King Mu of Chou made a tour of inspection in the west. He crossed the K'un-lun range, but turned back before he reached the Yen mountains.Go here to read the introductory post to the chapters of the Book of Lieh Tzu.
On his return journey, before arriving in China, a certain artificer was presented to him, by name Yen Shih. King Mu received him in audience, and asked what he could do. 'I will do anything,' replied Yen Shih, 'that your Majesty may please to command. But there is a piece of work, already finished, that I should like to submit first to your Majesty's inspection.'
'Bring it with you to-morrow.' said the King, 'and we will look at it together.'
So Yen Shih called again the next day, and was duly admitted to the royal presence. 'Who is that man accompanying you?' asked the King. 'That, Sire, is my own handiwork. He can sing and he can act.'
The King stared at the figure in astonishment. It walked with rapid strides, moving its head up and down, so that any one would have taken it for a live human being. The artificer touched its chin, and it began singing, perfectly in tune. He touched its hand, and it started posturing, keeping perfect time. It went through any number of movements that fancy might happen to dictate. The King, looking on with his favorite concubine and the other inmates of his harem, could hardly persuade himself that it was not real.
~ Lionel Giles translation via Terebess Asia Online ~