(E) There was an official named Cao Cao who lived more than 1000 years ago in China. One day, someone brought an
elephant from the south by boat. When Cao Cao got the news, he went with his son, Cao Chong, and the officials to the
riverside to see the elephant. The elephant was tall and big. Its body was like a wall and legs like four pillars. Everyone
watched and said, ”How heavy could such a big elephant be?” “Who can weigh the elephant?”asked Cao Cao. Someone
said, ”Where can we find such a large steelyard?” Another said, ”Even if we had such a large steelyard, nobody could lift
it.” Then someone said,”If we killed the elephant and cut it up into pieces, then we could weigh it.” Cao Cao shook his
head when he heard all this.
Then, Cao Chong, who was seven, came forward and said,” I’ve got a good idea.” The adults were quite astonished and
asked, ”What’s your good idea?” Cao chong said calmly, ”Drive the elephant onto a wooden boat and draw a line on the
boat along the surface of the water. Then drive the elephant onto the shore and put stones into the boat. When the
boat sinks to the place where the line was drawn just now, weigh the stones and we’ll find the weight of the elephant.”
When Cao Cao and the officials heard this, they all nodded in agreement.
official 官員 pillar 柱子 weigh 秤重 steelyard 秤子 lift 抬起
astonished 吃驚的 surface 表面 shore 岸 sink 下沉 agreement 同意