To draw a snake’s extra feet 畫蛇添足



畫蛇添足【Hua she tian zu】 楚國有個祭祀的人,賞給門客一壺酒。門客們互相商量說:“大家一起喝這壺酒不夠,一個人喝它才差不多。請大家在地上畫蛇,先畫好的人喝這壺酒。”一個人最先把蛇畫好了,拿起酒壺準備飲酒,卻左手拿著酒壺,右手畫蛇,說:“我能夠為它畫腳。”他還沒有(把腳)畫完,另一個人的蛇畫好了,搶過他的酒壺,說:“蛇本來就沒有腳,你怎能為它畫腳呢?”話剛說完,就把那壺酒喝完了。 那個給蛇畫腳的人最終失去了那壺酒。

啟示: 比喻做了多餘的事,反而徒勞無功。告誡:做任何事都要實事求是,不賣弄聰明,否則非但不能把事情做好,反而會把事情弄砸。

Once upon a time, there was a rich man who didn’t have much workers so to repay their hard work, he gave them wine. There was three workers but only one mug of wine. One person said,” Why don’t we race who can draw a snake the fastest?” The others agreed and set to work. The second person finished first and saw that the others aren’t done yet. He smartly added legs to the snake. When he was done the second person said,” Snake don’t have legs so i get the wine.” The person was very confused and tried to figure it out.

“Hua she tian zu” used to describe the extra things to do, not icing on the cake but self-defeating.

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