Probably written by Tu Kwang-t’ing (A.D. 850-933).
Summary: It was a time of a crumbling dynasty in China. Young warriors crossed the land looking for leaders with whom to join. Li Tsing was one of those young warriors.
Curley-beard was ambitious to become a leader. He was a coarse man, but intelligent. When Li Tsing told Curley Beard that he might have found the real Dragon, Curley-Beard asked to see him. When they met, the man who was the real Dragon was playing chess. Curley-beard never said a word. He recognized that the man was truly the real Dragon, the real leader of China.
Therefore, Curley-beard gave fine gifts to Li Tsing and his wife and went away to achieve his ambition in another country. He could not play second fiddle to any man. He predicted to Li Tsing that one day in the future, Li Tsing and his wife would hear of Curley-beard’s exploits. He asked Li Tsing and his wife to offer a toast to him at that time. Li Tsing went on to serve the real Dragon for many years, and Curley-beard did as he said he would. He conquered a smaller country. And Li Tsing and his wife offered a toast to their friend Curley-beard from afar.
Comment: A selfless leader who recognized a genuine leader. RayS.
Famous Chinese Short Stories. Re-told by Lin Yutang. New York: The Pocket Library. 1954.