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“The eyes were hidden by a leaf, and even a mountain can hardly to see.”
It is often used to describe someone who is blinded by the minute details that he or she cannot see the whole and the essence of the thing.
There is a story comes from an Chinese anecdote book from the third century-most of the stories in the book is funny but also has strong social significance-explained the meaning of that sentence in a concrete and funny way.
“A man in the state of chu whose family was poor. When he read a very famous book--Huai Nan Zi, he saw a record that: when the mantis was catching the cicada, it covered its body with leaves, so that the cicada could not see it. He was so happy that he ran to the bottom of a tree and looked up, hoping to find the mantis used to cover his leaves when catching cicadas. He took the leaf off when he finally found it but the leaf unexpectedly falls on the ground. There were already leaves under the trees, which were no longer recognizable. So he simply swept up all the leaves, and collected a full bucket of home.
The man took leaves one by one to cover his eyes and asked his wife, "can you still see me?" At first, he’s wife kept saying, "yes." Later, toss about a whole day, his wife then tired, very impatient, then cheat him to say: "can't see!" Hearing this, the man was secretly overjoyed. He hurriedly put the selected leaves in his bosom and ran to the street. He held the leaves, as if no one was watching, to take other people's goods, but of course he was caught on the spot and escorted to the county. When the magistrate interrogated him, he gave an honest account of the matter. The county magistrate laughed and let him go, didn’t convict him.”
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