三个和尚 Three Monks
A classic Chinese tale of 3 monks, with really gorgeous Chinese watercolor illustrations!
There was once a little monk who live in a temple on a hilltop.
There's no water supply there, so the little monk has to fetch water from a river at the bottom of the hill everyday, to refill the water vat.
Along comes a skinny monk who wants to stay at the scenic temple.
He promises to help with chores, and fetches water together with the little monk.
A few days later, a fat monk joins them.
Now there are 3 monks that could fetch water,
but they were just waiting for each other and refused to take the initiative 😱😱😱
Then came a rat which bit and toppled the candle, and the temple caught fire.
There was no water in the temple because no one was willing to fetch it!
The three monks learnt to work together, so that the temple's water vat will never be empty again.
Through reading this book,
we saw the dangers of feeling entitled and looking out only for our own interests,
and learnt the importance of humility, initiative, teamwork and a servant heart,
so that everyone benefits and there is harmony.
This is so helpful in our home where there are multiple kids under one roof,
and we have no live-in helper.
Messes accumulate really quickly and
our actions (or lack thereof) really affect each other and the family atmosphere.
We learnt that it is unwise to wait around for each other to get things done.
Rather, it's good to see what tasks are oustanding,
and take the initiative to do it with a cheerful heart to serve each other.
When we do our part and help each other,
things go a lot more smoothly and there is joy all around!
Reminds me of some words that we keep close to our hearts:
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. - Philippians 2:4
各 人 不 要 单 顾 自 己 的 事 ， 也 要 顾 别 人 的 事 。- 腓 立 比 書 2:4
- For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. - Galatians 5:13
弟 兄 们 ， 你 们 蒙 召 是 要 得 自 由 ， 只 是 不 可 将 你 们 的 自 由 当 作 放 纵 情 欲 的 机 会 ， 总 要 用 爱 心 互 相 服 事 。- 加 拉 太 書 5:13
- The greatest among you shall be your servant. - Matthew 23:11
你 们 中 间 谁 为 大 ， 谁 就 要 作 你 们 的 用 人 。- 馬 太 福 音 23:11
- Outdo one another in showing honor. - Romans 12:10b
恭 敬 人 ， 要 彼 此 推 让 。- 羅 馬 書 12:10
Recommended for Ages: 3-12
Language: Simplified Chinese
This is a classic animation of 三个和尚 with really interesting sound effects and classical Chinese musical instruments. There are absolutely no words here, but we can fully understand what's going on - such a work of art! It also has a lot of cute nuances and plot details that are not in the book, so I recommend to first read the book, then watch the animation (: It's a little long at 18min+, but worth the time!
There's another short cartoon animation of 三个和尚 that may be more friendly for younger kids!
Suggested extension activities:
- Try using a pole and pail for 2 people to carry water from one place to another
- Visit a park with a water body eg jurong lake gardens, Hort Park, reservoir parks, and read the book there, or retell it in our own words. If we can scoop some water up using a small container, it'll be a great object lesson or reenactment of the scenes!