Once, a fox and a hare became friends with the purpose of defending themselves against their joint enemy, the hunters, and made an oath to each other: To the same life and death, through thick and thin. One day, they were enjoying the natural beauty together in the fields when a party of hunters came and shot the hare dead. The fox had a narrow escape. After the hunters had gone, the fox came and wept over the death of his mate.
An elderly gentleman who happened to pass by was surprised at the scene. Curiously, he asked the fox the reason of her bitter weeping.
The fox sorrowfully replied: "We are small animals. Being the prey of hunters, we had planned to defend ourselves against our joint enemy, the hunters, and promised to share life and death through thick and thin. Now our enemy has killed my companion. His death may mean the death of me tomorrow. We are real friends and real friends must share everything. How could I not help weeping!"
"Oh, I see. You have good reasons to weep over the death of such a partner," exclaimed the elderly gentleman.
The idiom, "The fox is sad at the death of the hare," comes from the story above, illustrating how one feels sad for the death or misfortunes of his companions.
tù sǐ hú bēi
fèi qǐn wàng shí
(to be so absorbed or occupied as to) forget all about food and sleep; (work day and night) without eating or sleeping