A Grain of Rice


A long time ago in China, a man did a favor for the emperor. When asked what he desired as a reward, the man told him he wanted a single grain of rice, except every day it would be doubled. The emperor did not think this would be too costly, and approved his reward. When the man soon was given thousands and thousands of grains of rice a day, the emperor realized he had made a mistake. 


My friend told me he heard this story growing up from his parents.


This story emphasizes the importance of wits in Chinese society. Since the man in the story was smart and subtle, he was rewarded greatly.