The Chinese Idiom ‘Watching a Tree Stump, Waiting for Rabbits’

Here is an interesting Chinese idiom that deals with rabbits, 守株待兔 Shǒu zhū dài tù.

This idiom literally means “Watching a tree stump, waiting for rabbits.” It refers to a story about a peasant who happened to see a rabbit run head-first into a tree stump and die. From then on, the peasant expected to find other rabbits making the same deadly mistake, and so he continued to wait idly by the tree stump instead of going out and hunting, or making other efforts to feed himself.

The idiom is used to describe someone who waits in vain for luck or opportunity to befall him or her, rather than striving to make an effort or take the initiative.

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