十二生肖动物的故事 The legend of Chinese Zodiac
作者： 来源：汉语学习网 2012-09-20 09:56:31.000
A long time ago, the god called all the animals together and said, “I will choose 12 animals out of you to take turns to head a year of the cycle, which will be called the Chinese Zodiac.”
The god and the animals decided to hold a river crossing contest on January 1 in Chinese lunar calendar: the first 12 animals that crossed the river and reached the temple would receive their years according to their finish. “I’ll be the first.” “I must win.” All the animals started to argue against each other.Hearing this, the cat was a little upset. He said to his good friend rat, “I can’t swim. What can I do?” “Don’t worry! The ox is a good swimmer. We can ask him to carry us on his back,” said the rat.
On the contest day, all the animals set out very early in hope of arriving at the temple before others.
All of them strived to swim forward. Ox swam the fastest. Suddenly, the rat on his back got a bad idea. He pushed the cat off into the river. The poor cat swallowed a lot of water.
The ox reached the river bank in a while and was set to win the contest. But the cunning rat jumped off his back and rushed to the temple first. “I win! I am the first!” he said proudly.
The rest of animals arrived one after another in a few minutes.
“According to our agreement, the first 12 animals can take turns to be king of a year, and your names will be the name of a year. Let’s start from this year.” “Rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster,dog and the last one pig,” the god announced the order. The 12 selected animals were all delighted.
At that moment, the drenched cat rushed in and asked anxiously, “Which place did I get?” The god answered, “You are too late. It’s over.”
Furious, the cat pounced on the rat. Knowing that it was his fault, the rat had to escape. From then on, all the cats will chase the rats and the rats have no choice but to run.