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Chinese Idioms 成 语

Lesson 17
Hài qún zhī mă
【 害 群 之 马 】
The horse that does harm to the herd - A black sheep

It was about four thousand years ago. Huangdi (Yellow Emperor), the first legendary ruler of China, went to the countryside to visit an old friend with his entourage. They met a boy keeping watch over a herd of horses on their way.

Huangdi asked the boy, "Do you know the way to my friend's village far away from here?"

The boy said yes.

Then the emperor asked, "Do you know my friend?"

The answer was yes again.

Huangdi thought the boy was broad-minded. So he asked him, "Do you know how to rule a country?"

The boy said, "There is little difference between ruling a country and watching over a herd of horses. You simply have to drive the wild horses out of the herd."

The emperor left, brooding over the boy's words.

The idiom is taken from what the boy said and is used to describe anyone who has a bad influence on his peers.

Méi méi xiăo
Be impolite to one’s superiors or elders
Méi shì zhăo shì
Ask for trouble; make a fuss
Rén yăng fān
Both men and their horses are fallen – locked in fierce fight or utterly routed
Rén lóu kōng
The dear one is gone and the room is empty – old sights recall to mind fond memories of the past.
Tiān zhī jiāo
God's favored son; unusually lucky person
Tiān xià shuāng
Unparalleled in the world; unique