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Chinese Idioms - 探骊得珠

Posted by vann0000 February 12, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: idiom, , , ,

Groping about the Chin of the Black Dragon to Get a Pearl-Bringing Out the Best (探骊得珠 tan li de zhu)

探骊得珠Groping about the Chin of the Black Dragon to Get a Pearl-Bringing Out the Best

Long,Long age,there lived a family by the Yellow River.  They lived a very poor life,  depending on cutting reeds, weaving hanging screens and dust pans for a livelihood.

One day,the son was cutting reeds by the riverside.  With the scroching sun directly overhead, his head was swimming, so he sat down to take a rest.  Looking at the river water in front which was his father had once told him.  In the depths of the river there were many rare treasures, but nobody dared to get them because a fierce black dragon was residing there. 

He thought that, if he could dive into the depths of the river and get the treasures, the whole family would not have to toil from morning till night and yet could not have enough to eat as now.  He thought it would be better to have a try, and he was resolved to try in desperation.  So he took off his clothes nimbly and dived into the cold water with a splash.

At first, he could see small fish here and there all around.  However,the deeper he dived ,the darker it became,and the colder the river water.  At last, it was pitch-dark all around,and he could see nothing.  He became frightened, and was at a loss where he should swim to. 

Just at that time,he noticed a round object which was glittering not far away.  He fixed his eyes on it, and saw it was a bright pearl.  He held his breath and swam over there,held the pearl with both hands, pulled it with a great effort, and the bright pearl come into his arms.  He came out from the water immediately, climbed up the bank, and made off for home at once.

His father saw the bright pearl, and asked where he had got it.  He told his father the whole story exactly as it had happened.

Hearing this, his father said repeatedly, "How dangerous it was!  This precious pearl was grown on the chin of the black dragon.  The black must have been sleeping when you were pulling the pearl.  If the black dragon were awake, you would be dead."  When the son heard this, he considered himself very lucky indeed.

This story appears in The Works of Zhuang Zi.From this story,later generations have derived the set phrase "groping about the chin of the black dragon to get a pearl-- bringing out the best" to indicate that an article is to the point.

tan4     li2     de5     zhu1
探     骊     得     珠

 

很久很久以前,有一户人家住在黄河边上,靠割芦苇、编帘子簸箕为生,日子过得非常贫困.

有一天,儿子在河边割芦苇,烈日当空,晒得他头昏眼花,于是他就坐下来休息.他望着眼前的河水在阳光下闪耀着粼粼波光,想起父亲说过,在河的最深处有许多珍宝,可是谁也不敢去,因为那里住着一条凶猛的黑龙叫骊龙,他想,要是潜到河底,找到珍宝,我们一家人就用不着像现在这样一天干到晚,三顿还吃不饱,不如豁出去试一试.他把心一横,三下两下脱了衣服,一头扎进冰冷的河里.

开始他还看得见四周的小鱼在游来游去,再往深处,光线变得越来越暗,水也越来越凉,最后,他什么都看不见了,四周一团漆黑.他心里有点害怕,不知该往哪儿游.就在这时,不远处有一个圆圆的物体在闪闪发光,定睛细看,啊,原来是明珠!他憋足一口气游过去,双手抱住明珠,使劲一拽,明珠就到了他怀里.他迅速浮出水面,上岸后撒腿就往家跑.

父亲一见明珠,就问他是从哪儿得到的.他把经过一五一十地向父亲讲述一遍.父亲听了说:"好险哪!这颗价值千金的明珠是长在黑龙下巴底下的,你摘它的时候黑龙必定是睡着了.它要是醒着,你可就没命了."故事见于《庄子列御寇》.成语"探骊得珠",比喻写文章能紧扣主题,抓住要点.

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