中国古代有位著名的姓宫的音乐家。 宫先生不但会作曲， 琴也弹得非常好。 人们被他的音乐感动， 所以很尊敬他。 但是， 宫先生有时候也做些傻事。
比如有一天， 他带着琴来到野外， 只见风轻轻地吹， 草地绿油油的， 一只牛站在那里， 低着头在吃草。 宫先生面对这样有诗意的画面，兴致大发. 他 把琴拿出来， 就开始为那只牛弹起琴来。 但是， 那只牛一点也没有注意他的琴声， 继续吃草。
宫先生心里想，“ 也许这首曲子太慢了，牛不喜欢， 我应该弹一首节奏快的。” 但是， 那只牛还是没有反应， 慢慢地啃着草。
于是， 宫先生又换了一首他弹得最拿手的曲子， 可是， 那只牛仍然只是甩甩尾巴， 继续安安静静地啃着草。
最后， 那只牛吃完了草，就转身离开了。宫先生很失望， 只好叹了口气， 背着琴回家了。
zhong1guo2 gu3dai4 you3wei4 zhu4ming2de xing4 gong1de yin1yue4jia1. gong1xian1sheng1 bu2dan4 hui4 zuo4qu3, qin2 ye3 tan2de fei1chang2hao3. ren2men bei4 ta1de yin1yue4 fan3dong4, suo3yi3 hen3 zhun1jing4 ta1. dan4shi, gong1xian1sheng1 you3shi2hou ye3 zuo4xie1 sha3shi4.
bi3ru2 you3yi1tian1, ta1 dai4zhe qin2 lai2dao4 ye3wai4, zhi3jian4 feng1 qing1qing1de chui1, cao3di4 luv4you2you2de, yi4zhi1niu2 zhan4zai4 na4li3, di1zhetou2 zai4 chi1cao3. gong1xian1sheng1 mian4dui4 zhe4yang4 you3shi1yi4de hua4mian4, xing4zhi4da4fa1. ta1 ba3 qin2 na2chu1lai2, jiu4 kai1shi3 wei4 na4zhi1 niu2 tan2qi3qin2lai2. dan4shi4 , na4zhi1niu2 yi1dian3 ye3 mei2you3 zhu4yi4 ta1de qin2sheng1, ji4xu4 chi1cao3.
gong1xian1sheng1 xin1li3xiang3, "ye3xu3 zhe4shou3qu3zi tai4man4le, niu2 bu4 xi3huan1, wo3 ying1gai1 tan2 yi1shou3 jie2zou4 kuai4de." dan4shi4, na4zhi1niu2 hai2shi4 mei2you3 fan3ying4, man4man4de ken1zhecao3.
yu2shi4, gong1xian1sheng1 you4 huan4le yi1shou3 ta1tan2de zui4na2shou3de qu3zi, ke3shi4, na4zhi1niu2 reng2ran2 zhi3shi4 shuai3shuai3 wei3ba, ji4xu4 an1an1jing3jing4de ken1zhecao3.
zui4hou4, na4zhi1niu2 chi1wan2le cao3, jiu4 zhuan3shen1 li2kai1le. gong1xian1sheng1 hen3shi1wang4, zhi3hao3 tan4le kou3qi4, bei1zheqin2 hui2jia1le.
In ancient China there was a famous musician whose family name was Gong. Mr. Gong could not only compose good music, but could also play the zither extremely well. People were touched by his music, and hence admired him greatly. However, Mr. Gong would do some foolish things sometimes.
For example, one day, he took his instrument to the countryside, only to find that the wind was blowing softly, the meadow lustered with green. A cow was standing there, head lowered, munching grass. Faced with such poetic scene, Mr. Gong was stricken with the mood. He took out his zither, and began to pluck away in a performance for the cow. But the cow didn't pay any attention to his music, and continued to eat grass.
Mr. Gong thought to himself: "Maybe this tune is too slow. The cow didn't like it. I should play a piece of faster rhythm. " However, that cow still showed no reaction and leisurely munching away.
At this, Mr. Gong switched again to play his best tune. But the cow still only swished his tail, and continued silently eating grass.
In the end, the cow finished eating, turned around and left. Mr. Gong was very disappointed. He sighed. Picking up his instrument, he had to go home.
The idiom "play the zither to a cow" is used for the situation when one wastes time trying to reason with an unreasonalble person, or when one speaks without consideration of his audience.