Lose the Axe, Suspect the Neighbour


Once, a man lost his axe. He searched for it all over but could not find it. He suspected that it had been stolen by his neighbour’s son. He began observing the child’s expressions, words and actions and thought the child was a thief. Thus, he concluded that the neighbour’s son stole it. He said, “I always thought that the boy was no good.” On the second day, he went up the mountain to chop firewood.

There, behind the tree he found his lost axe. Now, he finally remembered that he had only forgotten his axe while resting under the tree. He regretted suspecting his neighbour’s son. When he returned home, he took another look at the child’s behaviour, words and actions. Nothing seemed to suggest that he was the thief. After this, Chinese people started using the phrase ‘Lose the Axe and Suspect the Neighbour’ to describe careless suspicions.

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