3 Beautiful Chinese Fables

· September 20, 2018

Almost all Chinese fables, especially the oldest ones, are short stories with great lessons. People have passed them on from generation to generation and many of them are still talked about nowadays. In this article, we share three beautiful Chinese fables.

Many Chinese fables haven’t been written, people just simply tell them. They represent a didactic way to pass down the main values of oriental culture to the newer generations.

In this occasion, we bring you 3 traditional Chinese fables. Each one of them focuses on showing how values and the lack of them brings certain consequences. Here they are, enjoy!

The seagull and kindness, a beautiful Chinese fable

A seagull.

In an old kingdom, there lived a wealthy and powerful man who loved seagulls. Every morning, he’d get up and look at the sea, which was near his mansion. He would contemplate those white birds that amazed him for hours.


One day, he found a seagull on the terrace. He was quite shocked and ran over to look at it. The man saw that it was wounded. He took it in his arms and ordered his doctors to heal it. The wound wasn’t very deep and the seagull recovered pretty quickly. The man was ecstatic.

The seagull amazed him so much that he decided to entertain it. He ordered people to prepare the best foods for it: pheasant, exotic meats, delicious fruits, and all kinds of delicacies. However, the seagull didn’t eat anything. The man tried to make it eat the food, but it just wouldn’t. Three days passed and, consequently, the seagull died.

This is a Chinese fable that teaches us how sometimes love isn’t really love, just selfishness. The man in this story thought that the seagull would like the same things he liked. He only focused on himself, instead of what the seagull really needed. 

Chinese fables.

The man who didn’t see anyone

In the ancient kingdom of Qi, there lived a man who had an insatiable thirst for gold. Unfortunately, he was very poor and his work didn’t make him a lot of money. He barely had enough to survive. Even so, the idea of getting gold still fascinated him.

This man knew that several merchants set up beautiful gold figures in their market stalls. Those objects would always rest on beautiful velvet mantles. The rich men of the city would go there to observe them. They sometimes bought them and they sometimes didn’t.

Suddenly, the man came up with a plan to take one of the figures that shone so brightly in the sun. One day, he put on his best clothes and ornaments and went to the market. He pretended to observe the gold figures and suddenly took one and fled. He got caught really quickly.

The two guards asked him why he decided to steal those figures in broad daylight with hundreds of witnesses around him. The man told them that he didn’t even think about those things. He just thought of getting the gold figures, that was it. This is one of the Chinese fables that talks about the blindness that comes with greed.

The man who was obsessed with dragons

There was a man who was obsessed with dragons. He admired their shape and the way they looked. He would get very excited when looking at pictures of them, breathing fire through their mouths and killing all their enemies.

This man was so obsessed with dragons that he memorized every single tale that mentioned them. He also had gigantic dragons painted all over the walls and ceiling of his house. His house looked like a temple dedicated to dragons.

Two green dragons breathing fire.

One night, when he least expected it, a dragon head burst through one of the windows of his house. Without giving the man time to react, the dragon began to breathe fire all over the place. Consequently, the man ran away and started screaming. This is one of the Chinese fables that teaches us to love concrete realities instead of the ones we create in our minds.

Chinese fables are quite charming because they show us just how important social values are.