Draw feet on a snake (画蛇添足 hua she tian zu)
A nobleman, after making offerings to his ancestors, took some of the wine that was left over from the offerings and gave it to his men. The men looked at the wine and saw that there was very little of it. One of the men suggested, "If we all drink from this bottle of wine, each of us will just barely get a taste of it. It would be much better if all the wine went to one person. What do you think?"
Everyone agreed that this was a good idea, but couldn't agree on who should get the wine. No one was willing to give in and let someone else have it, for everyone wanted the wine for himself. They didn't know how to decide. The man who had the first idea soon spoke up: "We will have a competition and see who can draw a snake on the ground first. The one who finishes drawing first will win the bottle of wine, all right?"
Everyone though this idea was good, so they began the competition. Everyone squatted down on the ground to draw a snake. One of them finished his drawing quickly, but before he claimed the bottle of wine, he looked around at the others who were still drawing. Everyone had their heads bent over their work, and the man thought he had time to add more to his drawing. He decided to add four feet to his snake.
"But while he was drawing the feet, another man finished drawing. This man took the wine and laughed at the first man: "A snake didn't have feet to begin with! Why have you given your snake feet?"
Then, he took the bottle of wine, and guzzled it down. The man who drew feet on the snake could only look at the empty bottle of wine and drool with longing.
The idiom "Draw feet on a snake" comes from this story. Now people use it to illustrate this idea: it is harmful to do unnecessary things when they are not wanted.
画蛇添足(huà shé tiān zú)
然后,他举起酒壶,咕噜咕噜(gū lū gū lū)把酒喝光了.而原先那个替蛇添脚的人,只能懊悔不已(ào huǐ bù yǐ)地在一旁吞(tūn)口水了.
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