I love it when I find a longer story that’s suitable for beginning readers. This one, which is either a tale that reminds us what happens when you try to be something you’re not, or a tale that reminds us that men should never be allowed to give each other fashion advice, definitely fits the bill.

Learn to Read Simplified Chinese: Basic Chinese ReaderThe first sentence isn’t super simple, so push through that one if you can, it gets much easier in the following paragraphs. Four points of grammar:

能有幸请 néng yǒu xìng qǐng – A politely formal phrase of invitation “May have the pleasure of inviting you …” or more specifically, “May I be so lucky as to…” (have this dance?) (take you on a date?).

看上去 kàn shàng qù – To look like.

你要是再不走开 nǐ yào shì zài bù zǒu kāi – This one might be a little confusing. Let’s break it down:

你 – You
要是 – If
再不 – Otherwise / If not
走开 – Go away

The full phrase means “If you don’t go away….”

他会来收拾你的 tā huì lái shōu shi nǐ de. In the story, Miss Pig says this to an unwelcome guest. The “他” in this case is Mr. Pig. The Beginners often learn the word “收拾”, meaning “to tidy up”. Usually, this means exactly what it sounds like, and applies to cleaning up a room or an apartment. In this case, it’s being used in kind of an action movie way, meaning “He’ll come over and deal with you!” or “He’ll come straighten you out!”. So Miss Pig is threatening the unwelcome guest, telling him that Mr. Pig will come over and beat him up.

The Chinese title is 猪先生去野餐

Click to Listen

野餐 – yě cān – Picnic
期待 – qī dài – To look forward to
打动 – dǎ dòng – To move someone(emotionally)
遇到 – yù dào – To run into
借 – jiè – Lend, borrow
接着 – jiē zhe – Continuing on
威猛 – wēi měng – Bold and powerful
英俊 – yīng jùn – Handsome
激动 – jī dòng – Excite, agitate
妖怪 – yāo guài – Monster, devil
丑八怪 – chǒu bā guài – Ugly person

今天,真是个野餐的好日子。 猪先生精心打扮着自己,他期待着猪小姐能与他一起去野餐。

“呵呵,真希望她会说‘我愿意’啊。 嗯,我再摘朵花送给她,一定能够打动她!”

路上,猪先生遇到了他的朋友狐狸。狐狸听说了野餐的事,就说:“让我给你一个建议,把我美丽的尾巴去吧。瞧,你看上去有多聪明啊,猪小姐肯定会喜欢的。” 猪先生很满意。

接着,他又遇到了他的朋友狮子。狮子听说了野餐的事,就说:“让我给你一个建议,把我美丽的头发借去吧。 瞧,你看上去有多威猛啊,猪小姐肯定会喜欢的。” 猪先生很满意。

后来,他又遇到他的朋友斑马。斑马听说了野餐的事,就说:“让我给你一个建议,把我美丽的条纹借去吧。 瞧,你看上去有多英俊啊,猪小姐肯定会喜欢的。” 猪先生很满意。他觉得自己从来没有这样英俊过。





“啊呀,猪先生!” 猪小姐叫道,“看到你我真是太高兴啦,我很愿意跟你一起去野餐。刚才来了个丑八怪,就站在我的院子里,可把我吓坏啦。”


Today, it’s a great day for a picnic. Mr. Pig dressed himself with care, looking forward to [the possibility of] Miss Pig and himself going on a picnic together.

“Heh, I hope she says ‘Yes’ [lit: I'm willing]. Hm, I’ll also pick some flowers to give her, that will certainly be enough to sway her!”

On the road, Mr. Pig ran into his friend Fox. When fox heard about the picnic, he said: “Let me give you a suggestion, let me lend you my beautiful tail. See, you look so clever, Miss Pig will certainly like it.” Mr. Pig was very pleased.

Continuing on, he ran into his friend Lion. Lion heard about the picnic and said: “Let me give you a suggestion, borrow my beautiful hair for when you go over there. See, you look so powerful, Miss Pig will certainly like it.” Mr. Pig was very pleased.

After a while, he ran into his friend Zebra. Zebra heard about the picnic and said: “Let me give you a suggestion, I’ll lend you my beautiful stripes. See, you look so handsome. Miss Pig will certainly like it.” Mr. Pig was very pleased. He felt that he’d never before looked so handsome.

Finally arriving at Miss Pig’s house, Mr. Pig excitedly knocked on the door. “Would you do me the honor of going on a picnic with me?” he asked.

Miss Pig was terrified: “Oh, no way! What kind of monster are you? If you don’t go away, I’ll go get Mr. Pig, he’ll straighten you out!”

Mr. Pig hurriedly ran away. On the road, he gave the stripes back to Zebra, the hair back to Lion, and the tail back to Fox. AFter that, he hurried back to Miss Pig’s house, and again pressed the doorbell.

“Would you do me the honor of having a picnic with me?” he asked again.

“Goodness, Mr. Pig!” Miss Pig cried out. “I’m so happy to see you, I’d love to go on a picnic with you. An ugly wretch just came by here, standing in my garden, and scared me so.”

On the way, Miss Pig told Mr. Pig the story of the ‘ugly wretch’ in great detail. Her handsome friend Mr. Pig, though, listened with great sympathy. It really was a great day for a picnic.

70 comments to "Mr. Pig’s Picnic"

  1. Great text, I enjoyed reading (and understanding) that!

  2. 很好故事!你交我了。

  3. Very charming story. Please keep doing these terrific posts and translations!

  4. Reply I'm learning says: September 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you so much X)))

  5. 很可爱的故事!

  6. Thank you sooooo much Kendra. What an amazing website!!!

  7. This website is my new favorite little part of the world, a friend introduced me. He and I are both University students avidly studying Chinese. Your website is super accessible. and I will definitely be back.

  8. Reply Khat Wai Thet says: October 11, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Good Reading

  9. 挺滑稽与有趣的故事!谢谢,从这个故事学了很多语法。

  10. Really cool website. Where did the original come from? There’s a little error. The first time Mr. Pig knocks on the door, the second time he rings the bell, though it says he rang the door bell “once more” (再一次摁响了门铃). Anyway, the small detail gives the story a kind of Goofus and Gallant quality. Well done!

  11. Excellent story. I find myself reading it over and over again to make sure I know the words.

  12. This is the best learning site I’ve run it into yet.

  13. Definitely one of the best, most useful learning sites. Very comfortable to use. Thank you so much.

  14. Cute story and great website. Thanks so much.

  15. Thank you for putting this up and really breaking down the translation for us beginners =D haha took like half an hour to read, but was totally worth it!!

  16. I am learning to retell it now :)

  17. Hi Kendra, just want to drop by and say hi. :-)

    Your site is a such a neat and cool place for Chinese learning and reading. Well done!

    If you have time, you’re welcome to drop by my site to have a look at the audio stories that I made. Hope you’ll like them too.



  18. Reply Bill Watkins says: January 13, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for this wonderful site, which is very useful for beginning learners.

    May I suggest what one native speaker confirmed as a couple useful corrections:

    我再摘朵花, translated here as “I’ll also pick some flowers to give her.”

    1. In spoken Chinese, the number 1 very often gets omitted, so that the measure word/classifier does not have the number which frequently precedes it. Here, it is one flower being picked; if it were some flowers, it would probably be “摘些花”
    2. 再 implies that the action is being repeated, whereas translating it as “also” suggests that flowers are being picked for the first time. So a better way to translates this would be “I will pick another flower to give her

  19. I agree with previous comments, Kendra. This site is diamond for learners. Awesome of you to set it up.

  20. Grazie, veramente utile! Sei la numero uno. Siti come il tuo sono veramente fondamenti per superare certi scogli linguistici…

    Thank you, really useful! You’re the number one. Sites like yours are fundamental indeed in order to overcome language obstacles…

  21. I may be (and probably am) entirely wrong, but I THINK that there may be a small error when Mr. Pig is talking to his friend Lion. The English translation says that Lion offers Mr. Pig his stripes, but wouldn’t 头发 be referring to the Mane instead of stripes? (Also, lions don’t have stripes)

    Otherwise, great work! I’ll definitely be using this site as a resource to improve my Mandarin reading!

  22. Very helpful in my reading and understanding the language thanks.

  23. Reply may min min thu says: January 26, 2014 at 6:09 am

    i try to understand n read thanks.

  24. I’m starting to learn mandarin, so probably I’m worng, but in the second sentence wouldn’t it be “猪先生精心了…” or something like that? If the action is finished (just like in this case), the particle is 了, isn’t it?

  25. I’ve just begin reading this site… and I love it! please keep publishing texts like this :)

  26. Reply Mario Alem says: March 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you very much!

  27. That was terrific, i like it.

  28. Reply Abbey Alanski says: April 7, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    This is a great story! I love it!

  29. Reply Christine says: May 5, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I found this site, lost it, and have (thankfully) found it again. It is one of my favorites for reading and vocabulary! I may try to learn to tell this story and tell it to my Chinese teacher:) Thanks so much for such a great learning site!

  30. I just stumbled on this story, read it with pleasure, but have a question. Normally I see “把” in sentences with concrete objects:
    “请把椅子拿过来” (Please bring the chair over to me).
    “他把牛奶放在冰箱里” (He puts the milk in the fridge).
    Also in the story it is obvious to use 把 when Mr. Pig takes resp. the tail, hair, and stripes of his friends.

    However, later in the story ” 把” is used even though there is no concrete object:
    “可把我吓坏啦” (It made me very frightened).
    “猪小姐把那个丑八怪的故事仔细地讲给了猪先生” (Ms. Pig told the story of the ugly person to Mr. Pig in great detail).

    Can someone explain me why the 把 is used in the latter sentences? Is it also possible to omit 把 there?

    • I don’t think the issue here is with the object – in both cases, the sentences have an object. What they do not have is the actual act of physically picking something up (taking it) literally and doing something with it.

      In both of your example sentences, what is being taken is figurative.

      可把我吓坏啦 – This is a very similar type of usage as the English phrase “The sight of that stunning scenery really grabbed me.” In this case, no one was actually grabbed. Same deal here. I’m not a grammarian, so I can’t explain it to you in those terms, but if you study the actual make-up of the word 吓坏, you’ll see why “把” makes sense. These two characters together – 吓坏 – mean “to really frighten”. But separately, they mean 吓 – “to startle” and 坏 – “to break”. You have to “take” something (把) before you can startle it so bad you break it. 吓坏 is actually an act-result type of word. Because 吓 happened (I was started), then 坏 happened.

      Same thing here – 猪小姐把那个丑八怪的故事仔细地讲给了猪先生 – What is being “taken” is the story (故事), so 故事 is the object. But then what is being done with the story? It’s being GIVEN (讲给) to Mr. Pig. You have to TAKE something (pick it up, figuratively have it) before you can GIVE it.

  31. Thanks a lot! Your website is really helpful and has everything needed to learn this amazing language. Just one question…is it possible to download these texts? I have tried copy&paste but it does not work. I want to do it so I can print these tales and study whenever I have some spare time.

    • Hm, the copy-paste seems to work ok for me – what problems are you having? You’re more than welcome to copy them, but bear in mind I am translating other people’s stories, so you can’t print / resell the original texts, as I don’t own the rights.

  32. Reply 宋熙通過 says: June 8, 2014 at 4:13 am

    i love learning with you all.

  33. Reply anna and the king says: June 20, 2014 at 2:57 am

    Thank you for the stories and the translation..
    You have done a very good job…
    I just found this site 13 hours ago and so happy to have found what I’d been looking for…Stories which are not complicated and help me learn Chinese better…

  34. Luv it!

  35. Very helpful! Thank you so much!

  36. it’s easy and interesting learning this way, hope you will have more posts for various levels.

  37. Reply Millard Waltz says: December 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Your text is excellent for acquiring speed in reading Chinese characters.

  38. Reply Bai Jia Ming says: January 20, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Thank you so much for this incredible resource! Keep it up :)

  39. Thanks. Good story. Can’t wait to tell the story to my son.

  40. Reply dick grason says: March 8, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Thanks! It really helped me

  41. Reply Cleo Lauryn says: March 11, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Wait Miss Pig thought he was a monster?

  42. Nice story with lots of repetition. Thanks.

  43. Reply Scarlett Chew says: June 13, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Best story ever! I love it!

  44. Reply Scarlett Chew says: July 25, 2015 at 12:54 am

    I am just a kid but I am good at typing and whatsaping. I love to meet new friends!
    I love to eat sandwiches

  45. Thats funny I bet he starded to think that was an awful idea and how weird he looked

  46. I’m a boy 9 years but it’s still good

  47. Happy to learn


  49. Dear Chinese Reading Practice,

    I like your site very much!! Do you plan to have a traditional character addition to your site? That would be so great.

    Thank you again. This is very helpful.

  50. Really good story

  51. This was a great text. Long, interesting, also easy and great fun to understand. Thaaank you so much for this initiative of putting up such amazing texts and stories.
    Many thanks

  52. This was a great text. Long, interesting, also easy and great fun to understand. Thaaank you so much for this initiative of putting up such amazing texts and stories.
    Many thanks :)

  53. Reply Scarlett Chew says: December 11, 2015 at 4:15 am

    learning is fun i am in a chinese school now

  54. Thanks for yr effort! You make it so much easier to read the story. So helpful. Amazing :)

  55. Thanks. This is so useful. I didn’t have access to any Chinese book. So I am so happy to find out about this site. Thanks.

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  58. Reply Alexandr Adlov says: October 11, 2017 at 2:20 pm

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  59. Reply Helen Weatherall says: December 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I love this site and am very grateful for it -

    But is it me, or is the translation for this story pretty simplified compared to the Mandarin text?

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  64. Thanks but this is very hard to get without the Pinyin. Please, could you put the Pinyin in place?

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