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Tears that brought bamboo-shoots from the frozen earth: Meng Zong


Meng Zong lived during the Three Kingdoms Period of China's past. His father
died when he was young, and he and his mother struggled to survive. 


One winter his mother was stricken with a serious illness, and craved some
bamboo-shoot broth as medicine.


But in the depths of winter, with snow and ice blanketing the ground, where
was anyone to find fresh bamboo shoots, shoots that emerge only in the warm


Nonetheless, Meng Zong, to avoid disappointing his mother, bravely fetched
his shovel and went out into the white landscape in search of bamboo shoots. 


In the thicket he found only frosted leaves and green stalks coated with
snowflakes and ice. 


Look as he might, there were simply no fresh shoots growing in the winter.
The thought of his poor mother lying sick on her bed, waiting for bamboo-broth
medicine, made his heartache. 


Uncontrollably, tears began to fall in rivers to the ground beneath the tall,
emerald canes. Even now, as his tears flowed down, he kept a light of faith in
his heart. If he was truly sincere in his search,


Just then Meng Zong nearly tripped and fell over a sharply protruding lump of
earth. He quickly knelt down and knocked aside the dirt with his trembling


How uncanny! Underneath his frozen hands he discovered a bed of fresh, tender
bamboo shoots! Overjoyed, he gathered up a coatful and carried them back home.
The broth that he quickly set stewing in the pot soon cured his mother's


The neighbors, hearing the story, exclaimed that it was the strength of his
sincere, unselfish, filial resolve that inspired heaven and earth to respond,
and to bring up, out of season, the fresh shoots that cured his mother's


Before Meng Zong's prayers generated this miracle, it was normally considered
impossible for bamboo shoots to grow in the winter. After the nmiracle took
place, however, people were able to gather and to eat bamboo shoots all year
round. The winter variety that existed hereafter became known as "winter


The villagers were deeply influenced by Meng Zong's courage and devotion.
They renamed the spot where the event took place, "Meng Zong's Bamboo Grove". We
can now enjoy bamboo sprouts during the winter as well, and as we do so, it is
fitting to recollect Meng Zong's outstanding example of filial respect, and
reflect on our conduct as sons and daughter of our



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