The best thing, I tell you, is not to aim too high. A flying stork will not see the fatal arrow. Gathering wood, you may uncover a snake, And you will regret forever its poisonous bite.
Be content with your lot, and restrain yourself from too high an ambition. Take precautions against possible dangers, and seal your mouth. Try to avoid getting involved in other people's quarrels. Your personal health is uncertain, and you may bring problems upon yourself by rash speech. Financially, you do not have much hope of improvement at the moment-bide your time and new prospects will come to you.
The somewhat contradictory message of this poem is this: expect the unexpected. It warns that trouble comes when you least expect it. The stork , believed by the Chinese to fly higher and to live longer than any other bird, can be killed by an arrow rising up through the clouds. Disturbing things can also proved an gerous. Be watchful and careful. Do not assume you are unassailable.