Chinese Idiom Stories

As Precarious As a Pile of Eggs

During the Spring and Autumn Period, Duke Ling of the Kingdom of Chin ordered a nine-level platfrom built for himself, and issued an order prohibiting people from dissuading him. When the minister Shiun Shi heard about this, he immediately went to see the duke with a petition, Surrounding Shiun Shi were men armed with bows and arrow, ready to shoot should be mention the platfrom. But Shiun Shi simply said to the duke, "I've come today to demonstrate a little skill of mine; I can pile nine duck eggs on top of a stack of twelve chessmen."

Feeling that this would be very interesting indeed, Duke Ling ordered the armed men to retreat. As Shiun Shi piled up first the chessmen and then the eggs, the people watching all exclaimed how dangerous it was. To which Shiun Shi replied, "This is not dangerous. In order to build a nine-level platfrom, our national treasury has benn emptied and there is no one left to cultivate the land or weave cloth. Neighboring countries are planning to attack us, and we have no way to protect ourselves." Duke Ling was deeply moved, and issued an order to cease construction of the platform.

Today, a dangerous situation can be described as being "as precarious as a pile of eggs."



大臣荀息為了挽救國家,不顧安危前來求見。晉靈公認為荀息一定是來勸諫,就命衛士拈弓搭箭,只要他開口規勸,便立即射死他。荀息拜見靈公後,若無其事地說 ﹕「我今天只是來給您表演一個小小的絕技。我能把十二個棋子疊起來,再把九個雞蛋一個個加上去而不會倒下來。」靈公覺得有趣,消除了戒心,便讓他表演。荀息把棋子堆起來,再把雞蛋一個個疊上去。靈公在一旁看得提心吊膽,緊張得連聲喊道﹕「危險啊!危險啊!」


Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function mysql_query() in D:\Web\\idioms.php:104 Stack trace: #0 {main} thrown in D:\Web\\idioms.php on line 104