Howdy people! How ya doing? I would rate today's post as an advanced Chinese reading exercise which requires a relatively high level of Chinese vocabulary. But don't be scared. That's what I'm here for, to hold your hands and guide you through it. By me firstly going through the difficult words and clearing those up, I'm confident you will then be able to read through this article to the end.
Remember, every language starts from vocabulary. That's why reading and writing practice are the fundamental building blocks of literacy. So in your spare time I recommend taking some of these new words, copying and pasting into Arch Chinese dictionary and seeing how to write the characters and imitate the stroke order and try writing it at least ten times yourself. The dictionary also breaks down the characters into their constituent components and often give other useful information such as character etymology. Remember, finding your own way to remember as much vocabulary as you can and applying them to daily communication are fundamental.
By the way, is it just me or do all of Aesop's Fables end like anti-happily-ever-after? What's with that right?
Anyway let's dive in.
狐狸(hú lí) - fox
失足(shī zú) - if you directly translate it into English it means "lose + feet" but in Chinese it means fall down or slip.
挣扎(zhēng zhá) - struggle
口渴(kǒu kě) - thirsty
极(jí) - means extreme (extremely)
镇静(zhèn jìng) - calm down
赞美(zàn měi) - praise
痛饮(tòng yǐn) - 痛 means hurt 饮 means drink, but here it doesn't mean that you drink till you feel painful. It means you drink till you are satisfied
不假思索(bù jiǎ sī suǒ)- without hesitation
共商(gòng shāng) - means discuss together, you can actually expand this words to 共同together and 商量 discuss
狡猾(jiǎo huá) - crafty
指责(zhǐ zé) - blame
A Fox slipped and fell into a deep well and could find no means of climbing up [i.e. no means of escape] no matter how hard he struggled, so was forced to just stay there. A male Goat, feeling thirsty, came to the same well, and seeing the Fox underground, asked if the water was good. Sensing his opportunity, the Fox swiftly adopted a calm and cool demeanour, all the while secretly smiling in his heart [basically just acting cool as though he was fine] and began to heap lavish praise on the well water, saying it was fresh and sweet and tasty beyond measure, and he encouraged the male Goat to come down and drink together with him to their heart's content.
The Goat, mindful only of his thirst took what the Fox said to be true, thoughtlessly jumped down. After he finished drinking his fill, he suddenly realised his predicament - that he was trapped underground now. So he had no choice but to work together with the Fox to come up with a plan to escape together. The Fox suggested a scheme for their mutual escape. "If you will place your forefeet upon the wall and bend your head, I will run up your back and escape, and then I'll help you out once I'm up. This way we will both be saved," said the Fox.
The Goat agreed to this plan and let the Fox jump on his back to climb out. Steadying himself with the Goat's horns, he safely reached the mouth of the well. As soon as he got up, he prepared to escape alone. When the Goat called him out for breaking his promise, he turned around and cried out, "You foolish old fellow! If you had as many brains in your head as you have hairs in your beard, you would never have gone down blindly before you had inspected the way up, nor have exposed yourself to dangers from which you had no means of escape."
The moral of the story is: A wise person ought to think clearly and consider the outcome before diving straight into action. In other words, look before you leap.