This story is for children but feels slightly out of place with a beginner’s classification as there are some phrases that are not often seen and a couple of useful idioms to be learnt.  There is a voice recording of this story being read and some comprehension questions if you feel like testing yourself. Have fun!

Key Words

狐假虎威 – The name of the story and the moral of it too. The fox is using the tiger’s might to his own advantage. It can be said about a person who has powerful friends in high places and uses them for their own benefit and to scare people.

装出 – to assume an air of. For example, 装出一副公正的样子 is to assume a righteous air (or righteous manner).

得意洋洋 – to be very proud. Another idiom for the collection.

紧跟 – 紧 meaning ‘tight’ and 跟 meaning with or follow, Put together can mean to follow closely. It can also be used in terms of keeping up with current circumstances such as 紧跟形势。

The Fox and the Tiger

(Hover over the Chinese for pinyin)

在茂密的大森林里,一只饥饿的老虎逮住了一只狐狸。老虎张开大嘴就要把狐狸吃掉。“慢着”!狐狸虽然很害怕但还是装出一副很神气的样子说,“你知道我是谁吗?我可是玉皇大帝派来管理百兽的兽王,你要是吃了我,玉皇大帝是决不会放过你的”。

老虎有点儿不相信,心想这家伙又瘦又小,怎么会是兽王呢?狐狸见老虎有些迟疑就说:“如果你不相信,就跟在我后面。咱们到森林里走一趟看看动物们见到我害怕不害怕。”

老虎被狐狸说动了,答应跟他走一趟。狐狸得意洋洋,昂着头,大模大样地走在前面。

老虎不知是计,瞪着两只眼睛,一步不落地紧跟在后面。

森林里的小动物们玩儿得正高兴,忽然听到树上的小鸟报信。他们扭头一看,只见狐狸神气十足地走在前面,后面跟着一只龇牙咧嘴的老虎,他们被吓得四处逃窜。

狐狸仗着老虎耍足了威风,可老虎还以为动物们是害怕狐狸呢,就把狐狸的话当真了,再也不敢吃他了。

Below is the voice recording of this passage. The reader is reading quite fast but the words are very clear. Pay attention to how the characters are grouped together and where the pauses are.

 

Difficult Translations

There are not too many complex sentences in this Chinese passage but here are some that contain useful grammar.

心想家伙

Chinese can use the structure 又。。。又。。。 to apply two adjectives. The sentence above can be translated to “(The tiger) thought this chap was small and thin”.

他们四处逃窜

Chinese uses the character 被 to express passive voice. The sentence can be translated to “They were scared and scattered in every direction”

狐狸老虎威风,可老虎以为动物害怕狐狸

This uses the character 仗 as “depend”. It can be translated to “The fox was relying on the tiger’s presence (to scare the animals), but the tiger thought that the animals were being scared by the fox”.

Comprehension Questions

Answer the following questions (in Chinese!) in the comments below.

  1. 狐狸告诉老虎它是谁?
  2. 动物们到底害怕的是谁?
  3. 读完这篇故事后,你认为狐狸是什么性格的动物?老虎呢?

Anything to add?

As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this short story. If you understood it all then great! If you want some help or if you noticed a typo then comment below and let us know. Thanks for reading.