Scroll painting by D. W. Hood, Qian Lu

Qian Lu 黔驴

Qian Lu, 黔驴

In the long ago times of folk tale, there were no donkeys (Lǘ) in Qian (Qian is present day GUI ZHOU province), then a guy brought a donkey to Qian and tied him to a tree. A tiger found the donkey, since he had never seen a donkey before, he was afraid such big animal could hurt him. The donkey made a truly terrifying noise when the tiger approached, then when the tiger overcame his fear of the noise he experienced the power of a cuddies kick like a drunk blacksmith defending himself with the fore hammer. These tactics managed to keep the tiger away from the donkey for a few days. Then the tiger figured out that is all he can do. So he eventually caught the donkey. Nowadays, people use the phrase “Qian Lǘ Ji Qiong” to refer to someone running out of skill, time, ideas or whatever in their case. I have taken the phrase Ji Qiong Lao Yin Shi/技穷老隐士 (the old hermit who has run out of skill/idea/time, etc.) as an alias for a seal so I owe the ass of legend a portrait.