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Chinese Fables Packet

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CHINESE FABLES
Directions: Please read the following fables. Underline/circle or
highlight any words that you do not know. Please use a thesaurus or
dictionary to define it or so that you understand comparable synonym.
Words I need defined or need a
synonym for:
A Foolish Man Buys Shoes
In the past there lived a foolish man in a small kingdom called Zheng. One day he
wanted to buy himself a pair of new shoes. He measured his feet with a ruler first
and wrote down his size. But he was in such a hurry to set out that he left it at
home.
When he arrived at a shoe shop, he felt in the pocket only to find that it was not
there. So he said apologetically, 'I have left the measurement at home and don't
know the size. I'll fetch it in one minute.' With these words he hurried off as fast as
his legs could carry him.
He ran back home, found it and then to the shop again. But still it took him quite a
while and the shop was already closed then. He had gone to all this trouble for
nothing and did not get his shoes.
Then someone asked him, 'Did you buy the shoes for yourself or someone else?'
'For myself, of course.' he answered. 'Then why don't you try the shoes on by
yourself?'
Written by our column writer Hao Zhuo.
(http://chineseculture.about.com/library/weekly/aa012201a.htm)
I think that the moral or lesson in this fable is:
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The Frog in the Shallow Well
Have you not heard of the frog that lived in a shallow well? It said to a turtle that
lived in the East Sea, "I am so happy! When I go out, I jump about on the railing
beside the mouth of the well. When I come home, I rest in the holes on the broken
wall of the well. If I jump into the water, it comes up to my armpits and holds up
my cheeks. If I walk in the mud, it covers up my feet. I look around at the wriggly
worms, crabs and tadpoles, and none of them can compare with me. Moreover, I
am lord of this trough of water and I stand up tall in this shallow well. My
happiness is full. My dear sir, why don't you come often and look around my
place?
Words I need defined or need a
synonym for:
Before the turtle from the East Sea could get its left foot in the well, its right knee
got stuck. It hesitated and retreated. The turtle told the frog about the East Sea.
"Even a distance of a thousand li cannot give you an idea of the sea's width; even a
height of a thousand ren cannot give you an idea of its depth. In the time of King
Yu of the Xia dynasty, there were floods nine years out of ten, but the waters in the
sea did not increase. ln the time of King Tang of the Shang dynasty there were
droughts seven years out of eight, but the waters in the sea did not decrease. The
sea does not change along with the passage of time and its level does not rise or
fall according to the amount of rain that falls. The greatest happiness is to live in
the East Sea."
After listening to these words, the frog of the shallow well was shocked into
realization of his own insignificance and became very ill at ease.
li: a Chinese unit of length equal to half a kimometre.
ren: a Chinese unit of length, approximately equal to 21/3 metres.
I think that the moral or lesson in this fable is:
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Blessing or Bane
Near China's northern borders lived a man well versed in the practices of Taoism.
His horse, for no reason at all, got into the territory of the northern tribes. Everyone
commiserated with him.
Words I need defined or need a
synonym for:
"Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing," said his father.
After a few months, his animal came back, leading a fine horse from the north.
Everyone congratulated him.
"Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a cause of misfortune," said his father.
Since he was well-off and kept good horses his son became fond of riding and
eventually broke his thigh bone falling from a horse. Everyone commiserated with
him.
"Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing," said his father.
One year later, the northern tribes started a big invasion of the border regions. All
able-bodied young men took up arms and fought against the invaders, and as a
result, around the border nine out of ten men died. This man's son did not join in
the fighting because he was crippled and so both the boy and his father survived.
I think that the moral or lesson in this fable is:
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The Fox and the Tiger
A tiger caught a fox one day and was about to eat him. The fox said: "You cannot
Words I need defined or need a
synonym for:
dare to eat me. Do you know I am sent by god to rule over the animal kingdom? If
you eat me, you will be going against god's mandate. Do you think I'm lying?
Come and walk behind me. You'll see all the animals will flee when they see me."
The tiger followed the fox's plan walking behind the fox. All the animals fled when
they saw them coming. The tiger believed that the animals were really afraid of the
fox. He did not realize that he himself was the reason why the animals ran away.
I think that the moral or lesson in this fable is:
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