Chinese Mythology Story: The story of cutting walls and stealing light


In the Western Han Dynasty, there was a farmer’s child named Kuang Heng. When he was a child, he wanted to study, but because his family was poor, he had no money to go to school. Later, he learned to read from a relative.

Kuang Heng couldn’t afford books, so he had to borrow books to read. At that time, books were very valuable. People with books would not lend them to others easily. Kuang Heng did short-time work for rich people during the busy farming season. He asked them to lend him books.

The story of cutting walls and stealing light

After a few years, Kuang Heng grew up and became the main labor force in his family. He works in the field all day long. He has time to read some books only when he has a rest at noon, so it often takes ten days and a half months to read a volume of books. Kuang Heng was very worried and thought to himself: planting crops during the day and having no time to read, I can make more use of some evenings to read. But Kuang Heng’s family is very poor and can’t afford oil for lighting. What should we do?

One night, Kuang Heng lay in bed carrying the books he had read during the day. Carrying his back, he suddenly saw a ray of light on the east wall. He stood up and walked to the wall. Ah! It turned out that what came through the crack in the wall was the neighbor’s light. So Kuang Heng thought of a way: he took a knife and widened the wall gap. In this way, the light that came through was also large, so he gathered together the light that came in and began to read.

Kuang Heng studied so hard that he became a very learned man later.

Chiseling a wall to steal light means: later used to describe a poor family and studying hard.

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