This story is about one picky little horse that doesn’t appreciate the food he is served, until he sees what everyone else is eating. This story is intermediate level, around level HSK4.
Quite a bit of the harder vocab in this piece revolves around eating. We’ve got 津津有味 jīn jīn yǒu wèi, to eat something with joyous relish, 啃 kěn, to gnaw on, 狼吞虎咽 láng tūn hǔ yàn, to fiercely gobble something up, and 饥肠辘辘 jī cháng lù lù, to be so hungry one’s stomach is rumbling.
饥肠辘辘 is actually a pretty interesting phrase. 饥肠 means “an empty stomach”, and 辘辘 is being used as an onomatopoeia, lu lu being the sound of one’s stomach grumbling from hunger.
爱挑食 ài tiāo shí – Three different words here, 爱, to love, 挑, to be picky, and 食, food. The literal translation here is “loves to be picky about food”. It bears pointing out that in this case, “love” does not really mean “to have fondness for”, but rather, “to do something often”. We use “love” this way in English as well, as in, “You just love to start an argument, don’t you?”
转一圈 zhuǎn yī quān – 转 is “to turn around” and 一圈 is “a circle” or “a loop”. That might sound like it means “to spin around in a circle while standing in place”, but it doesn’t. It means “to make a circular pass through a place” – imagine shopping at a farmer’s market or something, you walk all around to the different stalls to see what everyone is selling.
一幕 yī mù – You’ll notice my popup dictionary translates this as “a curtain”, a “screen” or “an act of a play”. A 幕 is indeed the measure word for “an act of a play”, but this is being used figuratively, what it means here is “scene”, as in, “When my eyes came to rest upon that ugly scene…”
那儿 nà er – Literally means “there”, but when it comes after a noun, it means “over where [noun] is”, or “[noun’s] place”.
最可口的食物 – The most appetizing meal
There was a farm where many animals were raised. Among them was one little horse that was very picky about his food, he was always unsatisfied with what the farmer gave him to eat. So he decided to go walk around, to see what yummy things the other animals had to eat.
He quickly discovered a few chickens happily eating something, so he went over to look, it was grain, so he tried a mouthful, but he spit out, “[This] has no flavor, it’s gross!”, he said and left.
Not long after he saw a dog gnawing on a bone with relish, and a cat singing a song while tearing into a fish. Just looking at these foods frightened him, and the smell made him retch, so he quickly took his leave.
After walking for a while, the little horse was a bit thirsty, so he went to the pond to drink some water. He saw two ducks fighting over an earthworm, they stretched the earthworm out long and thin, and finally broke it into two pieces, and the two ducks each gobbled down their piece, and started looking about [for another]. Seeing this cruel scene, the little horse couldn’t even stand to drink any water and quickly ran away, “Truly horrifying!” he said.
He ran all around, and everything he saw the other animals eating didn’t suit his own tastes, and some even disgusted him. He returned to his pen with his stomach rumbling and found that the grass master had prepared for him to eat was his favorite delicious food after all.
Post time: May-29-2020