Skip to main content

The hounds are killed for food once all the hares are bagged

During the Spring and Autumn Period(770-476BC), there were two famous senior officials in the State of Yue. The King of the Yue named Gou Jian didn't accept the advice of Fan Li and blindly launched an attack against the neighboring State of Wu. As a result, he suffered disastrous defeat and was caught by the King of Wu. The King of Wu took him back and had him as a slave. Fan Li persuaded him to endure humiliation, pretend to surrender and wait for an opportunity to avenge.

Later, Wen Zhong went to the State of Wu on diplomatic missions and helped Gou Jian gain the confidence. Years later, Gou was set free. With the help of Fan and Wen, the State of Yue rapidly rehabilitated and later annexed the Wu.

As they had done so much contribution, both Fan and Wen was awarded great riches. Gou Jian even offered half of the state to Fan. But Fan rejected and decided to live in seclusion for knowing Gou too well. As a hermit, Fan wrote to his friend Wen. In his letter, Fan said,

"When all the flying birds have been shot down, the good bow is put away; when all the hares have been bagged, the hounds are killed for food. I suggest you withdraw in order to avoid disaster." Wen took his advice and pretended to be ill and stopped attending imperial court meetings. But it was too late. Gou Jian believed the slanderous gossips about Wen and ordered Wen to kill himself.

Later, people use it to mean trusted aides are eliminated when they have outlived their usefulness."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE STORY OF MISS LI

Miss Li, ennobled with the title "Lady of Ch‘ien-kuo," was once a prostitute in Ch‘ang-an. The devotion of her conduct was so remarkable that I have thought it worth while to record her story. In the T‘ien-pao era there was a certain nobleman, Governor of Ch‘ang-chou and Lord of Jung-yang, whose name and surname I will omit. He was a man of great wealth and highly esteemed by all. He had passed his fiftieth year and had a son who was close on twenty, a boy who in literary talent outstripped all his companions. His father was proud of him and had great hopes of his future. "This," he would say, "is the "thousand-league colt" of our family." When the time came for the lad to compete at the Provincial Examinations, his father gave him fine clothes and a handsome coach with richly caparisoned horses for the journey; and to provide for his expense at the Capital, he gave him a large sum of money, saying, "I am sure that your talent is such that …

The Fox and The Tiger

ONE day a fox encountered a tiger. The tiger showed his fangs and waved his claws and wanted to eat him up. But the fox said: 'Good sir, you must not think that you alone are the king of beasts. Your courage is no match for mine. Let us go together and you keep behind me. If the humans are not afraid of me when they see me, then you may eat me up.'

The tiger agreed and so the fox led him to a big high-way. As soon as the travellers saw the tiger in the distance they were seized with fear and ran away.

Then the said: 'You see? I was walking in front; they saw me before they could See you.'

Then the tiger put his tail between his legs and ran away.

The tiger had seen that the humans were afraid of the fox but he had not realized that the fox had merely borrowed his own terrible appearance.

[This story was translated by Ewald Osers from German, published by George Bell & Sons, in the book 'Chinese Folktales'. 
Osers noted that this story was from oral tradition.…

The wonderful pear-tree

Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry."

"Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The old…