This book has two stories: Kong Rong Gave Up the Larger Pears and the Fox Assumes the Majesty of the Tiger.
Kong Rong (153 - 208) was a bureaucrat, poet, and minor warlord during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China. He was also the 20th generation descendant of Confucius. As he was once the governor of Beihai Commandery (present day Weifang, Shandong). During his tenure of office, Kong Rong constructed cities, built schools, and advocated Confucianism.
Kong Rong showed his quick wits at an early age. In the Biography of the Rong Family, it is recorded that there were seven brothers in his family, and Kong Rong was the sixth son. One day, he was asked to choose a pear in priority. He, however, picked up the smallest pear, giving up the larger pears to his elder and younger brothers. He was praised by the clan for his humility and amiability.
Since then, Kong Rong's "pear choosing" story has been handed down as a well-known story commonly used to educate children even nowadays on the values of proper etiquette and etiquette. The story is also mentioned in the Three Character Classic, a text used for elementary education since the Song Dynasty.
In the Fox Assumes the Majesty of the Tiger, a tiger catches a fox while it is searching food in the forest. When the tiger is just about to eat it, the fox suddenly speaks: “Mr. Tiger, no hurries. Please listen to me. I was sent by Heaven to rule the animals. By eating me, you will violate the command of Heaven. ” The tiger is half in belief and half in doubt. Then the fox continues: “If you don’t believe me, just follow me to see whether the animals are afraid of me.” The tiger thought it was better to give it a try and followed the fox through the forest.
Two spotted deer immediately run away on seeing them; Rabbits and sheep also disappeare at once when they see the fox and the tiger; Even the wild boar and bear hid. The tiger doesn't realize that it is him that the beasts are really afraid of and let go of the fox.
This idiom means to bully or frighten others relying on other people’s power.
The book comes with Chinese characters and the Pinyin (phonetic transcriptions), and includes a VCD that children can enjoy watching on TV or computer. The VCD narrates most poems in this book in clear Mandarin Chinese, and is accompanied with animated cartoons. Please see Q & A about VCD for more details.