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The Doctor Who Lived In a Teapot - Many, many years ago, there lived in Keelung a famous doctor. There was a teapot hanging outside his front door. When he had finished work for the day, he jumped into the teapot where he lived, instead of living in his house.

One day, a man called Wang saw him jump into the teapot. "That's strange," he thought. "How does he do that?"

The next day he went to see the doctor. "I know you are not an ordinary man," he said. "Can you teach me everything you know?"

The doctor invited him to dinner. "The teapot is my house," he said. "Will you come inside with me?"
"How can I do that?" asked Wang. "The teapot is so small."

The doctor held his hand. "Let's jump in together," he said.

Whoosh! They jumped and instantly they were inside the pot. Wang looked around. He was amazed to find that he was inside a large house. There were many rooms and all of them were beautifully furnished. There was a garden too with many strange flowers in it.

After a while, a servant came in carrying a golden teacup. "Please have some tea," said the doctor.

When Wang tasted the tea, he found that it had a delicious flavour. "What kind of tea is this?" he asked the doctor.

"It is heavenly tea," the doctor replied.

Soon dinner was served. There were many different kinds of dishes on the table. Wang had not seen most of them before. However, one dish looked like bean curd. "What is that?" he asked. "Is it bean curd?"

"No," answered the doctor. "It is made from the bones of a dragon which has just been caught in the mountains."

Then Wang realized that all the food on the table came from another world.
Before long, the two men became good friends. They used to meet every day and drink wine, together.

One day, the doctor said to Wang, "I have some bad news for you. You know I am not an ordinary man. My master, who is a fairy, has found out that I am friendly with you. He has ordered me to return to heaven. I have brought some special wine for us to drink. We shall soon have to part."

The doctor sent his servant to bring the wine. However, al­though thewine was in a small bottle? his servant was unable to lift it.

"Call some other men to help you," said the doctor.
The servant did as he was told. But although a dozen men helped him, they were unable to move the bottle.

The doctor laughed. He picked up the bottle with two fin­gers. Then he and Wang began to drink thewine. They drank cup after cup but the bottle never became empty.
The doctor saw that Wang lookedvery unhappy. "Don't be so sad," he said. "Why don't you come with me?"
"How can IT' asked Wang. "I have a wife and family."

"If you really want to go," the doctor said,"I can tell you what to do." He cut a small piece of bamboo and gaveit to Wang. "Hang this outside your kitchen door before you go to bed tonight."

When Wang's family opened the kitchen door the next morning, they were surprised to see his body hanging there. His wife cried bitterly. She thought her husband had killed himself because of some business debts. So they made a coffin and buried him.

Then the doctor led Wang into the mountains with him. Af­ter some days, he said to Wang, "I am going to leave you. You can train yourself to become an immortal. It is the only way. But you must remember one thing. Whatever happens, you must not be afraid."

Not long afterwards, while Wang was sleeping, he was wak­ened by the roaring of tigers. When he opened his eyes, lie saw that he was surrounded by many fierce tigers Luckily, he thought of what the doctor had told him. He kept quiet and did not move. After a while, the tigers went away.

Later, when he was resting in a cave, he saw a huge rock hanging above him. It began to move as if about to fall on him. But Wang did not move. And this danger passed too.

After some time, the doctor suddenly appeared. "You are doing. Quite well," he said, "but there is one more test for you to pass. There is a pool of boiling water as hot as fire. If you can bathe in it, you will be able to change into an immortal. "

"Take me to it," said Wang. He did not feel afraid. He thought it would only be another test like the other two.

When they reached the pool, the water was bubbling. Wang tested the heat of the water with his toes. It was terribly hot. He tried several times to jump into the water. But each time, he turned back at the last moment.

"Never mind," the doctor said. "You nearly succeeded in be­coming an immortal. However, you failed to pass this last test. Noone can do what is beyond their power. It is a pity you can­not follow me. I advise you to return home to your wife and family."

Wang was very disappointed. He even tried once more to jump into the boiling water but he could not do so as he was too afraid.

"How can I return home?" he asked the doctor. "You brought me here and I do not know the way back."

The doctor then cut a bamboo and gave it to him. "You can ride home on that. When you arrive home, throw the bamboo away. That is all."

Wang thought of his home once more. He sat on the bam­boo and shouted "Go!" The bamboo flew up into the sky with Wang. He dared not look down at the ground below. In a few minutes, he arrived at the gate of his own house. He threw the bamboo away. It changed into a dragon and flew away.

He knocked at the door. His wife opened it. She shouted out in fright. Then all the members of his family ran out. They refused to believe he was still alive.

"You must be a ghost!" they said.
Wang tried to tell them what had happened but they re­fused to listen. They said that he must be dead because his body had been buried.

"That was only a stick of bamboo that you buried," said Wang.
"What nonsense! It was your body," they replied.

So Wang told them to dig up the coffin. When they opened it, they found there was only a stick of bamboo inside.

After that, they believed him and they held a great feast to welcome him back. Wang stayed with his family for the rest of his life. He was very happy and never left home again.

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