学习啦【励志故事】 编辑：鸿宇 发布时间：2016-08-27
There was a guy who went into a shop to buy a parrot. There werethree parrots in the shop. One was $5,000; another one, $10,000; and the third one, $30,000. The customer asked the owner, “How come this guy is $5,000? That’s so expensive for this kindof parrot.” The owner said, “Because I have trained him and he can talk.” So the customer asked him, “How about this guy? What can he do that makes him so expensive?” The owner said, “Well, apart from talking, he can also do some amusing actions,like dancing and so on. That’s why he’s so expensive.” Then the customer said, “How about the third one? What canhe do that makes him so expensive?” The owner of the shopsaid, “I don’t know. Normally, I have never heard him talk, nor dance, nor whistle, nor sing, nothing at all! But the other two call him ‘The Boss.’”
Relieving hunger with a picture of cakes
Once in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), the duke of the Wei, Cao Rui, planed to select a very capable man to work for him. He said to his ministers: 'When choosing a talented person, always beware of one with a false reputation. A false reputation is just like a picture of a cake; it can' t ease hunger.'
moral：Later, this idiom came to be used to mean comforting oneself with unrealistic thoughts, without solving practical problems.
In the last years of the Warring States period, the State of Qin attacked the State of Wei on a large scale repeatedly and occupied large areas of land, for the State of Wei was too weak to defend itself. In 273 B.B., the qin army launched another attack upon the State of Wei with a momentum more vigorous than ever.
The king of the State of Wei summoned his officials,and asked with a worried look if anyone could propose a way to defeat the Qin army. After years of chaos caused by the wars,the officials trembled when fighting was mentioned, and no one dared to speak ofresistance. At the critical moment when a large enemy force was bearing down upon the border, most of the offinials persuaded the king to sue for peace, at the cost of giving away to the State of Qin the large area of land north of the Huanghe River and south of the Taihang Mountain.
However Su Dai, a counsellor, did not agree. He hurried up to the king and said:"Your Majesty, they don't think about the interests of the country at all.It is just because they are cowardly and afraid of death that they ask you to sue for peace by betraying the country. Of course you can temperarily satisfy the ambition of the king of the State of Qin is insatiably greedy. It will never stop assaulting us until our land is totally given away.
"Once there was a man whose house was on fire. People told him to put out the fire with water, but he would not listen. Instead, he carried a faggot to put out the fire, only to make the fire fiercer. That was because he didn't know that,instead of putting out the fire, faggots could only make it burning more vigorously. Isn't it equivalent to carrying faggots to put out a fire if you agree to sue for peace at the cost of the land of the State of Wei?"
Though Su Dai's argument was very convincing, the king accepted the suggestion of those officials and gave away to the State of Qin a large area of the land of the State of Wei. For the king of the State of Wei was cowardly and only cared for peace at the moment.As might be expected,the Qin army assaulted the State of Wei on a large scale in 225 B.C.,surrounding the capital city Daliang and flooding it by digging open the dykes of the Huanghe River.The State of Wei was finally destroyed by the State of Qin.This story appears in the Historical Records Written by Sima Qian.
moral：The set phrase"carrying faggots to put out a fire"is used to mean adopting a wrong method to save a situation and ending up by making it worse.