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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Here is the last of my stories. At least, until I get some more. I am going to do the exercise again. Oh well, enjoy the reads.

Christopher

Chinese Valentine's Day:

On the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, the Chinese celebrate Valentines Day. Once Upon a Time, To the west of Nan Yang City lay a village named Niujiazhaung. (Niu is a family name). In the village, there was a boy called Ling Er, who was clever, honest, and industrious. Unfortunately, his parents passed away when he was a child. He had no choice but to live together with his eldest brother, who had got married. His Sister-in Law was very mean to him, and his life was full of abuse. It was a cold Autumn day that Ling Er was forced to leave his home forever as he was old enough to live on his own. Now, Ling Er had nothing but an old Ox. From then on, Ling Er worked in the field during the day time and slept
next to the Ox at night. The villagers gave him a nick name- "Niu Lang" (Ox Boy). One day, Niu Lang was hoeing the soil when a soft voile dress was blown in his face. He felt amazed. The Old Ox spoke to him. Niu Land, do you know that the King of God's has seven daughters? They are all fairies, and the youngest of them, called Zhi Nu (Weaving Lady) has the warmest heart and the most dexteriuos hands. A smile emerged on his face. Now she is swimming in the river nearby, and the voile dress is hers. Come on! Go to return her the dress and she'll marry to you," The Ox added. Formerly, the Ox was a God on the paradise. In order to make people on the Earth lead a better life, he dropped a lot of seeds on the Earth However, this was forbidden for Gods. He was punished by the King of the Gods on the Paradise and became an Ox on Earth. Just like what the O.X had said, Zhi Nu (Weaving Girl) and Niu Land saw each other and fell in love. They were married soon afterwards. With the news of their wedding, villagers came to send them their regards. Zhi Nu gave the villagers a lot of silkworms and taught them how to keep them., how to make silk, and how to make beautiful cloth. In two years, every woman had acquired the skills. The villagers life got better and better. After the wedding, Niu Lang cultivated plants on the farm and Zhi Nu wove happily on the loom. Zhi Nu gave birth to a son and a daughter. The family led a peaceful and happy life. Later, the King noticed that his daughter had been missing for several days. (In the paradise: one day is equal to one year on Earth everyone knew this except me). He asked around his
daughters and found out that she had stayed on Earth and married a young ugly Ox boy. The King sent the queen to capture his daughter and brake the couple apart. The queen swept down and took the daughter, and the children ran to the field and told their father. He knew what had happened. Being an average man, Niu Lang could not fly. In order to help his best friend, the Ox told the boy to kill him and take his hide as he could use it to fly with. The boy refused, but the Ox told him that it would be allright, and he could not see a better reason to die for. Niu Lang killed the ox then made a cape out of his hide then flew into the sky with the children. As the couple were about to touch each other, the queen picked out a hairpin from her hair and swayed it. Immediately, a wide river emerged between the couple. Now they could do nothing but look at each other across the river, with tears down their faces. Their faithful love moved the magpies, millions of which flew to the river and made a bridge with their beautiful feathers above the river so that Niu Lang and Zhi Nu could meet on it. At last, the queen was moved by this and she permitted them to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. It was said that from then on when it rained on that day that the rain was the couples tears. That is the origins of the Chinese New Year.

Liang Shan Bo and Zhu Ying Tai: Butterfly Lovers
(This is Apparently the Most Famous Legend in China)

In Ancient China, in a very rich family, the daugters of the families were all called Miss, and they frequently acted as the maids and servants of their families. Most never got a chance to go to school or receive any type of education. However, in one rich family, there was a young girl named Zhu Ying Tai. She was very adventurous and set her mind to the challenge of receiving an education. After great deliberation, Zhu Ying Tai decided that she would dress up as a man and go outside of her home to study in a school. While
studying, Zhu Ying Tai met Liang Shan Bo who was also from a poorer family then hers. They became very good friends, but Liang Shan Bo never knew that his young companion was a girl. As they neared the end of their education, the young girl confessed her secret, and they fell madly in love with each other. After their schooling Zhu Ying Tai went back home and discovered that her father had betrothed her to a man who was from a very rich family. However, she disliked this boy greatly. Liang Shan Bo learned of the news, and he became so depressed and overwhelmed that he died soon afterwards. On Zhu Ying Tai's wedding day, she insisted on wearing white clothes and going to Liang's graveyard. (Chinese People Wear White to Funerals). Near the tomb, Zhu was sorrowful. Suddenly, the sky became dark and violent storms appeared around the girl. Lightning and thunder thrashed in the sky, and a lightning bolt struck the tomb and broke it into pieces. From the gloom came brightness, and the two lovers were changed into two butterflies. They were as inseperable as body and shadow, dancing happily among the flowers. They lived the rest of their lives in happiness with each other.

The Old Man and the Magical Fish:

Long Long Ago in a small village lived an old man and his wife. They were both very poor, and the man supported them by fishing for their dinner. One day while fishing on the river bank, he caught a beautiful and large fish. He was excited as he thought that it would be a wonderful meal. Then with great surprise, the fish spoke to him. The fish asked him to please free him, and after hearing these words, the old man agreed. He spent the rest of the day fishing, but he caught nothing. He went home, and his wife saw him
without any fish, and she started yelling at him. "What have you been doing all day. How are we supposed
to eat." The man told his wife that he had caught a large fish, but he let it go as it spoke to him and asked him to do so. Hearing this, the wife told the old man to go ask the fish for something in return. The man refused, but his wife ranted and raved until he agreed to do so. The next day, the old man went back to the river, and as he approached the river bank, the fish jumped into his net and asked him if there was anything that he needed. The old man told him that he did not want anything, but his wife had sent him, and she thought that you should give us something since we did not have anything. The fish smiled and agreed. He told the man to go home and see his surprise. When he arrived home that evening, he saw his wife in a beautiful dress, and she looked young again. When he approached his wife, she was very happy, but she also acted very selfishly. She grabbed her husband, and she told him that he must go back to the fish. She told her husband that they needed food and servants to serve them food since they were barely living as it was. The old man refused, but once again, the old woman bullied him into it. The next morning, the old man returned to the river, and like the other times, the fish met him and asked him what he needed. The old man told him that he did not need anything, but his wife said that she needed food and servants to help them through the day. The fish agreed, and when he returned home, there was a
great amount of food, and they were being served by two maids. That evening, the woman approached the old man. She told him that he had to go to the fish again and ask for a nicer and larger house. The man refused. He said that he would not return. She became angry and started yelling and hitting her husband until he finally agreed to return. The next morning, he returned to the stream, and the fish greeted him once again. The fish asked if there was anything which he needed, and he said that his wife had sent him to ask for a larger house. The fish thought for a moment, and he said that he would grant him the house, but it would be the last present which he would give. The man returned home, and as the fish had said, his home was twice the size as it had been before. He was very happy, but his wife had wanted more. She told the old man that he had to go back to the fish. She wanted to be the emperor. The man told her that he could not. He was very unhappy as his wife was not happy with everything that he had gotten for her. After a great amount of arguing, the old man agreed to go to the fish. When he returned to the stream, the fish asked him what was wrong. The old man told the fish that his wife now wanted to be the emperor. The fish said that he had done all that he could. The fish thought for awhile then he smiled and said that he would help out the old man. He told the man to return home, and he
would think of something to do. The old man went home, and when he did, he found everything as it had been before. He went in and his wife had returned to her same appearance. He walked into the door, and smiled. He lived in his meager house with his wife for the rest of their lives. They were both happy and content.

A Legend About Chengde. (This is my favorite story as I have seen most of the places in the story.)

I can not ever remember when anyone has ever told me a legend about our city, but I did hear this legend on one occasion. It is said that Chengde was a small village many years ago. A couple who lived on the foot
of the mountain had no child, and they wanted one greatly and prayed everyday to God to have mercy on
them. At last, God was moved, and he accepted their request. He sent one of his followers who was being
punished to help the family. Several months later, a lovely boy was born to the couple. But not long after, an old monk came and told the family that God had sent instructions that the boy must come with him and become a monk or he would die. The parents could not resist this, and they let the monk take their baby. Fortunatly, the monk's temple was not far from their house, and they would go visit the boy everyday. Sixteen years passed very quickly, and the young boy grew into an adult. He was a very good monk. During this time, the old monk reveled that he was sent from heaven as punishment, and it was now time for him to return home. The boy thanked him, and they said goodbye. God sent two Angles to meet the monk. They would be there for three days, and he should meet them at the foot of a mountain.
At this time, life in the man's world had turned miserable. The land had dried and all of the plants had died because of the lack of water. The monk knew that this was because the water dragon had been defeated by the fire dragon. The fire dragon had trapped him in a very deep well. The fire dragon set fire everywhere and gave no water to the land. The old monk was very powerful now as he had been changed into a celestial being. He could not bear these atrocities any longer. He decided that he would fight with the
fire dragon before he left. The fight was very severe, but the monk could not and would not give up. He
wanted to help the people and relieve them of their pain. The fight lasted for three days. During the
struggle, the monk lost his hat, and it blew away with the wind and became to peak of a Mountain called monks hat peak. He then lost his wooden hammer. When it landed on the ground, it became mountain hammer peak. At last, the fire dragon was caught, and the monk tied him up and put him into the same well where the water dragon was and set the water dragon free. However, the water in the well became very hot, and this place became the hot river which is now in the mountain resort. Since the water dragon was free, it started raining again, and everything returned to normal. The monk had set off to look for the two angles, but the gate of heaven was closing when he arrived. The monk sat by the Wulie River as he was tired out. He decided to wait and see if the angles would meet him again. Many years passed, but they never returned. The old Monk then turned into a Mountain as well. It is called Peak of the sitting monk which is just beside the river. You can see all these places today and know of the great deeds of the Monk.

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