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Children’s Story: The “Beautiful” Rabbit

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

In 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.

Want something easier?

Du Chinese has a big catalog of easy HSK 1 and HSK 2 texts for ultra-beginners. There are quite a few free practice lessons, but CRP readers get 10% off on paid accounts using the discount code CRP10.

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美丽的小兔子

森林里住着一只小兔子,它叫“丑丑”。它的眼睛红红的,像一对红宝石。可是它的毛灰灰的,像是从灰炉里钻出来似的,它觉得自己太了,常常一个人躲在家里。

虽然它长得不好看,但是它有一颗无比善良的心。小猴子乐乐的家被大水冲垮了,无家可归。丑丑就让乐乐住在自己的家,还把自己最喜欢吃的巧克力分给乐乐吃。不仅如此,谁头痛、生病了,没钱买药,它都会尽其所能进行帮助。

日子一天天过去了,丑丑还是很孤单。一次,森林里最好看的小兔子美美来找它玩,可丑丑觉得自己太丑了,没脸见它。美美告诉丑丑:“人的外表并不重要,重要的是内在美。”丑丑恍然大悟,它跑了出去,和伙伴们一起尽情地玩耍。

Show English translation »
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.

137 replies on “Children’s Story: The “Beautiful” Rabbit”

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!

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

I’ve a small question about the first line of this one.
“森林里住着一只小兔子…”
What is the function or meaning of “着” here?

Thanks!

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.

that is one of the chinese grammar , that means like “-ing”: in english

for the example

喝着 = Drink + ing = drinking

I am a malay person,but I study at a chinese school so are we all friends?Please accept my request see you all later,bye!

Don’t be negative, they are best friend now!
By the way we have to be a smart and positive group of people!

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!

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.

My dad also wants some thing like that, are there any near Malaysia,Kajang,Selangor?Please answer quickly I am needing help here.

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.

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.”

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

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

What does 尽 and 其 mean in the sentence below?

它都会尽其所能进行帮助。

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) .

thanks. splitting up like that helps. I am an older lady just trying to learn to read only. The fact that this webpage has instant translation into meaning and hanyu pinyin saves me so much time and I can prove my tone as well. sadly I have a bad memory so although I can read the words this week, I forget them next One!!! plodding on. This is better than the books that only tell you either speaking words only or school test books. is there a website whereby I can buy books that have Chinese and hanyupinyin that are story books and not school books? despite living in Singapore, all the books cater for either adults conversational, or school books for students to pass tests on.boring. thanks

Hi Rena!
I am old too, and really appreciate these stories! I would recommend Cheng and Tsui’s college textbooks. They have a two-year course which integrates reading, speaking and writing and includes CD’s. They are in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. They call it “Integrated Chinese” The language school I studied Chinese at in Southern California uses them. If you are brave enough to work without a teacher, I think these would help you learn the hanzi and also speak some educated Mandarin. They have all their courses and READERS on line at http://www.chengandtsui.com. Check them out!

Every person grows up no matter who are them we have to be proud of ourself , have to believe ourself , have to love ourself , hope you understand whatever i just typed in see ya!

older lady learning:)
this was of great help. thanks
In English this would translate as”He did everything he was capable of to help”

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.)

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 😀

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! 😉

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

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.

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.

Hey, I was just wondering in this part of the story :
像是从灰炉里钻出来似的
Why does it have both 像 and 似的?
If anybody has any ideas ??

“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

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 :-))

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.

Hi!

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

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.

I agree. add audio to this and it would be perfect.
the fact I can see the pinyin and meaning straight away helps my memory and tone and saves so much time. I spend more time repeating the reading. the comments at the bottom(not the silly ones) are very useful in understanding grammar and syntax. audio would help speed up my reading. I am an older lady and have just started tio learn this:) thanks everyone

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.

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 😉

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).

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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…

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.

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?

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.

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!

how did you made this popup on chinese characters.. i know it is a wordpress website and you are using chine-english dictionary plugin but that doesn’t have this popup option..can you help me please thank you.

大家好!I’m a native Chinese, and I like Kendra’s website! But it hasn’t updated for a long time. So I try to build another Chinese reading website with my language learning partner, Richard. It has recordings and detailed explanations. And we expect your feedback. So just have a try: http://www.whatstartwo.tech/Chinese/

When 的 comes at the end of the sentence like in 它的眼睛红红的, is that like using 是。。。的 like if you said 它的眼睛是红红的 but the 是 is just implied?

Excellent website you have here but I was curious
if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed here?
I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get feedback
from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Thank you!

Hi there Dear, are you in fact visiting this web site on a regular basis, if so after that you will without doubt take nice experience.

This is very helpful for learning Chinese characters, especially reading Chinese, another blog I found out quite frequently update blog.international-lan.com

In the last phrase of the second paragraph; 它都会尽其所能进行帮助 – 都会 is explained as city but I believe this is wrong, it means ‘even will’.

Also, in the beginning of the same paragraph; 家被大水冲垮 – 被 is explained as bedding or by, this makes some sense but I believe it means ‘affected’ or ‘inflicted by’.

Correct me if I’m wrong or could broaden my understanding please.

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