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Hu2 Jia3 Hu3 Wei
The cunning fox and the tiger
During the Warring States Period (453BC to 221BC), the Kingdom of Chu
(present day Jiang Ling county in Hubei province) was the most powerful
State in the land. General Zhao was the commander in chief of the Chu
It was well-known that people living in the north were very afraid of
General Zhao. One day the ruler asked his court officials why the
Northerners feared General Zhao. An eminent official answered him by
relating the fable about the fox and the tiger:
"Long time ago, while preying in the forest a tiger caught a fox.
The tiger was about to have the fox for dinner. However the cunny fox
threatened the tiger and said,
"" I think you dare not eat me because I am the King of the beasts.
I was sent down to earth by the Jade Emperor from heaven to take
charge of all the animals in the world. Who is not afraid of Jade
Emperor? If you eat me he will be very angry and punish you.
Besides, all the animals in the world are afraid of me. Wherever
I walk about in the forest all the other animals will run and
hide as soon as they see me. If you don't believe me I shall prove
it to you. Follow me and I'll show you. By the way you must walk
behind me at all times.""
The tiger wanted to see if the fox was telling the truth and whether he
was really the King of the beasts. So the tiger followed the cunny fox and
walked to the place where other animals roamed. At the sight of the fox with
the tiger behind it all the animals ran helter skelter and hid themselves.
No one dared to linger a moment and no one dared look the fox in the eye.
The cunning fox had apparently proven to the tiger that all the animals were
afraid of him. But the tiger did not realize that the animals were actually
afraid of him, and not the fox walking in front of him."
The official explained to the ruler that the Northerners were atually
afraid of the State of Chu. Since General Zhao was the commander in chief of
the Chu armed force, of course he was the boss of the army which was the
main reason that the Northerners were frightened of. In other words they
were frightened of the State of Chu but not General Zhao.
The fox was outfoxing the tiger.
Zhan Guo (Warring States)
A Chinese fable story "Hu2 Jia3 Hu3 Wei"
CHUNG Yoon-Ngan. email@example.com