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In the tracks of a Chinese proverb
During the Tang dynasty 618-906 AD a man called Mian Bogao walked one thousand miles to present a swan, as a gift, to the emperor.
On a mid-journey break, standing on a riverbank, he took the swan from its cage to wash it. The swan broke loose and flew away, leaving a single feather behind.
Distraught, Mian Bogao continued his long journey and presented to the emperor the single feather, together with a poem he had written. The emperor was highly impressed and a Chinese proverb was born.
Even today it remains a traditional Chinese custom to attach a feather to small gifts, a symbol that it is the thought, not the gift itself, that truly matters.
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