A Matter of Practice


Long ago, there lived a skilled archer named Chen Yaozi. He was very proud. One day, an old man who made his living selling oil happened to pass by. Seeing the crowd, he stopped to watch. People were praising Chen Yaozi. The old man just stood there and said, “It’s just a matter of practice.” Chen Yaozi was annoyed, “Do you think anyone can do what I can do?” “No,” replied the old man, “I am not an archer. All I said was everything’s a matter of practice.”

Chen Yaozi was very angry. The old man continued, “Over the years I have achieved a skill. Let me show you.” The old man set his oil gourd on the ground and placed a coin over its mouth. He then began pouring oil using a ladle from a height. The oil went straight into the gourd through the hole of the coin. The people were amazed. The old man smiled and said, “There’s nothing special. It’s only a matter of practice.” From then on, Chen Yaozi became a very humble archer.

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