Learning My ABCs: A Very Chinese Folktale about a Hover Board

Hello and welcome back to Learning My ABCs. Today, I have a story.

So one day, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I came across this hilarious tweet that nearly knocked the wind out of me and became the inspiration of my folktale. It said something along the lines of: “We used to have a personal vehicle that had its own GPS. It could drive when we were asleep and automatically avoid accidents, and it was called a horse.”

After that, I started thinking about how cool horses are and wondered why we ever got rid of them. They don’t destroy the environment with every mile they travel. They don’t break down and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere (at least, I don’t think so). Most of all, an animal is a friend, and who wouldn’t want to be friends with their transportation device?

This led me to think of today’s technology. Let’s be real, half of the stuff we have we don’t even need. A cellphone with a screen on the edge? A watch that can receive text messages? Another version of an iPhone with only a slightly better camera and a new rose gold design? Most of these things were made because society wanted more– more technology, more advancement, more luxury!

But I say, don’t fix what’s not broken because innovation does not always mean improvement.

A long time ago, I promised that I would write an original Chinese folktale and share it on this column and I apologize that that’s been kind of slow, but it’s here now! May I remind you that a Chinese folktale is meant to teach a lesson or tell a story that makes you think. I tried to keep that in mind when I formulated this story but anyway, here is my first attempt:


A Chinese Folktale About a Hover Board

There once was a young man who was unhappy with his car and wanted to profit. So one day, he decided to build a new car, one that was innovative and new. He built a hover board, meant for a single rider and sold it. It was long and narrow, with two wheels and turned by sensing the movement of the body. It moved slower than a car, but it was easy and accessible. The people loved it and the hover board flew off the markets. But one day the people said, “what do I do if it rains?” So the young man built a glass dome that covered the board and the rider.

Hover Board with a Glass Cover

The new cover provided not only a shield from the rain but also warmth. Then the people said, “I want to take my family and ride together.” So the man made a new hover board that could fit five people with a glass dome to cover the board and the people. The new board was flat and wide; it had a large surface area with large wheels and moved by sensing the motion of the rider at the top left corner. People appreciated the new design, but they were tired of standing to travel on the hover board. So the man added seats: two in the front and a bench for three in the back. Everyone loved this new version, until someone pointed out that there once was vehicle just like this; it was called a car.

“The Car”


Thanks for Learning My ABCs with me!