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New Shoes

A Taoist Tale from China by Han Fei

A man needed a new pair of shoes. Before he went to the marketplace, he drew a detailed picture of his feet on a piece of paper, carefully measured them, and wrote down all their dimensions. Then, he set off on foot for the shoe store. Arriving later that day at the bazaar, he unhappily discovered that he had forgotten to bring the paper with his measurements on it! He turned around and walked back home to get it. It was sunset by the time he returned to the market,. and all the shops were closed. He explained his situation to one of the shopkeepers who had already packed away all his wares.

"Foolish man!" said the merchant. "You could have trusted your feet and tried the shoes on in the store! Why did you go home to get your diagrams?"

The man blushed, "I guess I trusted my measurements more . . ."

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