Days passed days, and weeks passed weeks. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never ceased disagreeing and battling. But what made the scenario even worse was that, in accordance to ancient Chinese custom, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and follow her every wish. All the frustration and disappointment in the house was resulting in the poor husband great distress.
Ultimately, Li-Li could not take a position her mother-in-law’s bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she made the decision to do something about it.
Li-Li went to see her father’s good companion, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang idea for a while, and finally said, “Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you.”
Li-Li said, “Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do no matter what you tell me to do.” Mr. Huang went into the back room, and came back in a few minutes with a package of herbs.
He told Li-Li, “You can’t use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, simply because that would cause persons to become dubious. Therefore, I have given you a number of natural herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Each and every other day prepare some delightful meal and put a little of these herbs in her offering. Now, in order to make sure that no one suspects you when she dies, you must be very careful to act very pleasant towards her. Don’t dispute with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen.”
Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and rushed home to start her plot of killing her mother-in-law.
Weeks went by, months went by, and every other day, Li-Li provided the specially handled food items to her mother-in-law. She kept in mind what Mr. Huang had said about preventing suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and handled her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed.
Li-Li had used controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn’t had a disagreement in six months with her mother-in-law, who now appeared much kinder and simpler to get along with.
The mother-in-law’s mind-set toward Li-Li changed, and she started to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept informing friends and relatives that Li-Li was the finest daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now dealing with each other like a real mother and daughter.
Li-Li’s husband was very happy to see what was occurring.
One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said, “Mr. Huang, you should help me to stop the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She’s modified into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her.”
Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. “Li-Li, there’s practically nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to strengthen her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all cleaned away by the love which you gave to her.”