1. Plugging One’s Ears While Stealing a Bell “掩耳盜鈴”
Once upon a time, there was a man who wanted to steal his neighbor’s doorbell. However, he knew clearly that the bell would ring and catch the other people’s attention as long as he touched the bell. So he thought hard and suddenly hit on a clever “idea”. He plugged his ears with something, thinking that everything would go well when he stole the bell. Unfortunately to his disappointment, the bell still rang loudly and he was caught on the spot as a thief.
2. The Fox and the Crow “狐貍和烏鴉”
One day a crow stood on a branch near his nest and felt very happy with the meat in his mouth. At that time, a fox saw the crow with the meat, so he swallowed and eagerly thought of a plan to get the meat. However, whatever the fox said to the crow, the crow just kept silent. Until the fox thought highly of the crow’s beautiful voice, the crow felt flattered and opened his mouth to sing. As soon as the meat fell down to the ground, the fox took the meat and went into his hole.
On a vacation trip, Duke Huan of the state of Qi came to the ruin of the capital of Guo Shi , which perished long ago.
Seeing the desolate and bleak prospects of broken tiles, collapsed walls, and clusters of weeds, he could not help asking the local people about the reason of the ruin of Guo Shi.
They replied,"Guo Shi was fond of doing good deeds, and averse to evildoing, which led to the perdition."
When the Duke could not understand the answer, people explained ," Though he liked doing good, he had never been able to do so; though he hated evildoing, never could he help not participating. That caused the ruin of his capital." 齊桓公出遊途中，來到已經滅亡許久的郭氏都城的廢墟。
看到瓦礫殘垣、雜草叢生的蕭條景象，忍不住問當地百姓郭氏滅亡的原因。 百姓們回答說："郭氏由於喜愛善行善事。厭惡邪惡醜行而導致滅亡。" 齊桓公不能理解這種回答，百姓們便解釋說："郭氏雖然喜愛善行善事，但從來都不能做到;盡管厭惡邪惡醜行，卻總是忍不住參與其中。這就是他的都城變成廢墟的原因。"
4. Making His Mark “刻舟求劍”
A man from the state of Chu was taking a boat across a river when he dropped his sword into the water carelessly. Immediately he made a mark on the side of the boat where the sword dropped, hoping to find it later. When the boat stopped moving, he went into the water to search for his sword at the place where he had marked the boat. As we know, the boat had moved but the sword had not. Isn’t this a very foolish way to look for a sword?