Basic short stories and poems.
TIP: Get a book with pinyin :D
!FAQ: What are the Four greatest Chinese Literature？They are Journey to the West (Monkey King), Three Kingdoms, A Dream of Red Mansions, Outlaws of the Marsh (also known as All Men are Brothers).
1. Short stories
Sample of short stories in Chinese.
A very popular story about a smart boy name 司马光 (Si Ma Guang), an important figure in Song Dynasty. One day when he was a little boy, he was playing with his friends, one boy fell to a big water container, 缸...
A story about three monks who refuse to take water from a river to the temple high in a mountain until a fire came... There are many versions of songs and cartoon for this one. For example story, song.
从前, 山上有座庙. 庙里有一个和尚. 山上没有水, 和尚每天到山下挑水. 后来,又来了一个和尚. 两个人互相依靠,他们俩挑.
有一天, 又来了一个和尚. 每天, 三个和尚一起诵经.
A story about a smart crow who figured out how to drink water from a bottle although its beak, initially, couldn't get into the bottle. The crow used little rocks... There are many versions of songs and cartoon for this one. Check out baidu.com and type 乌鸦喝水 .
有一只乌鸦找不到 水喝. 它飞来飞去, 又累又渴，真想喝水。
忽然，它看一个水瓶. 乌鸦高兴极了. 可是瓶里的水不多，瓶口又很小.
根本喝不到水 . 它想把水瓶撞到, 可是水瓶又大又重，怎么办呢？
乌鸦看到地上有许多儿, 想起了一个办法. 它叼些石子放到瓶里，石子多了，
瓶子里的水就满了, 它终于 喝到 水了.
Kong Rong is a famous poet, statesman, among other things, during eastern Hand dynasty. The story about him picking the smallest pear and gave the bigger ones to his brothers have been told for generations as a sample moral story of modesty...
有一天他小时，家里吃梨。一盘梨子放在大家面前. 但谁也没有先动手去拿, 互相谦让起 来. 父亲让孔融给兄弟分梨子. 他把最小的留给了自己. 爸爸看见了，心里很高兴, 就故意问孔融你为什么不拿大的，只拿一个最小的呢？
东郭先生 - Mr. Dong Guo
A very complex story about social interactions. Mr. Dong Guo saved a wolf and the wolf wanted to eat him... Read about the comments of the old tree and the cow. I wonder if they meant to say that human being is what the "wolf" is.
一天，东郭先生骑着驴走在 路上。突然，一只受伤的狼逃到东郭先生面前说猎人要打死它. 他让狼藏在他的书袋里. 猎人追来时，东郭先生推说不知，救了狼的性命。猎人走远后，东郭先生把狼放出来。可是，这条狼一爬出袋子, 就说现在肚子饿了，要把东郭先生吃了。东郭先生说要找人评理,“如果有三位老人说你应该吃我，我就让你吃。”
他们走到一棵老桃树前，让老树给评评理. 老树说, “我给主人结了三十多年果实. 狼饿了，为什么不能吃你呢?”.
听了老树的话东郭先生 非常失望，狼却非常高兴。他们找到了一头老牛, 让老牛给评评理. 牛说,” 我为主人耕了一犁子田, 现在我老了，主人要把我杀了卖钱, 它为什么不能吃你呢？”
最后找到一个老农夫. 老农看了看他们，说：“这么小的袋子，怎么能装得下一只狼呢？。” 狼说, “不信, 我给你看 ?” 说着, 狼钻进了 袋子里老农赶忙把袋口紧紧地扎起来。用锄头狠狠地把狼打死. 老农夫告 诫东郭先生 不应该怜惜狼一样的恶人。
2. Poem - 诗
Chinese really likes poems. Chinese poems are appreciated not only in the meaning but also in the structure. Notice how each line has the same number of characters. They are made so the “sound” is good as the poem is read. They way to read also matters. In the past, many are accompanied by music.
These are samples of simple ones but really famous. Maybe all Chinese know these. My husband taught our kids since they’re two to recite these. (A long poem could be as long as a book.) The one by Li Bai is about missing a home town. The one by Meng Hao Ran is about rain in the spring.
This one is about saying good bye
This one is about working hard
This is about swans
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Last updated 2016