Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 04-06-12 22:18
中國成語故事 - 望梅止渴
Wang4 Mei2 Zhi3 Ke3 (Quench one's thirst by thinking of the plums
During the Later Han Dynasty (東漢 25AD to 220AD), in 198AD, a northern
warlord called Zhang Xiu (張繡) was massing a large army with the intention
of destroying the home base of Cao Cao (曹操) in Xuchang (許昌 present day
Xuchang city in Jiangxi province 江西省). In 196AD, Cao Cao had relocated
Xian Emperor Liu Xie (獻皇帝劉協 190AD to 219AD [the last Emperor of the
Later Han Dynasty]) to Xuchang. Cao Cao led his crack troops and marched
northwards to encounter Zhang Xiu.
It was in the beginning of summer. The soldiers, under the command of Cao
Cao, were marching under the blazing sun. They had been marching non-stop
for over forty kilometers. They were sweating, perspiring and very thirsty.
The more they walked the more they became unbearable. The water bottles
in their knapsacks were empty.
Cao Cao sent out scouts to look for water. They found no water or water
holes in the vicinity. The soldiers were grumbling and Cao Cao could do
nothing except urging them to go forward.
Suddenly, a bright idea occurred to Cao Cao. He passed words to the soldiers
that there was an plum orchard not far in front of them. There were plenty
of sweet and sour plums on the plum trees.
On hearing of the phrase "sweet and sour plums" the soldier were salivating.
Water started to ooze out from their mouths. Thus the soldiers managed to
continue walking for a while.
Fortunately, they did not die of thirst because the scouts found a large
water hole about a kilometer from them. But there were no plum trees.
Cao Cao was a cunning commander and he used imagination to achieve his objective
The moral is to console oneself with false hopes or feed on fancies, temporary.
"前有大梅林, 饒子甘酸, 可以解渴"
Posted to asiawind.com
By CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)