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Chinese Idiom - 井底之蛙

Posted by vann0000 February 9, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: idiom, frog, water, big, small, puddle

The Frog in the Shallow Well (井底之蛙 jing di zhi wa)

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?"

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.

井底之蛙(jǐng dǐ zhī wā)

一口浅(qiǎn)井里住着一只青蛙,有一天,青蛙在井边碰上了一只从东海里来的大龟(guī),青蛙对海归夸口说:"我住在这个地方可快乐了!高兴时,我跳出井外,攀(pān)缘(yuán)栏杆(lán gān),尽情地蹦跳(bèng tiào).玩累了,我回到井中,躲在井壁窟窿(kū long)里,安静地休息.井中的水,刚好浸没我的两腋(yè),托住下巴;稀泥(xī nì)没过我的双脚,绵软(mián ruǎn)舒适.看看那些虾、蟹、蝌蚪(kē dǒu),谁也没有我快活.而且,我独为这口水井的主人,跨井栏、倚(yǐ)井栏,其乐无穷,你何不进来跟我一起分享这些快乐呢?"

那海龟听了青蛙的话,就想下井去看看;但是他左腿还没有迈(mài)进去,右腿已经被绊(bàn)住了.于是他只好小心地退回来,向青蛙讲起大海的情景:"你看过海吗?用千里之遥(yáo),不能形容海的辽阔(liáo kuò);千仞(rèn)之高,不足以形容海的深度.古时候,十年有九年发大水,海面却没因此增高;后来,八年里有七年是大旱(hàn),海岸也没因缺雨而降低.大海不随着时间的推移而发生变化,不因为水增多减少而或进或退,住在那样的大海里才是真的快乐呢!"


这个故事告诉我们,浅井里的青蛙只能看到井口那么大的一块天,比喻见识狭小(xiá xiǎo)的人.

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