk from the thin thread the worms provided. In the local market, Siew Mei offered the silk for sale to tourists.
One day, while Siew Mei was on her way home, it began to pour heavily. Siew Mei sought refuge in the closest hut. There was no one inside. The house was dirty and so were the dishes. Siew Mei washed the dishes and tidied the place. Just when she was done, the rain stopped and she got ready to return home. As she walked out of the hut, she saw a strange old man. He had a long beard that grew to his waist.
The Old Man’s Present
The elderly man smiled at Siew Mei. When he saw his clean hut, he was very impressed and decided to reward Siew Mei. He cut a small portion of his white beard, wrapped it in an old piece of linen and gave her the bundle. He instructed her to not give it to anyone and open it once she reached home.
When Siew Mei got home, she unwrapped the bundle to show it to her mother. They were stunned to find the finest silk thread in all of China. They started using the silk thread to weave. They had created the finest silk they had ever seen when they were done weaving. They observed that the silk thread bundle had not changed in size from before. Their exquisite silk became widely known. The elderly woman and her daughter achieved fame and led joyful lives.
Siew Mei was a kind woman and although she did not know whom the hut belonged to, she still cleaned it and helped the owner. One simple act of kindness rewarded Siew Mei so graciously