Lion-eating poet in the stone den was written by Zhao Yua Ren to highlight the importance of Chinese characters. He wrote this 93 words long story, with all the words pronounced shi (in various tones), to prove that replacing Chinese characters with a phonetic script wouldn’t make sense. While this essay confirms the importance of characters in written Chinese, it also confirms the importance of tones in spoken Chinese.
And here is the English translation
A poet named Shi who lived in a stone den was fond of lions and swore that he would eat ten lions. He constantly went to the market to look for ten lions. One day at ten o’clock, Shi went to the market and saw ten lions there. Using his arrows he killed the ten lions, and carried the dead lions back to his stone den. The stone den was damp, so Shi ordered his servants to wipe the stone den. When he tried to eat the ten lions, he realized that they were actually made of stones and tried to get rid of them.
Just in case you are wondering how this story sounds, here is a video
I hope that I have convinced you now. Can you imagine getting the tones wrong in the above story?