A short story about an older cat teaching a younger cat a lesson as they fish together.

Easy Chinese Reading: Chinese Childrens StoriesThe most interesting thing you’ll learn here is the contrast between the two phrases “三心二意” and “一心一意”. The first, 三心二意, literally translates as “three hearts two intentions”, and it means to be of two minds about something, or to be a bit scatterbrained while doing something. The second, 一心一意, translates into “one heart one intention”, which means “intently”, or to really concentrate on what you’re doing.

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蜻蜓 – qīng tíng – Dragonfly
蝴蝶- hú dié – Butterfly
不大一会儿 – bù dà yī huì er – Not long after




小猫说: “真气人,我怎么一条小鱼也钓不着?”

老猫看了看小猫,说: “钓鱼就钓鱼,不要这么三心二意的。一会儿捉蜻蜓,一会儿捉蝴蝶,怎么能钓着鱼呢?”




Old Cat and Little Cat were fishing together on the riverbank.

A dragonfly flew over. The little cat saw it, put down his fishing pole, and tried to grab the dragonfly. The dragonfly flew away, and the little cat, unable to grab it, stopped trying and went back to fishing on the riverbank. As soon as Little Cat was back [lit: as soon as little cat looked], Old Cat caught a big fish.

[This time] a butterfly flew over. The little cat saw it, put down his fishing pole and again tried to catch it. The butterfly flew away without the little cat having caught it, and Little Cat again went back to the riverbank. As soon as he looked over at Old Cat, Old Cat had caught another big fish.

Little Cat said: “How annoying, why is it that I haven’t caught even one little fish?”

Old Cat looked him over and said: “If you’re fishing just fish, don’t be in two minds about it. If you spend a while catching dragonflies, then you spend another while catching butterflies, how can you catch fish?”

Little Cat listened to Old Cat’s words and begin to fish intently.

The dragonfly flew over again, and the butterfly flew over also, but it was as if Little Cat didn’t see them. Not long after that, Little Cat caught a big fish.

14 comments to "Cat Goes Fishing"

  1. Should 不大一会儿 be 不到一会儿?

    • That I don’t know – this is a copy-paste from another site, so I hesitate to change the original! But good to keep in mind.

      • 不大一会儿 should be fine! If you google it you will find it in oher texts as well as a page teaching the diference between 不一会儿 and 一会儿 telling the reader, that 不一会儿 can also be changed to 不大一会儿 .

  2. In the English translation it says Little Cat listened to Old Fish. It should be Old Cat right?

  3. Reply Connor Chinitz says: June 25, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    说不定,”小猫就象没看见一样” 的 “象” 应该是”像”。你觉得呢?

  4. I am mentioning that I have think I seen this story
    From my Old Year 2 Chinese Textbook. ?

  5. I am mentioning that I have think I seen this story
    From my Old Year 2 Chinese Textbook. ? No idea though.

  6. so nice

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