During Chinese Spring and Autumn period, there was a nobleman named Chu Zhu Liang whom was addressed as "Lord Ye." for his domain was located in Ye.
Lord Ye was an enthusiast of dragon, and it was said that he painted or carved the mysterious creature everywhere he could. The walls of his house had dragons painted on them, while the beams, pillars, doors, and windows were all carved with it. As a result, word of his love for dragon spread.
One day, the real dragon in the Heavenly Kingdom heard of Lord Ye, and being deeply moved, he decided to fly down to Lord Ye's home to visit him.
In light of this, What Lord Ye loved was not the real dragon but things that looked like dragon.
Background and Writer Comment:
The teller of this Chinese idiom story is Zi Zhang (子张), a student of Confucius, who heard the duke of the state of Lu was fond of talents, and so went a long way to visit him. Disappointingly, however, Zi Zhang was neglected by the duke for seven days, at which he was very upset and decide to leave. Before he set off, he had his servant pass a message to the duke, in which he told this story to mock the duke for being unable to realize real talents.
春秋楚国叶诸梁，自称"叶公"。 据说，这位叶公爱龙成癖，家里的梁、柱、门、窗上都雕着龙，墙上也画着龙。 就这样，叶公爱好龙的名声，被人们传扬开了。天上的真龙，听说人间有这么一位叶公，对它如此喜爱，很受感动，决定去叶公家对他表示谢意。人们也许会想叶公看见真龙时会有多高兴。实际上，当叶公看见那条龙时，顿时吓得魂飞魄散，赶紧逃走。从此人们明白了叶公爱好的其实并不是真龙，而是似龙非龙的东西而已。