Long, long ago, there was a rich man who had always been wealthy. He had a lot of money since he didn’t give to the poor. He also had a lot of rice. But even with all that rice, he never gave a grain to a starving child. Every day, he invited his wealthy friends to eat at the Jade Tree. They ate chicken with silk squash noodles while the hungry stood outside. When the lord turned sixty, he decided to throw his most lavish banquet. “I’ve seen the year of the monkey five times. I will throw a celebration!” He ordered the slaughter of a half-dozen pigs and a flock of ducks, and arranged a long-life robe to be made for himself. As he went to see the fabrics, a blue silk pleased him, so he decided to not only use it for the robe, but to line the road to his house. However, the road outside was not very good.
“This won’t do. I’ll have the cracks and holes filled in with grains of rice,” he roared.
“But wouldn’t the peasants try to steal the grains of rice?” one servant said.
“Put them in jail if they do,” the lord said. People had been sent to jail for stealing grains of rice. When the lord was having his big party, an old man came in front of his house.
“Eight treasure duck… lion head meatballs,” the man murmured to himself.
“Away from here!” cried a servant.
“Please… your master is having a grand feast. Maybe you can share with me?” the old man said.
“Go away,” the servant said.
“Then maybe… I can take some grains of rice then,” said the old man.
“Thief!” the servant yelled. The lord himself and more servants came out of the party.
“How dare you steal from me! Servants, beat this old man with your sticks, NOW!” he yelled. The servants started hitting the old man but the man just stayed there doing nothing. For every hit they gave the man, the lord felt it back.
“STOP!” the lord yelled. The lord fell to the ground.
“I really didn’t like your company, but I’ll leave something to remember me by,” the man said. The silk lifted, and the grains of rice rose into the air. They whipped up the sky and flew toward the lord and his servants. They cringed, but the rice fell upon them without mercy, melting into their skins. Right away, their faces and bodies were covered with hundreds of white scars, all shaped like the grains of rice. They shouted in dismay and shock and looked for the old man. But the old man was nowhere to be found.