In which there's another story to celebrate the sharing season

I've been telling this one so long, I'm not sure where I originally found it.  Lots of tellers share it--you can too!

--Aarene

Heaven and Hell (China)
There once was an old woman who knew that she would soon die.  She wanted to know what Heaven and Hell would be like.

The old woman went to see the wisest man in the village.  “Can you show me the difference between Heaven and Hell?”

The wise man led her up a strange and twisted path, far into the mountains.  At last they came to a fabulous palace, and went inside.  There, they saw many people sitting at a huge banquet table laid with an incredible array of food.  But the people were all thin, and angry, for the only utensils at the table were chopsticks…and the chopsticks were all three feet long. 

The people could not eat with such long chopsticks, and so they were surrounded by food and yet still hungry.  That was Hell.

Next, the wise man led to another fabulous palace.  Inside, they saw many people sitting at a huge banquet table laid with the same incredible array of food.  And here again, the chopsticks were three feet long.

But in this place, the people were well-fed, and happy.   


 For in this place, the people were feeding each other.  That was Heaven.

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