已有 3445 次阅读 2017-8-21 05:56 |系统分类:生活其它|关键词:学者


It is an interesting old Chinese Fable:

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

During the Spring and Autumn Period770476BCof ancient China, Fan Li and Wen Zhong were famous and capable senior officials in the State of Yue. The King of Yue named Gou Jian didn't accept the advice of Fan Li and boldly launched anattack against the neighboring State of Wu. At last, State Yue lost the battle and King Gou was caught by the King of Wu. The King of Wu took Gou, the King of Yue,  back to his state and had him as a slave. Fan Li advised Gou to endure the shames, pretending to surrender and waiting for an opportunity to avenge. Meanwhile, Wen Zhong met Gou Jian often to encourage and help Gou.Years later, Gou was set free and went back to his state of Yue. With the help of Fan and Wen, Gou managed his State very well and the State of Yue rapidly became powerful, and finally State Yue destroyed State Wu.

Because Fan Li and Wen Zhong contributed so much for the re-establishment of the State, the King Gou offered them highest official positons in the State and awarded them great wealth and lands, even half of the state offered to Fan. But, Fan declined the offer and decided to live inseclusion, for Fan knew what Gou would do to him (kill him) in the futureif he continued to work in the office of state. In addition, Fan wrote to his friend Wen, saying "When all the flying birds have been shot down, the good bow will be put away; when all the hares have been bagged, the hounds will be killed for food. I suggest you resign in order to avoid disaster." Wen took Fan’s advice and pretended sick and stopped attending imperial court meetings. But it was too late. Gou Jian believed in the slanderous gossips on Wen and ordered Wen to kill himself.

Later, people use this idiom to mean that meritorious person maybe removed when he has completed his tasks. On the other hand, it also advise masters not to do so, as birds/hares might get back again someday.

Bo  Zhang  |  Research Scientist


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