The Laziest Man in the World

Once the laziest man in the world lived here in Hong Kong. He grew from a baby to a child to an adult, as we all do. The only difference was that he grew lazier and lazier the older he got.

2. IllustrationWhen he was a baby, his mama fed and clothed him, like all good mamas do. But she was still feeding him every meal all the way through school, as well as dressing him. In the summer, she would fan him while he played computer games. In the winter, she would boil him ginger soup while he watched cartoons.

When he became a man, he married. His wife cooked and cleaned and washed and ironed, like all good wives do. But she had to feed and clothe him too.

One day, her mother fell sick. Mother-in-law lived in northern China and the trip would take a few weeks. The man's wife worried about leaving him ... until she woke up in the middle of one sweaty night with an idea.

Next morning, she baked twenty gluten rice cakes. She cut out a hole in the middle of them with a knife and strung them on a necklace. Just before she left for the train, she positioned her husband on the sofa and tied the necklace around his neck. "Eat one a day for the next twenty days and then I will be back," she said. "I won't telephone you because I know you won't bother picking up."

Her husband blinked.

The wife nursed her mother back to health. But when she returned home, she found her lazy husband dead on the sofa. Some of the cakes were eaten at the front, but none at the back.

He had been too lazy to pull the string.

This is a modern adaptation of an ancient Chinese folktale.

Illustrated by Bianca Lesaca

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