A fairly simple read for newbies about a self-hating rabbit.

Learn to Read Mandarin: Read Chinese StudyIn terms of plot, this is your basic “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”, moral-of-the-story story. Frankly, it’s a bit boring, but there are a couple of good words and phrases in here. One in particular is difficult, and I couldn’t figure it out just by looking at the definition, I had to go hunt around a bit: 钻出来 zuān chū lái. We know that 出来 means to “come out of”. But 钻? The first definition that came up when I looked was “diamond”, but that wasn’t the correct definition in this case. Secondly, it also means to “drill” or “bore”, which makes sense as a second definition of “diamond” – lots of diamond drill bits out there. But that still doesn’t work in context of the whole sentence. I finally ran a Baidu image search on the phrase, and there were lots of pictures of miners squeezing out of small spaces, children coming out of playground tunnels, workers coming out of manholes, and I realized that 钻出来 means to wiggle out of a space via a small opening. Imagine a secret agent crawling through an air duct; in Chinese, there’s a word for that, and that word is 钻.

I got this from Sina user Zifengling’s personal blog, in a post where she lists a few different easy stories, so if you wanna read some more on your own, head on over. I’ll probably translate another couple from there before too long.

Click to Listen

红宝石 – hóng bǎo shí – Ruby
灰炉 – huī lú – Furnace
丑 – chǒu – Ugly
不仅如此 – bù jǐn rú cǐ – Not only that,
孤单 – gū dān – Alone
外表 – wài biǎo – Appearance
内在 – nèi zài – Inherent / (abstract) interior




In the forest there lived a little rabbit whose name was “Chouchou”. His eyes were red, like a pair of rubies. But his fur was grey, like he’d wiggled out of a furnace, and he felt himself to be very ugly, often hiding in his house alone.

Although he wasn’t nice to look at, he had an incomparably kind heart. When Little Monkey Lele’s home was burst apart by a flood, he had no house to return to. Chouchou let Lele live with him, and he divided up his favorite chocolate to give some to Lele to eat. Not only that, whoever had a headach, or got sick, with no money to buy medicine, he did everything he was able to do to help.

The days passed one by one, and Chouchou was still alone. One time, the forest’s most beautiful rabbit Meimei came looking for Chouchou to play, but Chouchou thought of himself as just too ugly, he couldn’t face seeing her. Meimei told Chouchou: “It’s not what’s on the outside that counts, the important thing is what’s on the inside.” Chouchou suddenly saw the light, he ran outside, and played with his friends to his heart’s content.

138 comments to "The “Beautiful” Rabbit"

  1. Wow, a new one. This is my favorite website to learn chinese. Good to see that you are posting new material. Thank you, made my day!

  2. Great, thanks :)

  3. Great website Kendra! Thanks for spending your time uploading these stories.

    I’ve a small question about the first line of this one.
    What is the function or meaning of “着” here?


    • 着 after a verb or adjective shows that the action continues. (The rabbit is living in the forest).

    • Reply Danny wei says: May 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      hi this is a term of in that is live here is an rabbit lives in here. I am Chinese, so whatever if you have question you always could ask me. I will help you guys any time.

    • Reply Professional Chinese teacher says: May 7, 2016 at 6:00 am

      Means “ing” sitting(坐着)eating(吃着)

  4. cuuuuuuuute, but they end up togheter, or just play? :<

  5. Reply All Graduates | On Site Interpreting says: March 17, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Beautiful story that holds such a valuable lesson. Good job of translating the story. It is short, simple, yet holds a lot of meaning that it will make it easy for people learning Chinese to understand and read. Keep it up, and please continue uploading more!

  6. This is amazing! Thank you! I hope you will post even more in the future!!

  7. Thanks for these texts. Just what I was looking for!

  8. Reply Edwina Dippenaar says: March 29, 2015 at 12:29 am

    I have just started learning mandarin. I am doing conversation class and being taught pinyin and I was wondering whether there were any childrens story books which are written in chinese characters but also has the pinyin. I have a 1 year old chinese grandson and would like to be able to read to him. Can you help please.
    grandson lives in Taipei and I will be visiting in April.

    • Yes, in Taiwan you’ll be able to find storybooks with both characters and pinyin.

    • Reply Larry Lynch says: April 5, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      There are quite a few beautifully illustrated paper-bound books with both characters and Pinyin often available in small bookstores carrying Chinese books, notably in the San Francisco Bay Area. Titles from several publishers include abridged versions of Story of the Stone, Three Countries (San Guo 三国), Monkey King/Journey to the West, ghost stories, etc.

  9. Hello! I am totally newby and even this text is tough for me. Can somebody explain me the difference between 森 and 森林? All dictionaries say that they both have meaning of forest. When should I use one and when prefer another?

    • Good question. The answer is, there is a difference, but it’s not much. Usually, when someone is talking about forests or forestry, you will see 森林。森 by itself means a lot of trees, emphasis perhaps on the density. What is the difference between woods and forest? Size maybe, density maybe, but they’re sort of interchangeable. I think that’s how this works.

    • They’re really the same. The important thing to know is that, in Chinese, you should use one character or two depending on the rest of the sentence. The reason for that is harder to explain, but it just depends whether you should use the one character or the two characters.

      • As my Chinese professor once said, “Chinese is about balance, one character [as he stood on one leg] has no balance, [he dropped the other leg] while two characters provides stability.”

  10. what the meaning of “都会” used in “它都会尽其所能进行帮助”?

    • I believe 都 refers to the various situations(谁头痛,生病了,没钱买药) that 丑丑 is helping with.

      • i see, so “都会” means “in all cases”, as simple as that! i was misleaded by the flash-on dictionary “society, metropolis, community, city” when i moved the pointer to the word “都会”. tks HUEY

    • Reply Professional Chinese teacher says: May 7, 2016 at 6:05 am

      In this case, 都会 is easy to understand, 都means both, 会 means will. so 都会 means both will。

  11. What does 尽 and 其 mean in the sentence below?


    Clearly, 它 is the subject,帮助 is the verb, but I’m having trouble parsing the 会尽其所能进行 part.

    • my parsing : 它 (he) 都会 (in all cases)尽 (uses up)其(his)所能(capabilities)进行 (to carry out)帮助(help)….帮助 here is used as a noun (help) .

    • Reply Noela Kantor says: April 24, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      Look at this sentence this way:
      Basic structure is 它会帮助, which means it(the rabbit)will help.
      Next level of modification: 它都会进行帮助, which means The rabbit will provide assistance. (都会 – works as an auxiliary helping verb as in will also, or will always; 进行- to provide; 帮助 -as a noun help or assistance).
      Last level of modification: 尽其所能 – is an idiom which means to exceeds one’s total ability. This idiom is used as an modifying expression for the verb 帮助. As a result, the final translation for the sentence: 它都会尽其所能进行帮助, it means (the rabbit 丑丑will exhaust all its power to help the homeless, or anyone who needs help.)

  12. i luv this website, even i am chinese, i study in a international school so i know very less about chinese, this website is helping me a lot ty :D

  13. Practice makes perfect. This practice reading are perfect.

  14. Very nice translation!

  15. Kendra,

    You are a wonderful person. Thank you so much for creating this website. This is exactly what I needed to help me become confident to build my reading skills in Chinese! ;-)

  16. Amazing work as always!

  17. Awesome!! This is the best website that’s helped me learn new vocab and grammar. Thank you so much, this is so appreciated.

  18. This story is so adorable

  19. Thanks for this site, it’s great to have easy reading material in Chinese. But question: can you also provide pinyin? I’m focusing on my spoken Chinese before I start learning characters, and it’d be really nice to have some pinyin stuff to read. Either way, thanks a million.

    • I think there are converters out there where you input characters, and get the pinyin (or traditional characters) as output. Google translate does this as well. This way, you can create your own pinyin version from the texts.

  20. Reply Juli Indawati says: July 19, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    I am very much blessed with this website.
    The reading and learning chinese time with my children get more exciting.
    bless your heart for creating this.

  21. Hey, I was just wondering in this part of the story :
    Why does it have both 像 and 似的?
    If anybody has any ideas ??

    • Reply Professional Chinese teacher says: May 7, 2016 at 6:12 am

      “像…似的” is a structure. Means Like …
      example : 像(苹果)似的
      like an apple.

      a sentence : 你的脸 像(苹果)似的
      your face like an apple

  22. Very helpfull site ;-) very helpfull stories etc.
    感谢你, 很高兴找到你的网站很有意思的;-)
    Many thanks dear Kendra, I am glaad to find your interesting site ;-) )
    祝你一切顺利. wish you all the best :-) )

  23. Nice website, thanks!

  24. Reply आदित्य राधामाधवदास राजगौंड़ says: July 27, 2015 at 9:30 am

    बहुत सुन्दर कथा है। इस कथा से चीनी भाषा के प्रशिक्षण के साथ साथ जीवनोपयोगी महत्वपूर्ण शिक्षा भी प्राप्त होती है।
    मैं इस सम्पुट का नियमित पाठक हूँ एवं आप सभी लेखकगणों का हृदय से आभारी हूँ। आपके प्रयास सराहनीय हैं।

    The story is very nice. It has a lesson for life as well as a lesson for learning Chinese.
    I’m a regular reader of stories published here. You guys have taught me a lot. I’m grateful to the team for their fruitful efforts.

  25. Reply Andrea Mucciolo says: August 17, 2015 at 1:54 am


    I wanna thank you for the great job you are doing! I was looking for chinese short stories that could help me learn new chinese characters, and I have found what I was looking for! English is not my language (I’m italian, from Rome) but I know it well, so your translations are very useful. I have started just two weeks ago, but my main aim is not to speak but rather to be able in reading chinese poem and novel in original, so I’m studying mostly written chinese. All the best! Andrea Mucciolo

  26. i need general analysis

  27. i need analysis

  28. I’m new here, 我是一位汉语学生。这个故事很有意思。 谢谢

  29. this is great and thank you. ;)

  30. Reply Charlie Liu says: August 27, 2015 at 5:00 am

    Hi! This website is very good, not only is it filled with a lot of learning materials but it is also created in a very user friendly manner(love the auto translation). I highly suggest to create an app with this kind of function.

  31. this is already good,’s just lack of the chinese audio tobe perfect.


  32. Hi!
    I was wondering myself.
    what is the meaning of 似的?
    isn’t it too repetitive if we put 像是 and 似的 in the same sentence?
    Thank you for creating this website btw.

  33. So cool, thx!
    My first language is Russian, but I couldn’t find any websites I like in Russian!
    That’s why sometimes for me it’s double complicated to translate smth, but I choose yours one ;-)

  34. This is wacky I don’t understand it it’s a bit boring.

  35. This feels like my most prized possession. I am forever using this. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Aren’t we chatting instead of commenting on the stories?

  37. fatty cheeks

  38. Reply Scarlett Chew says: December 11, 2015 at 4:13 am

    love it

  39. This is terrific! I’m a native English speaker starting to learn Chinese. To be able to hover over the characters and see the pinyin has been nice.

    One question: I’m an old school English learner in that I’ve done in-depth grammar study and can list tenses, parts of speech, and other things most people younger than I don’t care about. Are there any web sites out there that list things like tenses, parts of speech, and grammar “rules” for Chinese?

    As an English learner, I’m trying to make connections and comparisons to facilitate my learning process, and everyone just seems to dump me in the middle of the language without the guideposts I need (hoping the analogy works).

  40. i did not ………

  41. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii………………………….

  42. juejeidhfejhwuiewuigrcbryufruvuu 7huuiro0q0ew4987483984783457849857875874378438758754]854875478976398370985908094345609587877759879833333

  43. Reply Deepika M.R. says: December 18, 2015 at 4:40 am

    hi sir…
    really wonderful story.

  44. Yum… I’m in China studying Chinese… need to start reading… really nicely set up, these stories – with click-on pinyin and translation… thanks so much…

  45. The best website to learn chinese! I just found it yesterday! Thank you I’m going to make my boyfriend follow this site.

  46. Thanks V. Much

  47. This is dumb

    • I am poop man

      • Reply What does this even mean says: January 25, 2016 at 2:52 pm

        I can’t understand and I have been learning Chinese for 5 years also the story has no point when you translate to english

        • “It’s not what’s on the outside that counts, the important thing is what’s on the inside.”

          THAT is the moral lesson.
          THAT is what we learn from this story.
          THAT is why we say it’s beautiful.

  48. Reply Chinese Character Translation says: January 20, 2016 at 1:25 am

    This is my favorite website to learn chinese. thanks

  49. I hate this SOOOOO much!!!!

  50. This was amazing

  51. Hi am amazing

  52. Hi guys what up dude !!!

  53. I am name is poop man and I like to poop

  54. Who are you

  55. Hi poop man

  56. Hi this story is weird right

  57. I’m Elizabeth my user is hitthequan

  58. Reply All I do is win says: January 22, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I don’t care! I love it!

  59. Reply All I do is win says: January 22, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Can you make more passages

  60. Reply All I do is win says: January 22, 2016 at 11:08 am


  61. Hi

  62. Reply All I do is win says: January 25, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Wut up

  63. Hi I can HIT THE QUAN

  64. That’s how I roll

  65. Is anyone on

  66. Reply Jacob Borror says: January 25, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    这是我的第一看完的故事. 我的普通话只是初级水平, 可是我感到很自豪.

  67. 其实这有点像我小学一年级的课文。我是中国人

  68. Thank you, I’ve recently been shicreang for information about this subject for a long time and yours is the best I have came upon till now. But, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the source?|What i don’t realize is actually how you are now not really a lot more smartly-favored than you may be right now. You are so intelligent.

  69. Reply Leah McGee says: March 5, 2016 at 9:43 am

    i love this book

  70. Thank you.

  71. Where I can find Pin Yin of this text

  72. Really nice story!

  73. these stories are great! Could someone translate the titles into Chinese? It would help me a ton for my project that I have to do.

  74. Reply peter lazarus says: August 19, 2016 at 5:49 am

    waaaoooh…great story

  75. It seems odd to use the impersonal “它 ” for the rabbit. I would expect “他”. Is it standard practice in Chinese to call animals “它”, even when they are clearly viewed as people?

    • I don’t think Chinese has stuff like personification, so it still refers to objects and animals as “它”.

      • 它 = it
        他 = he

        The translation is from Chinese to English. The child in us have warm feelings for animals, thus it is appropriate to translate 它 to he or she guessing the gender from the name!

        If the translated English passage were to revert to Chinese, 他 (he) or 她 (she) may seem more syntactic correct.

      • 它 = it
        他 = he

        The translation is from Chinese to English. The child in us have warm feelings for animals, thus it is appropriate to translate 它 to he or she guessing the gender from the name!

        If the translated English passage were to revert to Chinese, 他 (he) or 她 (she) may seem more syntactically correct.

  76. Hello! Just want to say thank you for sharing these stories in your site. They are very helpful for anyone learning Mandarin such as myself.

    I hope you still get the time to continue on sharing your knowledge here. Thank you very much!

    All the best to you!

  77. Too ooooi hard for beginer’s

  78. Too

    hard for beginer’s

  79. Too hard for beginer’s

  80. What is hónghóng, I know hóng is red but is there a reason there is two?

  81. Why are there so many comments?

  82. Reply Random Person says: January 17, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    because people like to shower creator with likes

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