Why the Beanstalk Roasts the Beans So Mercilessly?
Cao Zhi was the third son of Cao Cao, the first emperor of Wei, that is, Wei Wendi, who favoured the boy specially because of his great talents. It was said that Cao Zhi could make poems when he was only ten years old. His eldest brother Cao Pi was, therefore, very jealous of him. One day he asked his young brother to compose a poem walking, to test whether he was really talented or not. One requirement Cao Pi imposed on his brother was that the poem should be finished at the end of the seventh pace, not later. Under such pressure Cao Zhi could not but try, yet he finished a poem before he took the seventh.
Under painful circumstances, Cao Zhi was forced to compose a poem impromptu. Literally, it carries the following meaning:
To fry the beans means burning the beanstalks.
The beans thus heated are crying in the wok:
We both grew out of the same root,
Why roast us so mercilessly?