The Healing Poison
A long time ago, a girl named Li-Li got married
and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law.
In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't
get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their
personalities were very different, and Li-Li
was angered by many of her mother-in-law's habits.
In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.
Days passed. The days turned into weeks. Li-Li
and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing
and fighting. What made the situation worse
was that according to ancient Chinese tradition,
Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey
her every wish.
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All the anger and unhappiness in the house
caused the poor husband great distress. Finally,
Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law's bad
temper and dictatorship any longer. She decided
to do something about it.
Li-Li went to see her father's good friend,
Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him about
the situation and asked if he would give her
some poison so that she could solve the problem
for once and for all.
Mr. Huang thought for a while and finally said,
“Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem,
but you must listen to me and obey what I tell
Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do
whatever you tell me to do."
Mr. Huang went into the back room and returned
with a package of herbs after a few minutes.
He told Li-Li, "You can't use a quick-acting
poison to get rid of your mother-in-law because
that would cause people to become suspicious.
Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs
that will slowly build up poison in her body.
Every other day, prepare some pork or chicken
and put a little of these herbs in her serving.
Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects
you when she dies, you must be very careful
to act very friendly towards her. Don't argue
with her, obey her every wish, and treat her
like a queen."
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Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and
hurried home to carry out her plot of murdering
her mother-in-law. Weeks and months went by.
Li-Li would serve the specially treated food
to her mother-in-law every other day. She remembered
what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion
so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law
and treated her like her own mother. After six
months, the situation in the whole household
had changed. Li-Li managed to control her temper
so much that she almost never got mad or upset
at her mother-in-law anymore. She hadn't had
an argument with her mother-in-law in six months,
who seemed much kinder and easier to get along
with. The mother-in-law's attitude toward Li-Li
had also changed and she began to love Li-Li
like her own daughter. She kept telling friends
and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law
one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law
treated each other like a real mother and daughter.
Li-Li's husband was very happy to see what was
One day, Li-Li went to Mr. Huang and asked
for his help again.
She said, "Dear Mr Huang, please help me
to prevent the poison from killing my mother-in-law!
She has changed into such a nice woman and I
love her like my own mother. I do not want her
to die because of the poison I gave her."
Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head.
"Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about.
I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave
you were vitamins to improve her health. The
only poison was in your mind and your attitude
toward her, but that has all been washed away
by the love which you gave to her."
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