A Treasury of Literary Classics -
Chinese Fables and Tales Series (1)


    Read the Chinese story and answer the following questions.

Mending the Fold after
a Sheep is Lost

Click here to read the text.

1. Why did Zhuang Xin leave the King?

A. The King paid too much attention to guarding his territory.
B. The King played and enjoyed his life all the time.
C. The King asked Zhuang Xin to build the guarded wall for him.
D. The King left his people behind and escaped to another city.

Your answer:

What did the King do all the time?

Read paragraph 1.

"The King of Chu and the important court officials spent most of their time enjoying a luxurious life."

2. What happened to the King's territory?

A. The King's territory became stronger and bigger.
B. The King's territory became part of Yang's place.
C. The King's enemies invaded the territory.
D. Zhuang Xin ruled the territory for the King.

Your answer:

Who sent the troops to invade the King's territory?

Read paragraph 3.

"Within six months, the King of Qin sent his troops to invade the State of Chu and occupied the territory."

3. How did the King feel when he escaped to a smaller city "Yang"?

A. The King felt sorry about losing his own territory.
B. The King felt excited about leaving his own territory.
C. The King felt astonished about the size of the city "Yang".
D. The King felt worried about living in the smaller city "Yang".

Your answer:

How did the King think about Zhuang's last words?

Read paragraph 3.

"The King of Chu escaped to a smaller city 'Yang'. He remembered Zhuang Xin's words and was regretful for not taking his advice."

4. What did the King do after he remembered Zhuang's words?

A. The King comforted himself by laughing all the time.
B. The King tried to find Zhuang Xin in the city "Yang".
C. The King tried to invite Zhuang Xin back to help him.
D. The King cried all the time about losing Zhuang Xin.

Your answer:

Who did the King ask for help?

Read paragraph 3.

"He sent his officials to invite Zhuang Xin back to help him."

5. What had happened in the story told by Zhuang Xin?

  1. There was a very big hole in the pen.
  2. A sheep escaped but the shepherd got it back.
  3. The shepherd's wife chased the lost sheep.
  4. The shepherd blocked the hole with his body.

A. (i) & (ii)
B. (i), (ii) & (iii)
C. (ii) & (iv)
D. (ii), (iii) & (iv)

Your answer:

What did the shepherd and his wife do?

Read paragraph 4.

"Zhuang Xin said, 'A shepherd woke up one morning and found that there was a hole in his pen. When he counted his sheep, he realised that one of his sheep was lost. The shepherd immediately chased his lost sheep but forgot to block the hole. Fortunately, the shepherd's wife used her body to block the hole. When the shepherd returned with the lost sheep, he mended the hole in the fence at once.' "

6. What advice did Zhuang Xin give to the King using the story?

A. Zhuang Xin encouraged the King to change and win the territory back.
B. Zhuang Xin discouraged the King from getting the territory back.
C. Zhuang Xin wanted the King to become a shepherd instead of a king.
D. Zhuang Xin wanted the King to get the territory back with his body.

Your answer:

What did Zhuang Xin say to the King?

Read paragraph 5.

" 'We did lose our territory but if we reform now and strengthen our army, we still have a chance to get it back,' said Zhuang Xin."

7. Prefixes are letters which we add to the beginning of a word to make a new word with a different meaning. They can make a word negative, such as "impolite" (an adjective which means bad manners) or "misunderstand" (a verb which means fail to understand something or someone). We use these prefixes most commonly in negation, e.g. ir-, un-, dis-, in-.

Read the following descriptions. Turn each of the underlined words into the negative meaning by choosing a prefix from the list given. Each option can be used once only.

A. ir B. un C. dis D. in
Description Prefix
7a. Zhuang Xin warned the King about enemies, but the King didn't listen to him. The King was _____attentive to his advice.
7b. Zhuang Xin left the King because the King did not care about his people and the territory. Zhuang Xin thought that the King was very _____responsible.
7c. In the story told by Zhuang Xin, the shepherd was _____lucky because a sheep escaped from the hole.
7d. Zhuang Xin was _____pleased with the way the King ruled his territory at first. Nevertheless, he was glad that the King finally decided to reform.

Look these words up in the dictionary if necessary.

8. From the way Zhuang Xin encouraged the King to reform, which adjectives best describe Zhuang Xin?

A. Loyal and thoughtful
B. Quiet and kind
C. Pessimistic and mean
D. Selfish and impatient

Your answer:

Did Zhuang Xin give up advising the King?

What did he say to the King?

9. Why could the King of Chu (the King) win his territory back? Complete the text about how the King got the territory back by choosing the correct names of persons provided below.

"(i)__________ was loyal to his country. He felt the King was not responsible and advised him to guard his territory. However, the King did not listen to his advice. When (ii)__________ invaded the State of Chu, the King was regretful and invited (iii) ____________ back. He told the King a story which inspired (iv)_____________ to transform and strengthen the State of Chu, and be committed to his territory and people. With their concerted effort, the King successfully won the whole territory back."

A. (i) Zhuang Xin, (ii) the King, (iii) the King of Qin, (iv) the King
B. (i) the King of Qin, (ii) Zhuang Xin, (iii) the King of Qin, (iv) the King
C. (i) The King, (ii) the King of Qin, (iii) the King, (iv) Zhuang Xin
D. (i) Zhuang Xin, (ii) the King of Qin, (iii) Zhuang Xin, (iv) the King

Your answer:

What did Zhuang Xin say to the King?

What was the King's major concern at that time?

What did he do then?

Read paragraph 5.

" 'We did lose our territory but if we reform now and strengthen our army, we still have a chance to get it back,' said Zhuang Xin. The King of Chu was very pleased and took Zhuang's advice. The next year, the King of Chu successfully won his territory back."

Mending the Fold after a Sheep is Lost

Score Sheet

Questions Results
Question 1
Question 2
Question 3
Question 4
Question 5
Question 6
Question 7a
Question 7b
Question 7c
Question 7d
Question 8
Question 9

10. What is the moral lesson of the story? Based on the story, which Chinese saying can you think of?

11. Have you ever made any mistakes? What lessons did you learn from the mistakes? Think of one incident and share what you learnt from it with your parents or classmates.

Extension Activity

Watch the video clip "Bringing Tech to the Countryside", which is about the importance of helping rural people in China to catch up with the world by introducing them to technology.

Acknowledgements: The China Current


With a big shift to learning and living digitially in this information age, China is helping children and people in rural areas to be able to access online through installing internet hubs and expanding cellular coverage. Why is it important to bring technology to people in the countryside? What should we do to prepare ourselves for the opportunities that may arise? Think and share your ideas or experiences with your parents or classmates.