Adding Feet to a Snake While Drawing It

        A Native of Chu after worshipping his ancestors gave his retainers a pot of wine. One of the retainers said, “It’s insufficient for all of us, but too much for one of us. I suggest, therefore, that we draw snakes on the ground, and the one who first finishes drawing the snake will win the pot of wine.” They all agreed and began to draw on the ground with sticks.

        When one retainer had completed his drawing, he took the pot to drink. As he held it in his left hand, he continued to draw the snake with his right hand, saying “How slow you are! I can even add feet to my snake before you finish yours!”

        While he was adding feet to his snake, another man who had the draw his snake snatched the pot from his hand, protesting “I’ve finished! No snake has feet. How can you add feet to it?” With these words he drank up the wine.