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Chinese Folklore - The Chinese Cracked Pot Story

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Every child in all parts of the world has grown up listening to many fairytales and other stories that are often regarded as folklore. They are often simple stories that have been orally transferred from one generation to another. Folktales or folklores came to be through the oral tradition where stories were narrated by people to each other. They are very closely related to the storytelling traditions that include fables, myths and even fairytales. Every human society has its own folktales that became well known as they were handed down generations. It was an important way of passing down knowledge, information and history.

They even represented the social scenario and the culture that persisted hundreds of years ago. Therefore, the oral fictional tale that belongs to whatever ultimate origin is still practically universal both in place and time. Sometimes storytelling is simple but some other details are of great complexity. However, the basic pattern of storytelling, i.e., the storyteller and the audience is found everywhere.

Like every human society, the Chinese also have a collection of folktales from China that are famously known as Chinese folklore. These folktales include song, poetry, dance, puppetry and various tales. It often comprises stories that are human, historical and legendary events, supernatural happenings and love. These stories explain the distinctive landmarks and the natural phenomena. It is an important part of Chinese folk religion along with Chinese mythology. The major influence of Chinese folktales is from Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. We are bringing to you one of such popular Chinese folklores, named “The Cracked Pot Story” for an enjoyable read. 



The Cracked Pot Story

Once upon a time, there lived an old lady in a village. The Chinese elderly woman had two large pots and each was hung across the end of a bamboo stick that she carried across her neck.

Among the two ports that she had, one of the pots was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water while the other one had a crack in it and could deliver only half a portion of water. After a long day of fetching water in both the pots, the lady walked back to her house. 

While walking the long way from the water stream to the house, the perfect pot always arrived with a full portion of water but the cracked pot always delivered half the portion. This went on for two full years that the old Chinese lady brought one full and one half portion of water from a perfect pot and a cracked pot. 

The perfect pot was of course very proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its failures and was miserable that it could not perform its duties that it was made to do. After two years had passed, one day it asked the old lady after what it had perceived to be a failure “I am ashamed of myself, that the crack in my side lets the water leak out of me and I am only able to deliver half of what i am supposed to deliver”.

The old woman smiled and said "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the park but not on the other side of the pot? Because I planted the seeds of the flowers on your side of the park and everyday while we walk you water them. For two years I have been able to pluck those flowers and decorate my house with it. Without you being just the way you are there would not have been any beauty to grace the house". 

Cracked Pot Story

Cracked Pot Story

Moral of the Story

The moral of the cracked pot story is that we all are like that cracked pot. We all have certain flaws and imperfections within ourselves but these imperfections and flaws make us very interesting and rewarding. We should always accept the outcomes of our lives just like the perfume of the flowers on the way of the cracked pot.

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FAQs on Chinese Folklore - The Chinese Cracked Pot Story

1. Why was the cracked pot miserable?

The cracked pot was always feeling miserable because it had a crack on its side and therefore could only bring half the water of what it was supposed to bring to the house.

2. What was the result of the crack on the pot?

The result of the crack on the pot was that it was able to water the seeds of the flowers that the old lady had planted. It resulted in the blooming of the beautiful flowers on the side of its path.