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The Thirty-Six Stratagems by Peter Taylor

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29. Deck the tree with false blossoms

Tying silk blossoms on a dead tree gives the illusion that the tree is healthy. Through the use of artifice and disguise, make something of no value appear valuable, of no threat appear dangerous, of no use appear useful.

There once was a hunter who was away seeking food for his family leaving at home his wife Cuei Hua. She saw a suspicious man outside their home and rushed to shut the door but the thief was quicker than she was and in no time he was in the house and had sat himself on a chair in the living room. He said that as it was getting dark she should let him stay for the night and he would then leave in the morning. Cuei Hua realised that her husband wouldn’t be home anytime soon and that she was ...

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