Chinese Historical Story: Sima Guang Breaks the Vat


Sima Guang was nine years old. He liked to play in his backyard with his friends Wang Wei, Li Na, and Zhang Yong.

One day, the friends were playing in the yard.  Wang Wei said, “I bet I can go up to the top of the water vat!”  A water vat is a very big clay jar used to keep rain water.

Sima Guang Breaks the Vat

“Do not go to the top of the water vat!” said Li Na.  “It is too high.”

“Wang Wei said, “I bet I can go up to the top of the water vat!”

“It is not too high for me!” said Wang Wei.

“Come down here and play,” said Sima Guang.

“I want to go up!” said Wang Wei.  When he was at the top he called, “Look at me – one foot!”

“That is good!” said Zhang Yong.

Then – oh, no!  Wang Wei fell down into the water vat!

“I cannot swim!” he called.  “The water is too deep!”

“We must run for help!” said Li Na.

“No!” said Sima Guang.  “That will take too long!”

“We must run for help! said Li Na.”

“Then we cannot do anything to help,” yelled Li Na in fear.  “Ahhh!” yelled Zhang Yong in fear, too.  “AHHH!” they yelled together.

Sima Guang saw a rock.  He picked up the rock and threw it at the bottom of the water vat.  The vat did not crack.  He picked up the rock and threw it again.  There was a very small crack this time.  He threw it again. Then a bigger crack!  All at once, a very big wave of water flew out of the broken water vat.

And with the wave of water, out rolled Wang Wei!

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