成語故事

The Snipe and The Clam Have a Quarrel

There once was a river clam who climbed up out of the water to sum himself on the shore. Along came a snipe, who thought that the clam's pink meat would make a very good lunch, and stuck his long beak into the clam's open shell. But before the snipe could reach the meat, the clam snapped his shell shut very hard, trapping the snipe's beak inside.

The snipe began to regret having ever tried to eat the clam, but he pretended that he didn't care, saying, "You idiot! By holding me like this, you can't go anywhere, either! If it doesn't rain within the next couple of days, you'll certainly dry up and die!" But the clam very coldly answered, "If I hold your beak until tomorrow, you will surely die of hunger!" And so they continued, each refusing to give in, until a fisherman came by and snatched up the both of them.

Thus, the idiom "The Snipe and the Clam Have A Quarrel" is used to mean that when two parties have a quarrel and refuse to compromise, it is the third party that benefits.

鷸蚌相爭

一隻河蚌從水裡爬上岸來,在溫暖的陽光下,張開了蚌殼曬太陽。這時候,有一隻鷸鳥正在尋找食物,突然看到河岸上躺著一個張開蚌殼,露出粉紅色肉的蚌,就俯身衝下來,直向蚌肉猛力去啄。牠滿以為可以縮回長嘴時,已經被蚌殼用力箝住了。鷸雖然用盡氣力,也沒辦法把嘴拔出來。他有點兒後悔了,但是他裝出很不在乎的樣子:「你這個大傻瓜,你夾住我不放,你自己也走不了。如果今天不下雨,明天也不下雨,你就會乾死了。」蚌冷笑一聲回答說:「我只要夾著你的長嘴不放,你今天出不去,明天也出不去,就會活活餓死。」他們倆誰也不讓誰。一個漁翁經過,鷸蚌相爭,各不相讓,亳不費力地把他們捉住了。


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