When I was a child (I'm 44 now), I read a series of children's books about a wise Chinese judge and some of the cases that were brought to him. Now I cannot remember the judge's name and cannot locate the books. Let me tell
you one of the stories so you'll understand how intriguing the books were, and why I'm so eager to rediscover them.
A poor, nearly penniless student lives in a tiny apartment over a fish shop. One of his student friends asks him how he can bear to be so poor and only eat rice for dinner each evening. He confides that he waits until the owner of the fish shop cooks his fish each evening, and then the student eats his rice along with the odor of the fish and it makes the rice taste better. The shop owner overhears the conversation and is livid because the student is stealing his smells without paying for them! He sues him in court for stealing his smells. The wise judge is presiding and he agrees that the student received something of value without paying for it. He tells the student he will have to pay and asks the student to count out all the money he has from one hand to the other so the court will be advised of his means. The student complies. Then the judge tells the student to put away his
money, and turns to the shop owner and tells him he has been paid. The shop owner is confused and points out that he has received no money. The wise judge tells him that the price of the smell of fish is the sound of money. Any help in finding these books would be much appreciated!
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