Chuang Tzu Story - Khwan Among Eight Sons of Tsze-khî (子綦八子梱)
Tsze-khî had eight sons. Having arranged them before him, he called Kiû-fang Yan, and said to him, 'Look at the physiognomy of my sons for me;-- which will be the fortunate one?' Yan said, 'Khwan is the fortunate one.' Tsze-khî looked startled, and joyfully said, 'In what way?' Yan replied, 'Khwan will share the meals of the ruler of a state to the end of his life.' The father looked uneasy, burst into tears, and said, 'What has my son done that he should come to such a fate?' Yan replied, 'When one shares the meals of the ruler of a state, blessings reach to all within the three branches of his kindred, and how much more to his father and mother! But you, Master, weep when you hear this;-- you oppose (the idea of) such happiness. It is the good fortune of your son, and you count it his misfortune.' Tsze-khî said, '0 Yan, what sufficient ground have you for knowing that this will be Khwan's good fortune? (The fortune) that is summed up in wine and flesh affects only the nose and the mouth, but you are not able to know how it will come about. I have never been a shepherd, and yet a ewe lambed in the south-west corner of my house. I have never been fond of hunting, and yet a quail hatched her young in the south-east corner. If these were not prodigies, what can be accounted such? Where I wish to occupy my mind with my son is in (the wide sphere of) heaven and earth; I wish to seek his enjoyment and mine in (the idea of) Heaven, and our support from the Earth. I do not mix myself up with him in the affairs (of the world); nor in forming plans (for his advantage); nor in the practice of what is strange. I pursue with him the perfect virtue of Heaven and Earth, and do not allow ourselves to be troubled by outward things. I seek to be with him in a state of undisturbed indifference, and not to practise what affairs might indicate as likely to be advantageous. And now there is to come to us this vulgar recompense. Whenever there is a strange realisation, there must have been strange conduct. Danger threatens;-- not through any sin of me or of my son, but as brought about, I apprehend, by Heaven. It is this which makes me weep!'
Not long after this, Tsze-khî sent off Khwan to go to Yen, when he was made prisoner by some robbers on the way. It would have been difficult to sell him if he were whole and entire, and they thought their easiest plan was to cut off (one of his) feet first. They did so, and sold him in Khî, where he became Inspector of roads for a Mr. Khû. Nevertheless he had flesh to eat till he died.