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Pull the crops up to help them grow

Apr 7, 2009

Storyteller: Have you ever grow some plants by yourself, such as flowers, veggie, or tomatoes? I do. I grow some tomatoes in my small backyard. How do we look after the plants and help them grow? It’s a lot of different work, indeed. Watering, fertilizing, flood, heat, disease, insects, wind, cold, weed, etc…, there are lots of things to worry from plant to harvest.  That’s just for casual plant lovers like me, for the farmers whose lives are totally associated with crops, things could be even harder. No wonder a “smart” farmer in ancient China found a way to help his crops grow faster.

Pull the crops to help them grow

Pull the crops to help them grow

Pull the crops up to help them grow

During the warring states period, in the state of Song, there was a farmer who was tired of working in the field. Year after year, season after season, he had been working in the field to look after his crops. Planting, seeding, plowing, irrigation, removing weed & insect, working under burning sunshine or pouring rain, all these hard work filled his life.

One year, in the spring, he was working in the field to fertilize the field in order to make the crops grow better. Looking at those short young shoots in the field, he really hoped they could grow faster so he could harvest the next day!

Ding! He came up a smart idea: he would like to “help” them grow “faster” by pulling them up taller. He did this to all the crops in the field quickly. After it was done, he felt very happy when all the shoots were much “taller” than they were before.

He went back home happily that day and told his son proudly: My son, I help our crops grow much taller today by pulling them up; now they are all two inches higher than they were yesterday!

By hearing this, his son knew what would happen to those poor crops. He rushed to the field immediately but it was too late. All the “taller” young shoots were weather and dead under the sunshine with their damaged roots out of earth.

Disclaimer: Dear reader, please don’t try this on your own or other people’s precious plants. ChinaBlog.cc is not responsible for any loss or damage you made after reading this story. Thank you!

[Chinese Keywords]
拔苗助长

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  1. April 19th, 2009 at 13:25 | #1

    ~囧~ 这个难道就是传说中的揠苗助长英文版!

  2. April 19th, 2009 at 13:32 | #2

    @maxsailor
    Just my brief translation, maybe not so good. thank you!

  3. Chris Taylor
    February 16th, 2013 at 23:27 | #3

    A nice story and a lesson to not be impatient! I discovered lots of similar Chinese stories as I travelled the country..

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