Classical Chinese philosophy and stories: The borrowed prestige (狐假虎威)

By | July 11, 2013

One day, a tiger is wandering in the deep forests, it suddenly finds and catches a fox and is ready to make it a meal.

Fox is born cunning, it knows that the situation is not good for it, so it tells a lie and said: “I was sent to the mountains from Heaven as the king of beasts, if you eat me, the gods will not forgive you.”

The Tiger is skeptical and asked: “If you are the king of beasts, any evidence?” The fox replies quickly: “If you do not believe in my words, you can come with me to the mountains, I’ll let you see how other animals respect me.” The tiger agrees.

Along the way, hare, goat, deer, black bears and other mammals distance see the tiger coming, all of them are scared and escape quickly. The fox is then released as the tiger believes in what the fox has claimed.

This fable is usually used to satirize the borrowed prestige; but on the other hand, the fox has done a good jobs in using its temporary power and save its own life.

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