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


    Read the Chinese story and answer the following questions.

Waiting for More Hares to Dash Dead against the Stump

Click here to read the text.

1. In paragraph 1, what is TRUE about the life of farmers?

A. They collected crops to eat in spring.
B. They put seeds in the fields in autumn.
C. They started working when the sun came out.
D. They returned home when the sun was very hot.

Your answer:

Read paragraph 1.

"In ancient China, there was a young farmer whose family had made a living out of farming for many generations. Farmers used to sow in spring and harvest in autumn, and began to work at sunrise and finished at sunset. In good harvest years, they could have enough food to eat and enough clothing to wear. However, when there was a famine due to crop failure, they had to suffer from hunger."

2. In paragraph 1, what does "famine" mean? "Famine" means ...

A. not having enough food for people to eat.
B. not having enough clothes for people to wear.
C. not having enough water for people to drink.
D. not having enough houses for people to live in.

Your answer:

Read paragraph 1.

"However, when there was a famine due to crop failure, they had to suffer from hunger."

3. What was the problem of the poor hare?

A. It had difficulty in hearing.
B. It had difficulty in seeing.
C. It had difficulty in making sound.
D. It had difficulty in smelling.

Your answer:

Read paragraph 2.

"The young farmer grabbed the hare and noticed that its eyes were severely infected. He said happily to himself, 'Poor blind hare, I got you with no effort!' "

4. What happened to the scared hare as there were people hunting nearby?

A. It got lost in the woods.
B. It hit the farmer hard.
C. It hit the stump hard.
D. It was caught by the hunters.

Your answer:

Read paragraph 2.

"One day, a big fat hare jumped out of the grass while the young farmer was working in the fields. It ran past him in a panic and accidently bumped into a tree stump. Its neck was seriously broken and it was finally dead."

5. What did the farmer do to the dead hare?

A. He took it home and cooked a meal for himself.
B. He buried it under the tree sadly.
C. He took it home and tried to save its life.
D. He brought it back to the woods.

Your answer:

Read paragraph 3.

"After the hunters left the place, the farmer took the hare home excitedly and cooked a delicious meal for himself."

6. How did the farmer feel when he thought he might get other hares for free?

A. The farmer was worried.
B. The farmer was doubtful.
C. The farmer was scared.
D. The farmer was thrilled.

Your answer:

Read paragraph 4.

"That night the farmer thought, 'My luck comes at last! I need not work hard now. All I have to do is wait every day by the stump to pick up the hare that runs into it. How wonderful it will be!' "

7. The word "too" means "more than enough". The phrase "too adjective/adverb + to-infinitive" shows undesirable excess and has a kind of negative meaning.

Read the following descriptions. Fill in each blank with a phrase from the list given. Each option can be used once only.

A. too excited to B. too lazy to C. too tough to D. too unrealistic to
Description Phrase
7a. The farmer had to work day and night. He thought it was _______________ be a farmer.
7b. As the hare dashed itself dead against the stump, the farmer was ______________ have a hare for dinner.
7c. The farmer was _______________ take care of his fields and the weeds grew higher and denser day after day.
7d. The farmer was ______________ wait for another hare to dash against the stump. He should have worked hard in his fields in order to have a better life.

Read the sentences carefully to understand their meanings.

8. What happened to the farmer's abandoned fields?

A. A lot of wild plants had grown in the fields.
B. A lot of crops were grown in the fields.
C. Some more hares were found dead in the fields.
D. There was a great harvest in the fields.

Your answer:

Read paragraph 5.

"When he looked at the fields, he could not believe his eyes because all his fields were overgrown with weeds."

9. From the story, which of the following best describes the farmer after he got a big fat hare?

A. The farmer became selfish and never shared his food with his family.
B. The farmer became proactive and always tried new methods to farm.
C. The farmer became idle and gave up trying to farm.
D. The farmer became brave and always hunted wild animals for food.

Your answer:

Read paragraph 4.

"Becoming too lazy to work hard to change his life, the farmer relied on his luck from then on. He abandoned his fields, put away all his farming tools, stayed by the tree stump and wished to get other hares."

Waiting for More Hares to Dash Dead against the Stump

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. Miracles do not happen every day. To achieve our goals, we should work very hard. Do you have any goals? What will you do to achieve them? Share them with your parents or classmates.

Extension Activity

Watch the video clip "How Smart Farming Brings Social Good", which is about the application of modern technology in China such as cloud computing and driverless vehicles to grow and harvest crops more sustainably.

Acknowledgements: The China Current


In the past, farmers worked very hard, but it did not guarantee good harvests. Thanks to modern technology, the work of farming has changed a lot, e.g. less physical labour and high yields during the harvest. What impresses you most in smart farming? Think and share your ideas or experiences with your parents or classmates.