Original Article: 揠苗助長
In the ancient State of Song, there was a village known as “Happy Rice Village," where most people made a living by farming. They worked from sunrise to sunset, putting great effort into growing full and sturdy rice, making their village's rice very popular. People loved the delicious and fragrant rice from Happy Rice Village, and the villagers lived happily because of the beloved rice.
Among them lived a farmer named Longy, who had an extremely impatient personality. He often said, “Too long! Too long! I can't wait any longer!" Every day, he rushed to work in the fields and hurried back home. No one knew why he was in such a hurry. Longy's wife, Slowy, often advised him to slow down, but he wouldn't listen. Instead, he said, "You are all too slow, and not much can be accomplished this way!"
When spring arrived, the farmers of Happy Rice Village prepared to transplant rice seedlings into the fields. They wore straw hats, carried the seedlings, and led water buffalo to the fields. They happily walked to the fields, rolled up their pants and sleeves, then bent down and diligently planted the rice seedlings into the muddy soil.
Longy was no exception. Even before dawn, he hurriedly left home and finished his work in no time, then rushed back home.
After lunch, with nothing else to do, Longy paced around at home and said to Slowy, "We have to wait a long time for the newly transplanted seedlings to grow tall. Only after they grow tall can they bear grains. It takes so long, and I can't wait!"
Slowy smiled and replied, "Rice plants have their own natural growth process. They need time and appropriate nutrients to thrive, and it cannot be rushed!"
"No, there must be a better way!" Longy ignored Slowy's advice and kept thinking of ways to make the seedlings grow faster.
After a few days, Longy inspected the fields and exclaimed, "Oh no! Why haven't they grown taller?" Without a second thought, he pulled up one of the seedlings, thinking, "This is a great idea! Why didn't I think of it before?" So, he pulled up all the seedlings in the field, assisting them to grow faster, and happily returned home.
When Longy saw his wife, Slowy, he proudly said, "Today, I thought of a great idea to help the rice seedlings grow faster." Slowy looked puzzled and sensed something was wrong. From that day on, Longy went to the fields every day and carefully pulled up the seedlings. However, as the days passed, he noticed that the seedlings not only failed to grow taller but became weaker and eventually withered and died.
At that moment, Longy suddenly remembered Slowy's words and felt deeply regretful, but it was too late.
Children, Longy tried to be too clever by half, pulling up the seedlings, thinking it would help them grow, but instead, all the seedlings withered and died. Slowy was right: rice plants have their natural growth process, requiring time and proper nourishment to flourish, and this cannot be rushed. "Pulling up seedlings to help them grow" is an idiom, metaphorically warning against using improper methods to seek quick results, as it may lead to harm instead of benefit. Can you make a sentence using this idiom? Give it a try!
Written by Lin Lin
Presented by Mei