It was a warm, close day in May, in Central China. The summer heat had just set in, and the inhabitants of
Kucheng (Ancient City) were somewhat weary and languid, when a woman brought the news to her
neighbour--"A daughter has been born to the Tu family." The news soon spread from door to door. All
languor was shaken off, for curiosity got the better of lassitude, and the women, now fully alert, hobbled on
their small feet to the little house where farmer Tu lived with his young wife and parents.
The house was a small, unpretentious building, with mud walls and a tiled...