Children’s Story: 完美的弓 – The perfect (archery) bow

A man tries to make his treasured hunting bow (弓 gōng) even more perfect than it already is, but learns an obnoxious life lesson instead. HSK 3-4.

Source here.

Some language stuff

Sentence structure here isn’t too hard, this is mostly just a bunch of new vocab. Most relevant to the story are the archery-related words:

 gōng – Bow

 jiàn – Arrow

工匠 gōng jiàng – Craftsman

弓背 gōng bèi – Wooden part of the bow / handle

弓弦 gōng xián – Bowstring

One slightly difficult structure:

缺了点什么 quē le diǎn shén me – This can be a little confusing, as both 点 and 什么 have several meanings. If we break it down with the right definitions, though, it’s not hard to understand:

缺了 – To be lacking, to be missing
点 – a little, a small amount
什么 – The first definition of “什么” we learn is “what?” but here it means “something”.

So altogether, the phrase means “To be missing a little something”, as in “This soup is missing a little something, should I add more salt?”

 mǒu – “A certain (someone) or (something)” that is unspecified in the writing

Want something easier?

Du Chinese has a big catalog of easy HSK 1 and HSK 2 texts for ultra-beginners. There are quite a few free practice lessons, but CRP readers get 10% off on paid accounts using the discount code CRP10.








Show English translation »
In olden times there was a man who received a bow, and the arrows shot by this bow [flew] far and accurately. Because of this, he treasured it.
This man often carried the bow around in his hands fondling it, and one day, as he was carefully admiring the bow in his hands, he suddenly felt that the bow was missing a little something, it looked [perhaps] a little drab. He thought, wouldn’t it be better if I could make it a little more beautiful?

And so, he sent the bow to a very famous wood craftsman, and asked him to engrave a beautiful pattern upon the back of the bow. The wood craftsman spent two months carving a perfect hunting scene upon it. The man was extremely happy, and thought, “What is more suitable for this bow than a hunting scene?”

When he returned home, he took out an arrow. “I haven’t used [my bow] in a long time, now I can have some fun [with it].” He fitted the arrow, pulled the bowstring tight, and with a “pai sound, the bow broke into two pieces.

Nothing is absolutely perfect in this world. If you must [try to] make a situation or a thing perfect, you will certainly fail.

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