Qi Lu Wang Yang (Losing the Track of a Missing Sheep)
Once, a neighbor of Yang Zi lost a sheep. He came over to ask Yang's child to look for it together with him and his family.
"Why, is it necessary to have so many people together just to search for one sheep?" Yang wondered.
"There are several forks in the road, so we need more people to help," the neighbor answered.
After the whole search party returned, Yang inquired if they had found the lost sheep.
"No. It has gone for good."
"How can that be?"
"Each fork in the road has one or more forks. We did not know which way the sheep had gone, so we had to give up and return."
Hearing this, a dark cloud came over Yang Zi's face. He was gloomy and silent for a long time, and did not smile throughout the day. This surprised his disciples who ventured to ask: "A sheep is not worth much and besides, it is not your sheep. Why do you, our respected teacher, speak so little and smile not at all?"
Yang Zi did not answer, and his disciples were never answered.
This idiomatic expression is used to mean "in face of complexities of a problem, no solution will be gained without a correct approach to it."