China the Beautiful

Calligraphy by Mi Fei [Mei Fei] (aka Mi Fu)

Crane and Tortoise

Dated 1088.

"The tortoise and the crane both enjoy long lives;
Only shell and feathers distinguish them.
Each in his own way a spirited being,
As friends they know not their differences.
The crane loves to fly in hight places;
The tortoise is weary of dragging its tail.
Holding between them a bamboo pole in their mouths,
They soar into the cloudy heavens.
I tell you, be careful, do not speak:
One word and I'll fall into a muddy ditch!"

National Palace Museum, Taipei


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