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《Chinese Tales for Everyone: Proverb Related __1-狐假虎威; 2-掩耳盜鈴》__ Kong Shiu Loon (53)

Proverb Related Tales

(1) The Fox Sponges the Tiger

A tiger caught a fox at the edge of a forest. It was about to eat its prey when the cunning fox said: “You can’t eat me. The Lord of Heaven had asked me to be the King of Beasts.”

The tiger shook its head to show its disagreement.

“You can try me.” The fox said hurriedly, “Follow me on a stroll through the forest. You will see how all the animals are afraid of me.”

The tiger consented.

So the fox took the lead, its head holding high. The tiger walked behind, emitting an occasional roar.

All the animals fled as they saw the tiger coming, loosing not a minute.

Seeing this, the tiger acknowledged the fox’s authority and let it go free.

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Note: This is an English narration of an allegory in the book《韓非子》(Strategy of the Warring States). Its original title 狐假虎威 has become a proverbial phrase meaning the use of falsified authority to boost up one’s status.

虎求百獸而食之,得狐。狐曰:「子無敢食我也!天帝使我長百獸。今子食我,是逆天帝之命也。子以我為不信,吾為子先行,子隨我後,觀百獸之見我而敢不走乎?」虎以為然,故遂與之行。獸見之皆走。虎不知獸畏己而走也,以為畏狐也。_____________________________________________________________________________________________________


Proverb Related Tales

(2) To Steal a Bell by Covering One’s Ears

Once upon a time, a man walked by a huge mansion. He wanted to steal the bell hanging above the door.

He hesitated for a moment because he knew the bell would ring when he pulled it down.

Then, he told himself: “All I need to do is to have my ears covered so I cannot hear the bell ring.”

He went ahead. The bell rang unceasingly. He was caught. He was so wrapped up with himself and his wishes that he had forgotten that there were other people who could hear and see.

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Note: This is an English narration of an allegory in the book 淮南子 (Huai Nan Zi). The original title 掩耳盜鈴 has become a common phrase to describe a person so self-centered that he cares not the existence of others.

【出處】:《呂氏春秋·自知》:“百姓有得鐘者,欲負而走,則鐘大不可負。以椎毀之,鐘況然有聲。恐人聞之而奪己也,遽掩其耳。”

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