成語故事

A Dried Fish Store

During the Warring States Period, Juang-tz's family was very poor. When they had nothing left to eat, Juang-tz went to borrow some money from a local official. However, the official told Juang-tz that he would not be able to lend him any money until after he had collected the rent.

Juang-tz was very angry, and he said to the official, "Yesterday I saw a crucian carp in a ditch that had dried up.He looked as if he was about to die, and asked me to quickly fetch a bucket of water to save his life. I told him that I was on my way south, where there is a lot of water, and that I would certainly bring some back for him. But the carp grew very angry and said, "By the time you've gotten back with that water, I won't be here anymore! You'll have to go look for me at a dried fish store!"

This idiom is used to mean that a promise of help later is of no use in an immediate crisis.

枯魚之肆

戰國時代,莊子家裡很窮,簡直就沒飯吃了,他就到藍河侯家裡去借錢。莊子到了藍河侯,表示要向他借錢,沒想到籃河侯說:「你要借錢沒問題,不過要等我收到租金以後。」

莊子很氣忿,就對藍河侯說:「昨天我在路旁的乾水溝裡看見一條鯽魚,他說是從東海來的,今天不幸掉在乾水溝裡,眼看就要乾死了,快點兒給扡一桶水救救他。」我點頭說:「好,我正要到南方去,那裡到處都有水,我一定把西江的水放出來救你。」不料鯽魚很氣忿地說:「等到你把西江的水放出來,那時候我早已不在這兒了,你只能到鹹魚灘兒上找我了。」


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