The bulging belly fox
A hungry Fox found in a hollow tree a quantity of bread and meat, which some shepherds had placed there against their return. Delighted with his find he slipped in through the narrow aperture and greedily devoured it all. But when he tried to get out again he found himself so swollen after his big meal that he could not squeeze through the hole, and fell to whining and groaning over his misfortune. Another Fox, happening to pass that way, came and asked him what the matter was; and, on learning the state of the case, said, “Well, my friend, I see nothing for it but for you to stay where you are till you shrink to your former size; you’ll get out then easily enough.”
Long ago, there was a man traveling from the Kingdom of Wei to the Kingdom of Chu. He took a lot of traveling money with him, hired a good carriage, harnessed it to a strong steed, hired an exquisitely skilled driver, and then began his journey. The Kingdom of Chu was to the south of the Kingdom of Wei, but this man couldn’t tell the difference when the driver rode away towards the north.
On the road, a passing traveler asked where they were going. The man loudly answered, “We’re going to the Kindom of Chu!”. The traveler told him, “If you’re going to Chu, you should go south. You’re going north, it’s the wrong direction.” The man unconcernedly replied, “No problem! My horse is very fast.” Worried for him, the traveler pulled at the horse, and warned, “You’re going the wrong way. Even if your horse was even faster than it is, you still won’t reach the Kingdom of Chu!” Still not seeing the truth, the man said, “Don’t worry, I’ve brought a lot of money with me.” Making a concerted effort to dissuade him, the traveler said, “Though you may have a lot of money, you’re still going the wrong direction, and your money will be spent in vain.” Thinking of nothing other than getting to the Kingdom of Chu, the man impatiently said, “It’s not a problem, my driver is extremely skilled!” Out of options, the traveler let go of the carriage and watched helplessly as the aimless man from Wu rode away.
The man from Wu didn’t listen to anyone’s exhortations, relying on his fast horse, his money, his driver’s skill and many other favorable conditions, and obstinately continued to go in the opposite direction. Doing this, he could only continue to get further and further away from his goal, because his overall direction was wrong.
This story tells us, no matter what the situation is, we’d better first be sure we’re going the right way, and only then can we fully employ our other advantages, otherwise those advantages will just cause us pain
路上有人问他的车是要往哪儿去，他大声回答说: “去楚国!”路人告诉他说: “到楚国去应往南方走，你这是在往北走，方向不对。那人满不在乎地说:”没关系，我的马快着呢!” 路人替他着急，拉住他的马，阻止他说, “方向错了，你的马再快，也到不了楚国呀!” 那人依然毫不醒悟地说: “不要紧，我带的路费多着呢!” 路人极力劝阻他说:“虽说你路费多，可是你走的不是那个方向，你路费多也只能白花呀!” 那个一心只想着要到楚国去的人有些不耐烦地说: “这有什么难的，我的车夫赶车的本领高着呢!” 路人无奈，只好松开了拉住车把子的手，眼睁睁看着那个盲目上路的魏人走了。
During the Spring and Autumn period, Nobleman ZhiBo of the Jin state eliminated the Fan clan [in battle]. There was a person who sought to take advantage of the defeated [and thus absent] Fan clan to steal some things from their house, and he saw that in their yard dangled a large bell. The bell was molded from the finest bronze, its shape and design were very fine indeed. The thief was extremely happy, thinking to take this refined bell and carry it back to his own house. But the bell was both big and heavy, and howsoever he tried, he couldn’t move it. He thought and thought, and came up with just one solution, which was to break the bell to bits, then take the pieces separately back to his house.
The thief found a sledgehammer, and swung at the bell with all his might. A loud “gong” sound rang out, startling the thief. The thief panicked, thinking this [enterprise] was spoiled, thinking “that kind of noise is tantamount to telling people that I’m here stealing the bell, isn’t it?” He was worried, and he flung is body at the bell, stretching his arms around it to try to still the sound, but really how could he stop it? The sound went on and on, ringing far and wide.
The longer he heard it, the more afraid he became, and withdrew his hands to press them against his ears with all his strength. “Yi, the sound has lessened, I can’t hear it anymore!” The thief became happy again, “How wonderful! If I cover my ears well, the sound can’t be heard!” covered his ears well, he couldn’t hear the sound at all! He immediately found two pieces of cloth and stopped up his ears, thinking that this way, no one else could hear the bell’s sound either. So he began smashing the bell, hitting it again and again, the ringing of the bell being heard even in far away places. People heard the bells sounds and came in great numbers, catching the thief.