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Chinese Idioms - 守株待兔

Posted by vann0000 February 11, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: idiom, , , , , stump, rabbit, hare, farmer, dreamer

Staying by a Stump Waiting for More Hares To Come and Dash Themselves Against It (守株待兔, shou zhu dai tu)


守株待兔Staying by a Stump Waiting for More Hares To Come and Dash Themselves Against It

This story took place more than 2,000 years ago, in the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.).  Tradition has it that in the State of Song at that time there was a man who was famous for staying by a stump waiting for more hares to come and dash themselves against it.

He was a yong farmer,and his family had been farmers for generations.Year after year and generation after generation, farmers used to sow in spring and harvest in autumn, beginning to work at sunrise and retiring at sunset.  In good harvest years, they could only have enough food to eat and enough clothing to wear.  If there was a famine due to crop failure,they had to go hungry.

This young farmer wanted to improve his life.  But he was too lazy and too cowardly.  Being lazy and cowardly over everything, he often dreamed of having unexpected blessings.

A miracle took place at last. One day in late autumn,when he was ploughing in the field, two groups of people were hunting nearby.  As shoutings were rising one after another,scared hares were running desperately.  Suddenly, a blind hare dashed itself headlong against the stump of a dead tree in his field and died.

That day, he ate his fill.

From that day on, he no longer went in for farming again.  From morning till night, he stayed by that miraculous stump, waiting for miracles to take place again.

This story comes from"The Five Vermin"in The Works of Han Feizi.  Later generations often use the set phrase "staying by a stump waiting for more hares to come and dash themselves against it" to show grusting to chance and windfalls or dreaming to reap without sowing.  It is also used to show adhering to narrow experiences and not being able to be flexible.

shou3     zhu1     dai4     tu4
守     株     待     兔

 

相传在战国时代宋国,有一个农民,日出而作,日入而息.遇到好年景,也不过刚刚吃饱穿暖;一遇灾荒,可就要忍饥挨饿了.他想改善生活,但他太懒,胆子又特小,干什么都是又懒又怕,总想碰到送上门来的意外之财.

奇迹终于发生了.深秋的一天,他正在田里耕地,周围有人在打猎.吆喝之声四处起伏,受惊的小野兽没命的奔跑.突然, 有一只兔子,不偏不倚,一头撞死在他田边的树根上.

当天,他美美地饱餐了一顿.

从此,他便不再种地.一天到晚,守着那神奇的树根,等着奇迹的出现.

成语"守株待兔",比喻亡想不劳而得,或死守狭隘的经验,不知变通.

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