When autumn came, all the water in the large and small rivers rose higher and flowed into the Yellow River. The surface of the River at once appeared much wider. On one side of the bank, one couldn't see the cattle and sheep on the opposite side. The River deity Hebo was therefore immensely proud and considered himself the greatest in the world.
Hebo followed the Yellow River to the North Sea. Looking to the east, he could not see the bounds of the sea. Then he looked at himself and felt he was so tiny and insignificant. He sighed and said to Hairuo, the deity of the North Sea:
"As the saying goes, a person who has gained a little learning tends to regard himself as the wisest person under the sky. I am just that kind of person. Seeing how broad and great you are today, I have come to realize how insignificant and ignorant I am. If I didn't meet you, I'm afraid I would always be laughed at by people with knowledge."
"We cannot talk about the sea with a frog at the bottom of a well, for the frog is restricted by its dwelling place; we cannot talk about ice with a small insect of summer, for the insect is restricted by the seasons; we cannot talk about profound learning with superficial persons, for they have too little knowledge. Now you have come out of a small river to the North Sea, seen the greatness of it and realized your own insignificance. Since you have taken such a modest attitude, I can then talk with you about profound learning."