The Fable of the Bee And the Flower

The third installment of my “Chinese Fable translation series“. I love translating.


Original Chinese text:



My English translation:

The Fable of Letting Go

A rose withered. A bee however was still sucking on it because she had sucked honey from it before. Now, on the same rose, all she could suck out was bitter, poisonous juice. The bee felt the difference as it was so sweet before. She became miserable and complained and complained, why did the taste change? Why couldn’t it be just like before?
Finally, one day, the bee gathered her strength and flew a bit higher. Then and there, she saw that, nearby the withered rose, there were blossoming flowers all over the place.

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6 responses to “The Fable of the Bee And the Flower

  1. 所谓,退一步海阔天空。

  2. Good article and good translation!

    Make me think of “Who moved my cheese”. If things changed, instead of staying there moaning, we’d better move on.

    However like the fable said, we need to gather some strength so we can make the move. The habit of staying in the same place is like the gravity on the earth preventing us from flying higher. We need that extra strength to break through what’s holding us back.

    And that strenghth come out of regular exercises.

  3. Very nice. We can stay and complain about how things were better in some way before, or we can move on and find the blessings of the present.

  4. tt, 精辟。

    James, i see you abandoned my favorite theme… so we’re moving on I guess, like the bee :-D

    apple, i like what you said about strength, it’s a fine point and deserves a whole new discussion of its own… “What made the bee gather her strength?” :-)

    I’ve read another interpretation of the story on the web, that this is a fable about (lost) love: At some point we will have to let go…when it’s no longer there… The wings are on our back, it’s all up to us.

  5. 把爱情说是亲子关系的延续很有意思。的确小时候父母的关系,与父母之间的关系肯定对我们的爱情和婚姻有重大的影响。现在觉得教育孩子的责任真是重大啊!

  6. Pingback: ENTRY 1 _ Đỗ Anh Kiều Oanh « qh2011e16

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