远走高飞

Tian Rao had served Ai Gong, King of the State of Lu, for many years, but he was never appointed to any important position.

 

One day, Tian Rao said to Ai Gong of Lu: "I am going to leave Your Majesty1, and fly high and far to distant places like the swan goose."

 

"What do you mean?"  asked Ai Gong.

 

Tian Rao replied: "Haven't Your Majesty seen a rooster before? It has a red cockscomb on its head and looks very elegant. It has sharp claws on its feet and is of martial2 bearing. When facing enemies, it is very brave and vigorous and fights to the bitter end. When it fords food, it will call its pals3 to enjoy together, and is very kind. It keeps watch during the night and crows at dawn, never bungles4 matters and is very honest. Though the rooster has these five merits, Your Majesty still order your subordinates to cook it for food. Why is that so? Because it is near to Your Majesty."

 

Tian Rao paused and then continued: "As to the swan goose, its one flight covers I,000 li. Sometimes it stops by Your Majesty's pools, and eats your fish and soft-shelled turtles. Sometimes it stops in Your Majesty's fields and pecks your beans and grains. Though it does not have the merits of the rooster, Your Majesty still regard it highly because it is far away from you. Therefore, please permit me to fly high and far to distant places like the swan goose."

 

田饶虽然服侍鲁哀公多年,但是仍然没有受到重用。

 

有一天,田饶对鲁哀公说:“我要离开大王,像鸿雁那样远走高飞。”

 

鲁哀公说:“你这是什么意思?”

 

田饶回答说:“大王难道没有见过雄鸡吗?它头上戴着红冠,非常文雅;脚上有锋利的爪子,格外英武;面对敌人敢打敢拼,十分勇猛;看见食物就呼唤同伴一道享用,多么仁义;晚上守夜,黎明报晓,从来不会误事,极其诚实!雄鸡虽然有这五种长处,可是大王还是命令手下人把它煮了吃。为什么会这样呢?因为它就在大王身边啊!”

 

田饶顿了顿,接着说:“至于那鸿雁,一飞就是千里,有时停在大王的水池边,吃大王的鱼鳖;有时停在大王的田园里,啄大王的豆类和谷物。尽管它没有雄鸡的长处,可是大王还是很器重它。这是因为它离大王远啊,所以请允许我也像鸿雁一样远走高飞了吧!”

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