A man from Sung carved a mulberry leaf out of jade for the prince. It took the man three years to complete the leaf, and it looked just like a real one, down to its glossiness, shape, color, proportion, and symmetry—in fact, it was indistinguishable from a real mulberry leaf. The government rewarded his skill with great sums of money.
Lieh Tzu heard about this and remarked, “If it took Nature three years at a time to make a single leaf, then there would be very few trees with leaves on them. The sage should not rely on human science and skill as much as he does on the carrying on of Tao.”