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Stepping Stones Lesson Ten

The Old Frontiersman Loses His Horse

The tenth lesson in the Stepping Stones series is based on a famous story about an old man with constantly changing fortunes. His wisdom lies in the recognition that good and bad luck are not always what they seem. This lesson introduces forty-four new characters.


从前,塞北有 一位深解人事的长者, 人们叫他塞翁。 一天,他家养的马 不知什么原因 跑到胡人的土地上去, 没法找回来了。 邻居们听说了, 都来安慰塞翁。 塞翁一点也不难过,说: “这说不定是件好事。”

过了几个月, 他家的马认识路, 自己跑回来了。 还从胡人那里 带回一匹好马。 邻居们都特地来道喜。 塞翁却说: “可也不见得是好事。”

因为家里有两匹好马, 塞翁的儿子 经常骑马出门。 一次不小心, 从马上摔下来, 把腿摔断了。 邻居们听到这事, 都为塞翁难过。 塞翁又说: “其实说不定是好事。” 大家都不相信塞翁。

过了一年, 胡人进军攻打塞北。 国王出师反攻。 塞翁的邻居里上前线的人 十之八九都没能回来。 而塞翁的儿子, 因为断腿, 反而保全了生命。


To study this lesson, just follow the seven numbered steps in the Study Guide below. Click on the link for each step to find everything you'll need.

Study Guide:

1. Audio immersion - Familiarize yourself with the sound of the story

2. Audio practice - Learn to recite the story, one line at a time

3. Vocabulary study - Learn the sound and meaning of each character and how it is written

4. Vocabulary review - Test yourself on the characters you've learned

6. Reading practice - Read the story in Chinese (you can do this!)

7. Exercises - Apply what you've learned

Once you have completed all of these steps and you can read the story comfortably, you are ready to go on to Lesson 11.