The story connects with a famous Chinese Idiom: “hu jia hu wei”. The first “hu” means fox, while the second “hu” means tiger. “jia” can be translated into fake and “wei” to power or glory. It is often taught in elementary schools and pre schools. I had learned the story during first grade, thus it imprints a deep mark in my memory.
One day, a tiger caught an unlucky fox. The fox knew that he would soon die if he didn’t take action.
Thus when the tiger was about to eat him, the fox growled furiously, “ How dare are you to attack me! I am sent from Heaven to rule the forest! I am the true King!”
Seeing that the tiger was suspicious and a little confused, the fox added, “Follow me, and I will show you who has the real power.”
The tiger agreed. When they walked into the forest, all the animals either fled away or took shelters in shrubs and trees. The fox was smug. However, the tiger turned extremely surprised and awed without realizing that it was himself that the other animals feared the most. The fox was finally freed from the predator’s teeth and claws.
While I was gaping at the tiger’s stupidity in my first grade classroom, I also marveled at the fox’s intelligence and quick thinking (foxes were often characterized as the cunning ones in Chinese stories). Later on in my history classes during high school years, I could connect the story to many historical Kings, Queens, and nobilities, who have claimed themselves as divine or descendants of Heaven, such as: King Naram-Sin from Mesopotamia, the Chinese Emperors and the Japanese rulers.
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