Level: intermediate    Total words: 109 HSK1: 16 HSK2: 3 HSK3: 9 HSK4: 4 HSK5: 7 HSK6: 3

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草木皆兵
Every bush and tree looks like an enemy

公元383年,前秦国王苻坚率领步兵、骑兵90万,攻打东晋。
In AD 383, Fu Jian, the king of Qian-Qin kingdom, led a huge army to attack Dong-Jin kingdom.

在一轮战败后,苻坚从城墙俯视四周,当他看到势不可破的东晋部队,他感到很害怕。
After losing the first round of fighting, Fu Jian looked down from the city wall, and was terrified when he saw the formidable battle array of the eastern Jin army.

接着,苻坚北望群山,只见山上一草一木都像晋军的士兵一样,于是更加恐慌。
And then looking at the mountains around, he mistook the grass and trees for enemy soldiers. He became extreme nervous.

后来苻坚全军覆没,带着少数残余的队伍逃回去了。  
As a result, when nervous Fu Jian led his army into battle, it suffered a crushing defeat. Fu Jian fled back with a few soldiers of his remaining army.

人们将这个故事总结为一个成语“草木皆兵”,用来形容人在极度惊恐时,疑神疑鬼的心理状态。
From this story, people have derived the idiom "every bush and tree looks like an enemy" to describe the state of extreme nervousness in which one can defeat oneself by imaging difficulties. This idiom is similar to "be afraid of one's own shadow" in English.


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