The Blind Men and the Elephant - Mang Ren Mo Xiang: A Chinese Idiom

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The Blind Men and the Elephant in Chinese is Mang Ren Mo Xiang. The story goes like this:

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

One morning, an elephant was led down the road where they stood. When they heard that an elephant was passing by, they asked the elephant driver to stop the beast for a while so that they could take a "look" by feeling it.

The favor was granted to them. So they aproached the elephant to touch it.

The first blind man happened to place his hand on the elephant's side. "Well," he said, "This elephant is just like a wall."

The second blin man happened to touch one of the elephant's tusks. "No. I think You're quite mistaken," he said to the first man. "The elephant is round and smooth and a little sharp on the top. He's more like a spear than a wall."

The third happened to take hold of the elephant's trunk. "You both are completely wrong," he said. "This elephant is obviously like a snake."

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 very tall 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 mentioned." he siad. "He's exactly like a huge fan."

The sixth man went forward to feel the elephant. He got hold of the beast's tail and said: "Oh, how silly you all are! The elephant isn't like a wall, or a spear, or a snake, or a tree; neither is it 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 mistakes. People who can see sometimes act just as the blind men.

This idiom in Chinese is Mang Ren Mo Xiang.

Mang Ren Mo Xiang-The Blind Men and The Elephant Staute by Chinese Artist Liu Zheng De


Other Chinese Idioms:

Suspect The Neighbor of Stealing An AxeSuspect The Neighbor of Stealing An Axe. Chinese Idiom Yi Lin Dao Fu. Three men make a tigerChinese Idiom: Three Men Make a Tiger - San Ren Cheng Hu.

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