Good Stories from China: Lord Ye's Love of Dragon

June 21, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: June 21, 2006 12:00 am

During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.), there lived a man who called himself Lord Ye. He was known to have a great love for dragons. His belt was carved with dragons, his teapots and wine vessels were painted with dragons, and his house was decorated with dragon carvings.

Hearing about Lord Ye's great love for dragons, a heavenly dragon came down to visit him. The dragon extended his head into Ye's window, and put his tail in Ye's living room. Upon seeing the real dragon, Lord Ye was scared out of his wits. Turning completely pale-faced, he ran away hurriedly.

Today, the expression “Lord Ye's love of dragon” is used commonly to indicate an inconsistency between words and actions.

Source: Xinxu: Miscellaneous by Liu Xiang from Han Dynasty.