Li Bai, a famous poet of the Tang Dynasty, did not like to study when he was a child. He often played truant and wandered in the street.
One day, Li Bai didn’t go to school again. He wandered East and West in the street and unknowingly went outside the city. The warm sunshine, cheerful birds and flowers swaying with the wind made Li Bai sigh, “it’s boring to read in the house all day in such a good weather?”
Walking, at the door of a broken hut, an old woman with white hair was grinding an iron pestle as thick as a stick. Li Bai walked over, “old woman, what are you doing?”
“I’ll grind this pestle into an embroidery needle.” The old woman raised her head, smiled at Li Bai, then lowered her head and continued grinding.
“Embroidery needle?” Li Bai asked again, “is it an embroidery needle for sewing?”
“But when can an iron pestle be ground into a fine embroidery needle?”
The old woman asked Li Bai, “dripping water can wear stones, a fool can move mountains, why can’t an iron pestle be ground into an embroidery needle?”
“But you are so old?”
“As long as I work harder than others, I can’t do anything.”
Li Bai was ashamed of the old woman’s words, so he didn’t skip school after he went back. I study hard every day and finally become a immortal poet.
The meaning of grinding needle with an iron pestle is: it means that as long as you have determination and work hard, you can succeed in what a difficult thing.