A Chinese child started to learn writing on his first day with the teacher. The teacher began by showing him how to write 一, the character for 'one'. The child said to himself: 'That was easy'. Then the teacher taught him to write 二, the character for 'two'. Seeing how easy it was to write 'two', the child became restless. Then he was shown how to write 三, the character for 'three'. Before he was asked to write it, he shouted in protest: 'I know how to write now!' The teacher said to him: 'You are a quick learner. So much for the lesson. Your homework for today is to write the character for "ten thousand".'
Teach Yourself Beginner's Chinese Script, by Elizabeth Scurfield and Song Lianyi.