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Children’s Story: 最可口的食物 – The most appetizing meal

One picky little horse doesn’t appreciate the food he is served, until he sees what everyone else is eating. Upper-beginner, bordering on intermediate, HSK 4.

One picky little horse doesn’t appreciate the food he is served, until he sees what everyone else is eating. Upper-beginner, bordering on intermediate, HSK 4.

Some language stuff

Quite a bit of the harder vocab in this piece revolves around eating. We’ve got 津津有味 jīn jīn yǒu wèi, to eat something with joyous relish, 啃 kěn, to gnaw on, 狼吞虎咽 láng tūn hǔ yàn, to fiercely gobble something up, and 饥肠辘辘 jī cháng lù lù, to be so hungry one’s stomach is rumbling.

饥肠辘辘 is actually a pretty interesting phrase. 饥肠 means “an empty stomach”, and 辘辘 is being used as an onomatopoeia, lu lu being the sound of one’s stomach grumbling from hunger.

爱挑食 ài tiāo shí – Three different words here, 爱, to love, 挑, to be picky, and 食, food. The literal translation here is “loves to be picky about food”. It bears pointing out that in this case, “love” does not really mean “to have fondness for”, but rather, “to do something often”. We use “love” this way in English as well, as in, “You just love to start an argument, don’t you?”

转一圈 zhuǎn yī quān – 转 is “to turn around” and 一圈 is “a circle” or “a loop”. That might sound like it means “to spin around in a circle while standing in place”, but it doesn’t. It means “to make a circular pass through a place” – imagine shopping at a farmer’s market or something, you walk all around to the different stalls to see what everyone is selling.

一幕 yī mù – You’ll notice my popup dictionary translates this as “a curtain”, a “screen” or “an act of a play”. A 幕 is indeed the measure word for “an act of a play”, but this is being used figuratively, what it means here is “scene”, as in, “When my eyes came to rest upon that ugly scene…”

那儿 nà er – Literally means “there”, but when it comes after a noun, it means “over where [noun] is”, or “[noun’s] place”. I just covered a similar usage of “这儿” in the last beginner post.

Source here

最可口的食物

在一个农场里养着很多动物。其中有一匹爱挑食的小马,它总是不满意农场主给它的食物。于是它决定去转一圈,看看别的动物们那儿有什么好吃的。
  
它很快就发现了几只鸡正在愉快地吃着什么,上前一看,是谷子,它尝了一口,却马上又吐了出来,“一点味没有,不好吃!”说着就走了。
  
不久它又看到一只狗在津津有味着骨头,还有一只猫一边唱着歌一边撕咬着一条鱼。这些食物,它看了都害怕,那气味快使它呕吐。它赶紧走开了。
  
走了好一会儿,小马有点渴了,它来到水塘边喝水。看到两只鸭子正在抢夺一条蚯蚓,蚯蚓被它们拉扯的又细又长,最后断成两截,两只鸭子狼吞虎咽地吃下了各自的半截,又开始寻找起来。看到这残忍的一幕,小马水也顾不上喝就跑开了,“真恐怖!”它说。
  
跑了一大圈,它看到的动物吃的东西,都不合它的胃口,有的甚至还让它感得恶心。小马饥肠辘辘的回到马厩,才发现主人为它预备的草料,才是它最喜爱最可口的食物。

Show English translation »
There was a farm where many animals were raised. Among them was one little horse that was very picky about his food, he was always unsatisfied with what the farmer gave him to eat. So he decided to go walk around, to see what yummy things the other animals had to eat.
  
He quickly discovered a few chickens happily eating something, so he went over to look, it was grain, so he tried a mouthful, but he spit out, “[This] has no flavor, it’s gross!”, he said and left. 
  
Not long after he saw a dog gnawing on a bone with relish, and a cat singing a song while tearing into a fish. Just looking at these foods frightened him, and the smell made him retch, so he quickly took his leave.  
  
After walking for a while, the little horse was a bit thirsty, so he went to the pond to drink some water. He saw two ducks fighting over an earthworm, they stretched the earthworm out long and thin, and finally broke it into two pieces, and the two ducks each gobbled down their piece, and started looking about [for another]. Seeing this cruel scene, the little horse couldn’t even stand to drink any water and quickly ran away, “Truly horrifying!” he said.
  
He ran all around, and everything he saw the other animals eating didn’t suit his own tastes, and some even disgusted him. He returned to his pen with his stomach rumbling, and found that the grass master had prepared for him to eat was his favorite delicious food after all.

3 replies on “Children’s Story: 最可口的食物 – The most appetizing meal”

Hello,
Thank you for your amazing website! I was wondering if you could help me find a read version of this so I can practice my pronunciation as well as my reading. In any case keep up the good work!

哈喽! Don’t think there is one, I’m afraid. But lots of great sites to practice pronunciation by other means.

That’s too bad I tried looking out on Youtube as well but all I could find was recipes for delicious looking Chinese foods. Anyway, thanks for your reply!

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