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Chuang Tzu Story - Frog of the Dilapidated Well (埳井之蛙)
03-20-2011, 06:46 PM
Post: #1
Chuang Tzu Story - Frog of the Dilapidated Well (埳井之蛙)
Kung-tsze Mâu leant forward on his stool, drew a long breath, looked up to heaven, smiled, and said, 'Have you not heard of the frog of the dilapidated well, and how it said to the turtle of the Eastern Sea, "How I enjoy myself? I leap upon the parapet of this well. I enter, and having by means of the projections formed by the fragments of the broken tiles of the lining proceeded to the water, I draw my legs together, keep my chin up, (and strike out). When I have got to the mud, I dive till my feet are lost in it. Then turning round, I see that of the shrimps, crabs, and tadpoles there is not one that can do like me. Moreover, when one has entire command of all the water in the gully, and hesitates to go forward, it is the greatest pleasure to enjoy one's self here in this dilapidated well;-- why do not you, Master, often come and enter, and see it for yourself?"

The turtle of the Eastern Sea (was then proceeding to go forward), but before he had put in his left foot, he found his right knee caught and held fast. On this he hesitated, drew back, and told (the frog) all about the sea, saying, "A distance of a thousand lî is not sufficient to express its extent, nor would (a line of) eight thousand cubits be equal to sound its depth. In the time of Yü, for nine years out of ten the flooded land (all drained into it), and its water was not sensibly increased; and in the time of Thang for seven years out of eight there was a drought, but the rocks on the shore (saw) no diminution of the water because of it. Thus it is that no change is produced in its waters by any cause operating for a short time or a long, and that they do not advance nor recede for any addition or subtraction, whether great or small; and this is the great pleasure afforded by the Eastern Sea."

When the frog of the dilapidated well heard this, he was amazed and terror-struck, and lost himself in surprise.

公子牟隐机大息,仰天而笑曰:“子独不闻夫埳井之蛙乎?谓东海之鳖曰:“吾乐与!出跳梁乎井干之上,入休乎缺甃之崖;赴水则接腑持颐,蹶泥则没足灭跗;还虷蟹与科斗,莫吾能若也。且夫擅一壑之水,而跨跱埳井之乐,此亦至矣,夫子奚不时来入观乎!’东海之鳖左足未入,而右膝已絷矣。于是逡巡而却,告之海曰:‘夫千里之远,不足以举其大;千仞​之高,不足以极其深。禹之时十年九潦,而水弗为加益;汤之时八年七旱,而崖不为加损。夫不为顷久推移,不以多少进退者,此亦东海之大乐也。’于是埳井之蛙闻之,适适然惊,规规然自失也。
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