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Mang Ren Mo Xiang


盲人摸象 (máng rén mō xiàng)

Mang Ren Mo Xiang


Once upon a time there were six blind men who lived in a village in India. Every day they went to the road nearby and stood there begging. They had often heard of elephants, but they had never seen one, for being blind, how could they?

One morning, an elephant was led down the road where they stood. When they heard that an elephant was passing by, they asked the driver to stop the beast so that they could have a “look”. Of course they could not look at him with their eyes, but they thought they might learn what kind of animal he was by touching and feeling him. For you see, they trust their own sense of touch very much.

The first blind man happened to place his hand on the elephant’s side. “Well, well” he said. “This beast is exactly like a wall.”

The second grasped one of the elephant’s tusks and felt it. “You’re quite mistaken,” he said. “He’s round and smooth and sharp. He’s more like a spear than anything else.”
The third happened to take hold of the elephant’s trunk. “You’re both completely wrong,” he said. “This elephant is like a snake, as anybody can see.”

The fourth opened both his arms the closed them around one of the elephant’s legs. “Oh, how blind you are!” he cried. “It’s very clear that he’s round and tall like a tree.”

The fifth was a very tall man, and he caught one of the elephant’s ears. “Even the blindest person must see that this elephant isn’t like any of the things you name.” he siad. “He’s exactly like a huge fan.”

The sixth man went forward to feel the elephant. He was old and slow and it took him quite some time to find the elephant at all. At last he got hold of the beast’s tail. “Oh, how silly you all are!” cried he. “The elephant isn’t like a wall, or a spear, or a snake, or a tree; neither is he like a fan. Any man with eyes in his head can see that he’s exactly like a rope.”

Then the driver and the elephant moved on, and the six men sat by the roadside all day, quarrelling about the elephant. They could not agree with one another, because each believed that he knew just what the beast looked like.

It is not only blind men who make such stupid mistakes. People who can see sometimes act just as foolishly.




第一个盲人碰巧摸到了大象身体的一侧。“我知道了,知道了,”这个动物完全就是一堵墙啊。”第二个人紧紧抓住并把玩着大象的长牙。“你完全弄错了” 他说道,“它是圆润光滑的,而且很尖。它比任何东西更像一支矛。” 第三个人恰好摸到了大象的鼻子。“你们两个都是完全错误的,” 他说,“只要任何亲眼所见的人,都会说它像一条蛇。” 第四个张开他的双臂紧紧地抱住大象的腿。“看来你们还真是瞎地厉害呢!”他大声说道。“很显然它应该是圆柱的,而且有一棵树那样高。” 第五位盲人个头挺高的,他一伸手便摸到了大象的耳朵。“即使是瞎透的人也会看见大象并不像你们所形容的那样。” 他说道,“它和扇子是一模一样的。” 第六个盲人也上前去抚摸大象。他年龄比较大,动作也比较缓慢,因此摸完大象花费了他不少时间。最后,他握住了大象的尾巴。“天哪,你们都很愚蠢!”他大喊着,“这头大象并不像一道墙,或是一支矛,一条蛇,一棵树,也不像一把扇子。任何长眼睛的人都知道它像一根绳子的。”