Tuesday, October 19, 2010

狐假虎威 - Hu2 jia3 hu3 wei1 - The fox borrows the tiger's terror

(Tiger's Fierceness Stolen by a Fox)

Once there was a Tiger (Hu) who caught a Fox (Hu). Just when the Tiger wanted to eat the Fox, the Fox started to laugh and said, 'How dare you? I am the king of the jungle!' The Tiger was baffled and replied, 'Who has heard of a Fox being the king of the jungle?' The Fox replied, 'If you don't believe me, follow me into the jungle. I will show you how all animals are afraid of me.' As the Tiger followed the Fox into the jungle, he was surprised to find that all the animals started to run for their lives. Actually, the animals ran from the Tiger instead of the Fox, but the Tiger did not know that. The Tiger apologized to the Fox and let him go free.

Applications: This phrase is often used to describe people who oppress others, using the authority of their superiors.

Relying on another’s power to bully or frighten others.

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