In ancient times, the people of Yongzhou liked to live by the river. They were all very good at swimming.
One day, the water in the rivers suddenly rose. Five or six people were crossing the Xiang River in a small boat. When the boat reached the middle of the river, it leaked and sank. All the people on the boat swam for their lives.
At this moment, a man was seen paddling like crazy in the water, but with little progress. One of his companions asked in surprise: “You used to be the best swimmer among us. Why are you lagging behind today?”
The man panted heavily and replied: “I’ve got 1，000 copper coins wrapped around my waist. They are very heavy, so I can’t swim fast.”
His companions advised him anxiously: “Throw away the copper coins at once!”
The man only shook his head and gave no answer.
After a short while, he became weaker and weaker. At this moment, those who had got on the bank shouted to him desperately: “You are such a headstrong fool. You are about to drown, so what do you want the money for?”