Curious Peculiarities (China)
An old woman went to visit a married daughter who lived with her husband’s mother. After the meal was over, a gust of wind blew out the lamp and the three women were left in darkness. The mother-in-law spoke. “Please sit still. I will go and light the lamp,” but as she was speaking, the daughter took the lamp and went to light it.
Thinking the mother-in-law was gone, the mother talked with her daughter about how the food wasn’t hot enough, the bed too soft, and everything else that wasn’t quite right.
When the light reappeared, she discovered to her dismay she’d been speaking to the mother-in-law, not her daughter. Horrified by her blunder, she tried to recover. “I have always had a curious peculiarity,” she said. “When light suddenly disappears, and I am in the dark, my mind wanders and I speak without knowing what I say until the light reappears.”
“Ah,” responded the mother-in-law. “I completely understand. I too have a curious peculiarity. Whenever the lamp goes out and the light disappears, I become totally deaf and only recover my hearing when the lamp is lit and light reappears.
Wit and wisdom from around the world and through the ages. Tales by Nancy King.