(Minghui.org) From Snow White to Cinderella, there have been many stories in literature as well as in history describing wicked and cruel stepmothers. The fairy tale about Ye Xian, described in Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang, published during the Tang Dynasty in China, told a similar story.

However, not all stepmothers are evil, and here are stories about two good ones.

Upright and Kind

According to the Book of the Later Han, Mu Jiang was the second wife of Cheng Wenju, the head of Anzhong County. Cheng’s first wife gave birth to four sons, one named Cheng Xing, and Mu gave birth to two sons. After Cheng Wenju died, the four children of his first wife disliked Mu and found ways to make trouble for her.

But Mu treated the four stepchildren very well, even better than her own children. One neighbor could not understand this and said, “These four children have no filial piety. Why not separate from them and let them live on their own?” “It’s my duty to educate them with righteousness and kindness,” Mu replied.

One time, Cheng Xing fell ill, and Mu took good care of her stepson by preparing his medicine and food. Cheng’s illness lasted a long time. After he finally recovered, he called his three brothers (Cheng Wenju’s first wife’s sons) and said, “Our stepmother treats us very well. But we haven’t thanked her and even slandered her. We have committed sins and are no different than animals.”

The four sons then went to the head of Nanzheng County (now a district of Hanzhong County in southern Shaanxi Province). They told their story and asked to be suitably punished. The county head reported this to the state governor. Impressed by the story, the state governor honored Mu for her merit, asked the four children to correct themselves, and waived the family men’s mandatory labor to serve the country.

All six sons of Mu were well-behaved and later became very accomplished when they grew up.

Stepson Commits a Crime

Another story concerns Mengyang, the second wife of General Mang Mou in the kingdom of Wei. Although Mengyang, who had three children before she married Mang, treated her five stepchildren very well, they were very cold to her and did not show her respect. One time, the third stepchild committed a crime and was going to be executed. Mengyang worked very hard to try to save his life.

A friend told her, “Those stepchildren have ignored you. Why do you still make so much effort for them?”

“The children lost their mother at a young age. That is why their father married me—to support the family,” Mengyang replied. “I treat them like my own children; otherwise, I wouldn’t be righteous. A mother should take good care of children; otherwise, she would not have kindness. Without righteousness or kindness, how can I be a good person?” So, she continued to work on rescuing the child.

After King Anli heard about this, he was moved and said, “The mother is so kind. How can I not forgive her son?” So he pardoned the child. After that, all five stepchildren respected Mengyang very much. She also educated them well, and all eight children later became high officials.

A person with high moral values will treat others well, including their children and their stepchildren. But in today’s China, communist doctrines advocate hatred and violence, putting society in a precarious situation.