A Story About the Chinese Zodiac
During Chinese New Year, Chinese people like to talk about the animal sign for that year. However, not everyone knows how the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac came to be. Here is one story.
Somewhere above the clouds, the Jade Emperor was having a meeting with all the animals. "Naming the Chinese zodiac has troubled me for weeks, but now I know what to do!" The Jade Emperor rose from his seat and continued, "I will hold a swimming race for you, and the first twelve to cross the river will be the signs." After the meeting, Cat told his best friend, Rat, that he wanted to win the race, but he had always been a poor swimmer. Rat, however, told him not to worry. "Ox is strong and swims fast. Let's ask him for help!" Rat said. The day of the race finally came.
When the race started, Cat and Rat jumped onto Ox's back. Thanks to Ox, they were able to cross the river ahead of the others. When the finish line was in sight, Rat was only thinking about winning. He suddenly pushed Cat into the river, hopped off Ox's head, and won first place. Poor Cat almost drowned. When he made it to the river bank, the race had already ended. Since then, cats have stopped being friends with rats. This is why they are always waiting for a chance to get even.
- Chinese zodiac ['tʃaɪ'niz 'zodɪ͵æk]
There are twelve animal signs in the Chinese zodiac.
- Jade Emperor ['dʒed 'ɛmpərɚ]
It was said that the Jade Emperor has seven pretty daughters.
- seat [sit] n.
This seat is bigger and more comfortable.
- continue [kən'tɪnjʊ] v.
The show continued for another hour after we left.
- rat [ræt] n.
He smelled rats and decided to clean his house right away.
- swimmer ['swɪmɚ] n.
She is a good swimmer. She has won many prizes so far.
- ox [ɑks] n.
We were born in the year of the ox.
- hold [hold] v.
Let's hold a Halloween party at Josh's place!
- ahead of... [ə'hɛd ɑv]
Team A is ahead of Team B by 3 points in the basketball game now.
- hop [hɑp] v.
Look! There's a bunny hopping in the park.
- drown [draʊn] v.
The news reported that six people drowned in the flood.
- finish line ['fɪnɪʃ 'laɪn]
You can't give up. You must run to the finish line.
- place [ples] n.
She won second place in the talent contest.
- bank [bæŋk] n.
Some people are having a barbecue on the river bank.
- get even ['gɛt 'ivən]
I won't get even with Emily because I want to forgive her.