Aryson's blog - MY WORLD, MY RULES

Jun 1, 2010 at 04:32 o\clock

The Magic Leaf

by: aryson

There are a lot of things magical in China: the people, the culture, the stories. Sometimes ordinary things seem magical, but in reality, they aren't. It usually takes a great fool to transform the ordinary into magically nothing.

leafIn a small village deep in the heart of China, the local tax collector was feared. He taxed the villagers often. If they had no money, he took their possessions. And when possessions were of no interest to the tax collector, he would beat the taxpayers.

One day, a poor man entered the village. He had heard of the tax collector and his terrible ways. The poor man was carrying a plant that had many beautiful green leaves. The tax collector stopped the poor man before walking any further and told him he had to pay entrance fee if he wanted to walk through the village. The poor man said he had no money, but only the magic tree he was carrying. The tax collector, intrigued, asked what kind of magical tree it was. The poor man explained that it would make the holder of the leaves invisible. The tax collector snatched the tree from the poor man while striking him across the face. The poor man fell to the ground and was left in the dust of the tax collector's horse.

That night, the tax collector picked a leaf from the magic tree and held it up to his forehead. "Wife," he asked, "can you see me?"

His wife looked at him strangely, "Yes, I can see you."

He picked another leaf and held it to his forehead. "Wife," he asked, "can you see me?"

His wife looked at him again, "Yes, I can see you."

And with the third leaf, the wife could still see her husband. Same with the fourth. And so on until it was late at night and the wife was ready to sleep.

"Wife, can you see me now?" he asked, with the last leaf from the tree up to his forehead.

"Husband, I'm tired. No, I can not see you any more," she said exasperated before she closed her eyes to sleep. And her tax-collecting husband smiled.

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leafThe next morning, the tax collector held up his magical leaf to his forehead as he walked from store to store. The tax collector thought, "Hmmm, this is truly a magical leaf. No one can see me. No one acknowledges my actions." He continued to pass through the village, and no one said a word to him. No one looked at him in the eye. No one spoke to him, not even when he took money from the stores. Not even when he took food from the food stands. Every villager saw him, but in fear of a beating, did not speak to him.

leafThe emperor's son was passing through the village that afternoon. He and his entourage were returning from a rewarding hunting expedition. Among his trophies were the pelts of snow leopards and tigers.

The tax collector saw the pelts hanging from the back of the royal saddle. Believing he was still invisible, he held his magic leaf to his forehead and reached out for the pelts.

"Stop! You there! What do you think you're doing?" one the royal guards exclaimed.

The emperor's son shouted, "How dare you steal from me! Did you not think I saw you approach me and attempt to steal my furs? You will pay for this. I will put you away in the palace dungeons." The tax collector was quickly apprehended and taken prisoner.

The tax collector feebly tried to explain his tale of the poor man and his magical tree with the leaves to make one invisible. He tried to show the emperor's son the tree, but it had no leaves on it. The emperor's son, tired of listening to the alleged tale, had the tax collector beat by his guards before continuing on their journey homeward.

As the royal entourage walked through the village, they passed by the tavern. By the window, the tax collector heard the voice of the poor man he accosted the day before…."And then I handed over the kumquat tree I dug up from his garden, telling him it was a magic tree that could make one invisible!" Then everyone in the tavern laughed and looked out the window at the beaten tax collector.

There's that old saying, "A fool and his money are easily separated." In this tale, well, the fool got what he was worth.

May 17, 2010 at 05:03 o\clock

Three Meals a Day

by: aryson

Three Meals a Day

The Heavenly King sat on his throne in the sky watch all the men in China work hard each day. He felt the hardship the men when through as they tried to make ends meet. He felt the men's pain when they toiled in the fields to gather food for their families. There was so little food that everybody in China ate only once a day.

With a heavy heart, the Heavenly King summoned the Great Bull Star from the corner of the constellation. "Great Bull, I want you to go down to earth to bring a message to the men. Tell them that if they work hard each day, their hard work will be rewarded with enough food for eating three meals a day. They must understand not to give up and good things will arrive in due time." The Great Bull Star transformed himself into the form of a bull and went to earth.

When Great Bull arrived on earth, he gathered all the men and leaders together to share the message from the Heavenly King, but he didn't get it just right. All he said was, "Everyone can eat three meals a day. " All the men in China were happy and relieved to know that the Heavenly King will give them food and they won't have to work anymore. They had a grand party for the Great Bull which lasted three days.

Upon returning to Heaven, the Great Bull went directly to the Heavenly King's throne. "I did what you told me to." The Great Bull was so proud of himself because believed he completed the task the Heavenly King had given him.

BOCK! A stick flew across the room and hit Bull's head. Bull took cover and looked at the Heavenly King. "Sire, why did you throw the stick at me?"

The Heavenly King was disappointed. "Bull, you gave the men only half my message. They don't realize that they need to work hard in order for them to eat three meals a day. They think I will give them the food. So Bull, you will return to earth to help the men toil in the field so they can eat."

Now you have it… why farmers use oxen to aid in their farming; and how we can afford to eat three meals a day.

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May 12, 2010 at 08:19 o\clock

The Magic Moneybag

by: aryson

The Magic Moneybag
A Korean Folktale

Long, long ago there was a young couple who lived in a small thatched hut in a gully. They were so poor that every day they had to cut two bundles of firewood and carry them to market on their backs.

One day, the young couple came back from the mountain carrying the firewood. They put one bundle in the courtyard and planned to sell it at the market the next day to buy rice. The other bundle they kept in the kitchen for their own use. When they woke up the following morning, the bundle in the courtyard had mysteriously disappeared. There was nothing to do but to sell the bundle which they had kept for themselves.

That same day, they cut another two bundles of firewood as usual. They put one bundle in the courtyard for market and kept the other bundle for their own use. But the following morning, the bundle in the courtyard had vanished again. The same thing happened on the third and fourth day as well, and the husband began to think there was something strange going on.

On the fifth day, he made a hollow in the bundle of firewood in the courtyard and hid himself inside it. From the outside it looked just the same as before. At midnight an enormous rope descended from the sky, attached itself to the bundle and lifted it up into the sky, with the woodcutter still inside it.

On his arrival in heaven, he saw a kindly looking, white-haired old man coming in his direction. The old man untied the bundle and when he found the man inside it, he asked, "Other people only cut one bundle of firewood a day. Why do you cut two?"

The woodcutter made a bow and replied, "We are penniless. That's why my wife and I cut two bundles of firewood a day. One bundle is for our own use and the other we carry to the market. With it we can buy rice to make porridge."

The old man chuckled and said to the woodcutter in a warmhearted tone of voice, "I've known for a long time that you are a decent couple and lead a frugal and hardworking life. I shall give you a piece of treasure. Take it back with you and it will provide you with your livelihood."

As soon as he had finished speaking, there came seven fairies who led the young man into a magnificent palace. Its golden eaves and gleaming roof tiles shone so brightly that the moment he entered, he could no longer open his eyes. Inside the palace there were many kinds of rare objects on display that he had never seen before. Moneybags of all shapes and sizes hung in one room. The fairies asked him, "Which one do you like best? Choose whichever you please, and take it home."

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The woodcutter was beside himself with joy, "I'd like that moneybag, the one full of precious things. Give me that round, bulging one." He chose the biggest one and took it down.

Just at this moment, the white-haired old man came in and, with a stern expression on his face, said to the young man, "You cannot take that one. I'll give you an empty one. Every day you can take one tael of silver out of it, and no more." The woodcutter reluctantly agreed. He took the empty moneybag and, clinging onto the enormous rope, he was lowered to the ground.

Once home, he gave the moneybag to his wife and told her the whole story. She was most excited. In the daytime they went as usual to cut firewood. But from then on, whenever they returned home after dark, they would close the door and open the moneybag. Instantly, a lump of silver would roll jingling out. When they weighed it on the palm of their hand, they found it to be exactly one tael. Every day one tael of silver and no more came rolling out of the bag. The wife saved them up one by one.

Time went slowly by. One day the husband suggested, "Let's buy an ox."

The wife didn't agree. A few days later, the husband suggested again, "How about buying a few acres of land?"

His wife didn't agree with that either. A few more days elapsed, and the wife herself proposed, "Let's build a little thatched cottage."

The husband was itching to spend all the money they had saved and said, "Since we have so much money in hand, why don't we build a big brick house?"

The wife could not dissuade her husband and reluctantly went along with his idea.

The husband spent the money on bricks, tiles and timber and on hiring carpenters and masons. From that time on, neither of them went into the mountain to cut firewood any more. The day came when their pile of silver was almost exhausted, but the new house was still unfinished. It had long been in the back of the husband's mind to ask the moneybag to produce more silver. So without his wife's knowledge, he opened the bag for a second time that day. Instantly, another lump of snow-white silver rolled jingling out of the bag onto the ground. He opened it a third time and received a third lump.

He thought to himself, "If I go on like this, I can get the house finished in no time!" He quite forgot the old man's warning. But when he opened the bag for the fourth time, it was absolutely empty. This time not a scrap of silver came out of it. It was just an old cloth bag. When he turned to look at his unfinished brick house, that was gone as well. There before him was his old thatched hut.

The woodcutter felt very sad. His wife came over and consoled him, "We can't depend on the magic moneybag from heaven. Let's go back to the mountain to cut firewood as we did before. That's a more dependable way of earning a living."

From that day on, the young couple once again went up to the mountain to cut firewood and led their old, hardworking life.

May 5, 2010 at 08:48 o\clock

The Story of the Three Genjias

by: aryson

The Story of the Three Genjias
A Tibetan Folktale from Sichuan Province

Once upon a time in a certain place there lived three men who all had the same name -- Genjia. One was the tribal chief, the second a carpenter, and the third the chief's steward.

Genjia the carpenter was married to an exceptionally beautiful woman. Genjia the steward fancied her and dreamt day and night of having her for himself. But she was a very upright woman and would not let him get anywhere near her. Finally, he was driven to find some way of killing the carpenter in order to attain his end.

After a while, the father of Genjia the chief died. The steward saw in this a golden opportunity for eliminating the carpenter. Every day he secretly studied the calligraphy of the Buddhist scriptures and succeeded in reproducing the old-fashioned and esoteric style in which they were written. He then wrote a document in this style and handed it to the chief, saying, "Master, here is a document I came across the other day. I cannot understand a word of it and have brought it here specially for you to decipher."

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Genjia the chief was baffled by the writing and passed it on to his secretary in charge of documents. After reading it, the secretary said, "This document claims to be from the old chief. In it he says that he has ascended to heaven and is now serving as an official there, but he doesn't have an official mansion. He asks you, Master, to send him a carpenter -- the most skilled you have -- to direct the construction of such a mansion."

Genjia the chief thought constantly of his father and was most concerned to hear that he had nowhere to lay his head in heaven. He sent for Genjia the carpenter, showed him the document and ordered him to go to heaven at once.

Genjia the carpenter was greatly startled. He dared not refuse, however, and could only plead for time, "How could I disobey your order, Master! But I need some time to prepare. Please allow me seven days. After that time, please hold a Twig Burning Ceremony in the hemp field behind my house to send me off. Then I'll be able to ascend to heaven to build the mansion for the old chief."

Genjia the chief considered this request reasonable and willingly agreed.

When Genjia the carpenter left, he went round making a few investigations. He wanted to find out where the chief had got this idea. He eventually discovered that it had originated in a classical document found by Genjia the steward. He put two and two together and concluded that it must be a sinister plot against him hatched by the steward.

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He went home and consulted with his wife. "The most absurd thing has happened. The chief wants me to go and build a mansion in heaven. He must have been tricked into it by Genjia the steward. I did not dare refuse, but asked him to hold a Twig Burning Ceremony behind our house before I go. It would be no use trying to disobey him now. There is only one way for me to get out of this alive. The two of us must dig a tunnel under cover of night leading from the field to our bedroom, and then you can hide me there later. In a year's time I will find some way to get even."

The wife was shocked by this tale. Hatred for the steward filled the very marrow of her bones. She was willing to do anything to save her husband. So every day when night fell, the two of them dug the tunnel in secret. On the seventh day it was completed. They sealed the entrance with a slab of stone and scattered soil on it, so that people wouldn't notice it.

The eighth day came, the day for the carpenter to ascend to heaven. At the head of a retinue of elders and stewards and with a great din of bugles and drums, the chief came to send him off. They made a pile of faggots in the hemp field and asked Genjia the carpenter to sling his tool-kit over his shoulder and carry his bag in one hand. They made him stand in the middle, lit the faggots and watched the smoke rise, "carrying him up to heaven".

Genjia the steward was afraid that as soon as the faggots were lit, the carpenter would spoil everything by crying out in terror. "Come on !" he shouted to the crowd. "Blow your bugles and beat your drums! Laugh and cheer! Genjia the carpenter is on his way to heaven to build a mansion for our old chief. Isn't that a wonderful thing!"

The chief came over to have a look. Genjia the steward pointed gleefully to the rising smoke and said, "Master, you see, there goes his horse. Genjia the carpenter is on his way to heaven."

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The chief was delighted.

The moment the faggots were lit and the smoke began rising into the sky, Genjia the carpenter raised the slab and escaped through the tunnel back to his own bedroom.

He confined himself to his house for a whole year. His wife went to great lengths to find milk, butter and other nutritious food for him; and as he did no work, by the end of that year he was plumper and fairer-skinned than ever.

Meanwhile, Genjia the steward tried a thousand and one ways of seducing the carpenter's wife, and she tried a thousand and one ways of avoiding him. He failed completely to attain his goal.

While Genjia the carpenter was hiding at home, he diligently practiced the calligraphy of the Buddhist scriptures. He prepared a document written in the authentic style and kept it on his person. On the first anniversary of his "ascent to heaven" he went and stood on the very spot where he was supposed to have been burned, the same tool-kit on his shoulder and the same bag in his hand. He called out, "How is everybody? I've just got back from heaven."

His wife was the first to come out. She pretended to be extremely surprised and hurried over to report the news to the chief.

The chief was very happy when he heard that Genjia the carpenter was back. He gave him a hero's welcome with bugles and drums, and invited him to stay in his mansion. He wanted to find out how his father was faring in heaven.

On meeting the chief, Genjia the carpenter said in a very serious tone of voice, "When I was constructing the official mansion in heaven, the old chief treated me with exceptional kindness, just as you always do, Master. That's why I'm in such good shape! The mansion is finished, and what a magnificent building it is -- ten times the size of an earthly mansion! Only one thing is lacking: a steward. The old chief misses his old steward dearly. He very much wants the steward to go up to heaven and manage things for him. After a period of time he can come back." This said, he promptly produced the document and showed it to the chief, adding that it was the old chief who had asked him to bring it down.

Genjia the chief read the document and was totally convinced by the whole story. Presently he sent for Genjia the steward and asked him to go and work for the old chief in his newly-built mansion in heaven.

When Genjia the steward saw Genjia the carpenter standing there and looking so well after his "ascent to heaven," and when he heard the vivid description of heaven given by the carpenter, he just didn't know what to think. "Perhaps I really possess some sort of magic power", he thought to himself. "It was my idea for him to go to heaven, and he actually seems to have done so! Perhaps it really is possible to fly to heaven, and the old chief really does have a new mansion there!"

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He followed the carpenter's example and asked for seven days to get ready, and a Twig Burning Ceremony to be held in the hemp field behind his house to send him off to heaven. He thought that since Genjia the carpenter could come back, he could too. On the eighth day, as on the previous occasion, Genjia the steward stood in the middle of the faggots with a box on his shoulder and a bag in his hand. As on the previous occasion, there was a great din of bugles and drums, and the chief gave the order to light the faggots and send him off to heaven.

But the outcome this time was somewhat different. One difference was that after everything was over, a pile of charred bones was found among the ashes. Another difference was that the steward never came back. He stayed on in heaven forever to help the old chief run his mansion.

Apr 30, 2010 at 08:36 o\clock

Cock a Doodle Doo

by: aryson

Cock a Doodle Doo

Long ago the Rooster was king of the farm. It was his job to keep the chickens safe. He could fly over the buildings to keep a watch out for predators.

One day, Dragon and Worm went by the farm to watch Rooster do his job. They watched him fly from rooftop to rooftop, scaring off foxes and dogs. They applauded him when the farm was safe and secure. "Hey Rooster," said Dragon, "we've been watching you fly. How do you do that?"

Rooster was always glad to hear compliments. "I wear a magic comb on my head. See? The yellow one, " as Rooster pointed to the top of his head.

Dragon asked, crane scale crane scale crane scale "Could you let me try out the magic comb? I can't fly but would like to try".

"Hmm, I don' know. How can I trust that you'll bring it back?"

"My buddy Worm will stay with you. He's my guarantee" Reluctantly, Rooster agreed and handed his magic comb to Dragon. Dragon flew up into the sky leaving Rooster and Worm on the ground.

"Did he say when he's coming back?" asked Rooster. Worm assured him that Dragon would return soon.

Then the sun went down, and the sun arose the next day.

Rooster jumped on a fence post, looked up into the sky, and turned to Worm. "Are you sure Dragon is going to return?" Worm again assured him and rooster went about walking in the chicken yard.

Then the sun went down, and the sun arose the next day.

Rooster jumped on a fence post, looked up into the sky, and turned to Worm. "I don't think he will come back today." And again, Worm assured him that he would.

Then the sun went down, and the sun arose the next day.

Rooster jumped on a fence post, looked up into the sky, and turned to Worm. "This is the third day that you said Dragon would return and yet he hasn't" Rooster jumped onto of the barn roof and yelled up at the sky with all of his might. "WHERE IS MY COMB? WHERE IS MY COMB?"

Worm started laughing at Rooster. "You fool. You gave Dragon your magic comb and now you can't fly."

Furious, Rooster jumped to the ground, flapped his wings and started pecking at Worm. "He was supposed to bring it back. You said he would!"

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Every morning since, even to this day, you can still hear the rooster cry out "Where is my comb?" and watch him chase worms on the farm.

Apr 30, 2010 at 02:29 o\clock

Pangu Separates the Sky from the Earth

by: aryson

The sky and the earth were at first one blurred entity like an egg. Pangu was born into it. The separation of the sky and the earth took eighteen thousand years-the yang which was light and pure rose to become the sky, and the yin which was heavy and murky sank to form the earth. Between them was Pangu, who went through nine changes every day, his wisdom greater than that of the sky and his ability greater than that of the earth. Every day the sky rose ten feet higher, the earth became ten feet thicker, and Pangu grew ten feet taller. Another eighteen thousand years passed, and there was an extremely high sky, an extremely thick earth, and an extremely tall Pangu. Then came the Three Emperors(1).

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So these numbers came into existence and evolve like this. The numb or begins with one, becomes established at three, is completed at five, prospers at seven, and ends in nine. So the sky is ninety thousand li(2) from the earth.

Apr 29, 2010 at 05:28 o\clock

The Frog in the Shallow Well

by: aryson

The Frog in the Shallow Well

Have you not heard of the frog that lived in a shallow well? It said to a turtle that lived in the East Sea, "I am so happy! When I go out, I jump about on the railing beside the mouth of the well. When I come home,I rest in the holes on the broken wall of the well. If I jump into the water, it comes up to my armpits and holds up my cheeks. If I walk in the mud, it covers up my feet. I look around at the wriggly worms, crabs and tadpoles, and none of them can compare with me. Moreover, I am lord of this trough of water and I stand up tall in this shallow well. My happiness is full. My dear sir, why don't you come often and look around my place?"

Before the turtle from the East Sea could get its left foot in the well, its right knee got stuck. It hesitated and retreated. The turtle told the frog about the East Sea.

"Even a distance of a thousand li cannot give you an idea of the sea's width; even a height of a thousand ren cannot give you an idea of its depth. In the time of King Yu of the Xia dynasty, there were floods nine years out of ten, but the waters in the sea did not increase. ln the time of King Tang of the Shang dynasty there were droughts seven years out of eight, but the waters in the sea did not decrease. The sea does not change along with the passage of time and its level does not rise or fall according to the amount of rain that falls. The greatest happiness is to live in the East Sea."

After listening to these words, the frog of the shallow well was shocked into realization of his own insignificance and became very ill at ease.

li: a Chinese unit of length equal to half a kimometre.
ren: a Chinese unit of length, approximately equal to 21/3 metres.
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Apr 27, 2010 at 11:07 o\clock

The Foxy Lady

by: aryson

The Foxy Lady

According to Chinese folklore, foxes are evil. They are crafty, troublemakers, and just plain nasty.

One day a lady came to town. Her hair was pitch black and her skin like clear as moonbeams. She must have come from the northern part of China for she was tall and slender. She had a way of walking… swish, swish, swish, her hips swayed.

Her cart driver stopped in front of the local inn. The lady introduced herself to the innkeeper as Miss Brown. Miss Brown inquired about renting an apartment. Her cart driver brought in her traveling trunks as she proceeded upstairs… swish, swish, swish.

Mr. Ong watched Miss Brown from across the street and fell immediately in love with her. Each morning he brought her orchids and sweet morsels to make her smile. Every afternoon they took walks in the perfumed garden… swish, swish, swish.

Three full moons came and went when Mr. Ong asked for Miss Brown's hand in marriage. She agreed and everyone was happy.

It was until the fifth full moon since the arrival of Miss Brown that strange things started to happen. Wine became missing from the market. Flowers and shrubs were upturned from the dirt. Chickens were extra noisy after dark. Then the worst happened, children started to get sick and die. All of the doctors were saying that these children were dying of blood loss. The villagers were surprised and saddened for in a month's time, four families came across tragic endings.

Whispers started around Miss Brown. "She's always cold and wearing her furs." "She's starting to drink more and more wine." "She yelled at my son the other day threatening to hit him." "I've seen foxes hanging around the Ong household." All this talk started to worry Mr. Ong. The local magistrate was worried, too. He and Mr. Ong had a chat about Miss Brown. Mr. Ong confided that he doesn't share the same bedroom with Miss Brown. Each night she retires to her own bedroom and keeps her door locked. The magistrate tried to console Mr. Ong and told him that he'll have a guard stand outside Mr. Ong's house to keep watch.

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During the first night, the guard heard a noise by the side of the house… swish, swish, swish. He saw a fox creeping along the veranda with a chicken in its mouth. Then he watched the fox jump into Miss Brown's bedroom window. The fox left bloody pawprints where it had walked. He made a record of this and continued to keep watch.

The second night's watch produced the same scene. A fox was seen creeping along side of Mr. Ong's house, but this time it had a bottle of wine in it's mouth. The fox again left bloody pawprints on the veranda before disappearing into Miss Brown's bedroom window.

At third night, the guard was ready to capture the fox. He left three jars of wine outside of Miss Brown's window. The guard sat at the edge of the veranda with a net ready for when the fox appears. Swish, swish, swish, the fox appeared among the wine jars. The guard watched the fox drink all three jars then fall asleep on the veranda. With one big motion, the guard tossed the net over the sleeping fox. The fox awoke, howled and tried to escape. The guard was ready and hit the fox over the head with a big stick, killing it instantly.

Since that night, no more wine or chickens were missing; no more children were dying mysteriously; and a guard had a fancy fox tail for an ornament on his bag. When he walked through town, he made a faint sound: swish, swish, swish.

Apr 27, 2010 at 07:20 o\clock

Li Bing Fights the River Deity

by: aryson

When King Zhao of Qin conquered Shu(1), he appointed Li Bing governor of the area. At that time there in the river was a river deity, who each year demanded two virgins as his wives. One day, the official responsible for the matter came to report to Li, "This time a million copper coins must be collected to buy two women for the deity." "Don't worry," Li Bing comforted him, "I have got girls for him already." When the day came, Li had his two daughters properly dressed, ready to be thrown into the river. He stepped onto the terrace for the ceremony and poured a libation, saying, "Today, I am greatly honoured to become a relation of yours. Please, my River God, come out and honour the occasion with your respected presence, and allow me to propose a toast to you." After saying these words, Li emptied his cup, put it down and waited. The wine in the cup for the deity, however, only stirred a little and remained full to the brim. Flying into a rage at this, Li said in a stern voice, "Since you look down upon me so, I have no choice but to fight you." Li drew out his sword, and the next moment disappeared. Quite a while later, two grey buffaloes were seen fighting on the other side of the river. Soon, Li reappeared, ordering his subordinates to help him, pvc woven net pvc woven net, Filter cloth, liquid filter bag saying, "The buffalo facing south with a white stripe on the middle part of his body is me. That is the ribbon for my seal." Then he disappeared again to go back to his fight. Finally, his chief secretary killed the buffalo facing north. That was the end of the river deity and all the trouble he had caused.

Apr 19, 2010 at 08:54 o\clock

The Foolish Old Man Removes the Mountains

by: aryson

The Taihang and Wangwu Mountains, which had a periphery of seven hundred li (1) and were a hundred thousand feet high, originally lay south of Jizhou and north of Heyang.

The Foolish Old Man of the North Mountain, nearly ninety years of age, lived behind these mountains. He was unhappy about the fact that the mountains blocked his way to the south and he had to walk round them whenever he went our or came back, so he called the whole family together to talk about the matter. " What would you say," he said to them,"if I suggest that all of us work hard to level the two mountains, so as to open a way to places south of Yu Prefecture and the Han River?" Many voices said they agreed to the idea.

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But his wife had her doubts. "With your strength," she said, "you could hardly remove a small hill like Kuifu. What could you do with the Taihang and Wangwu Mountains? Besides, where could you deposit the earth and rocks.?"

"Carry them to the shores of the Bohai Sea and north of Yintu," said several people.

The old man, helped by his son and grandson who could carry things, began to break rocks and dig earth, which they carried in baskets and dustbins to the shores of the Bohai Sea. The seven-year-old son of a widow named Jingcheng, one of the old man's neighbours, came running up to offer his help. One trip to the sea took them a long time: they left in winter and came back in summer.

The Wise Old Man at the River Bend stopped the old man. He laughed and said, "How unwise you are! At your age, old and feeble as you are, you cannot even remove one hair on the mountain, let alone so much earth and so many rocks!"

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The Foolish Old Man of the North Mountain heaved a long sign and said, "You are so conceited that you are blind to reason. Even a widow and a child know better than you. When I die, there will be my sons, who will have their sons and grandsons. Those grandsons will have their sons and grandsons, and so on to infinity. But the mountains will not grow. Why is it impossible to level them?" The Wise Old Man at the River Bend could not answer him.

The Old Man's words were heard by a god with snakes in his hands. He was afraid that the old man would really level the two mountains, and reported the whole thing to the Heavenly God. Moved by the old man's determination, the Heavenly God ordered the two sons of Kua'ershi to carry the two mountains on their backs and put one east of Shuo and the other south of Yong. After this, there were no more mountains between Jizhou and the Han River.

Apr 15, 2010 at 09:55 o\clock

Tea Monkeys

by: aryson

Tea Monkeys

Many people have asked for a story on the origins of tea. I haven't found too much online about this subject. I did overhear an old man tell this version when I was shopping in a local herbal shop:

It was autumn time. The air was starting to chill and the leaves were turning brown. A taoist monk was taking a break from reading his scriptures and meditations. He put a pot of water on the fire to warm the room, then he walked though the garden to watch the monkeys settle in for the cold season ahead.

For the past year, he watched a monkey family gather certain foods at particular times of the day. This time, the monkeys were eating dried flower buds and leaves. The taoist monk, amused, picked the same buds and leaves the monkeys had chosen. He was surprised to find that the flowers were sill fragrant and the leaves were sticky with natural oils. The monk went back inside to where his water was boiling. embroidery machine He put his handful of flowers and leaves in a small bowl, then pours hot water over them. The fragrance released from the flower buds filled the air. The leaves changed the clear water to a deep amber liquor. The monk was so enticed by the steaming liquid that he sipped slowly his first cup of tea.

My favorite tea is Ti Kwan Yin. What's yours?

Apr 13, 2010 at 08:48 o\clock

The Graves of Three Kings

by: aryson   Keywords: The, Graves, of, Three, Kings

The Graves of Three Kings

Gangjiang and Moye, who were husband and wife and lived in the state of Chu, were obliged to forge swords for the king. Three years had passed before they could finally produce them. Annoyed, the king intended to kill Ganjiang. The couple made two swords, one male, the other female. Just then Moye, the wife, was about to give birth to a child. The husband said to her,"Since it has taken me three long years to make the swords, the king must be angry. It is certain that he will put me to death when I go and present the swords to him. If the child turns out to be a boy, tell him this as soon as he is grown up, `Go out of the house, look at the southern mountains and search for the place where a pine tree is growing on a rock. Try to find one of the swords on its back.'" After he had said this, Ganjiang left for the palace with the female sword. The king became furious when he saw only one sword, and ordered it to be examined. When he was told that there were actually two swords, one male and the other female, and that the one he saw was female, while the male one was not there, the king flew into a rage and had Ganjiang beheaded at once.

Moye named her son Chibi. When he grew up, he asked her, "Where is my father?" "Your father once had to forget two swords for the king," Moye replied, "and it took him three years to finish them. The king killed him in a fury. Before he left home, your father asked me to give you this message, 'Go out of the house, look at the southern moun tains and search for the place where a pine tree is growing on a rock. Try to find one of the swords on its back.'" So the boy ran out of the house and looked south, but he saw no mountain at all. Then his eyes fell on a stone plinth in front of the house, with a pine pillar on its top. Chibi hurried to cleave the pillar from behind. Sure enough, there was the male sword. From that time on, Chibi planned day and night to avenge his father.

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The king had a dream one night, in which he saw a boy, whose eyebrows were one foot apart from each other, swearing to take vengeance for his father's death. The king offered a reward of one-thousand taels of gold for the capture of the young lad. Chibi heard the news and had to take to the mountains. On his way he went singing sad songs, when a stranger came up and asked, "Why are you so sad, young man?" "I am the son of Ganjiang and Moye," replied the boy. "Because the king killed my father, I'm determined to take revenge." At this, the stranger said, "People say that the king has set a price of one-thousand taels of gold on your head. If you could give me your head and the sword, I would take revenge for you." "Good!" said the boy. He cut off his own head and handed it, together with the sword, to the stranger. But his body stood where it was until the man vowed, "I will not let you down!"

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The king was pleased when he saw the boy's head. "Since this is a brave man's head," said the man, "it should be boiled in a cauldron to prevent further trouble." This the king did. Three days and three nights went by, but the head remained intact. And it was bobbing on the water, the eyes burning with anger. "The head will not decompose," the stranger said to the king, "would you just come over and take a close look. Then it will surely go." The king came. As soon as he bent forward, the stranger swung his sword and chopped off the king's head, which dropped into the cauldron. This done, the man killed himself, his head also falling into the broth. In no time, the three heads became mashed and were no longer recognizable. Later, the broth, with what was left of the heads, was divided into three parts and buried in three graves, which came to be called "the Graves of Three Kings." Today they can still be found in Yichun County north of Runan.

Mar 25, 2010 at 06:12 o\clock

The Ten Chinese Suns

by: aryson   Keywords: Ten, Chinese, Suns

The Ten Chinese Suns

There are many myths in the history of China, what I am gonna tell here is the most famous one and everyone in China knows.

Chinese people believed that there existed ten suns that appeared in turn in the sky during the Chinese ten-day week. Each day the ten suns would travel with their mother, the goddess Xi He, to the Valley of the Light in the East. There, Xi He would wash her children in the lake and put them in the branches of an enormous mulberry tree called fu-sang. From the tree, only one sun would move off into the sky for a journey of one day, to reach the mount Yen-Tzu in the Far West.

Tired of this routine, the ten suns decided to appear all together. The combined heat made the life on the Earth unbearable. To prevent the destruction of the Earth, the emperor Yao asked Di Jun, the father of the ten suns, to persuade his children to appear one at a time.

They would not listen to him, so Di Jun sent the archer, Yi, armed with a magic bow and ten arrows to frighten the disobedient suns. However, Yi shot nine suns, only the Sun that we see today remained in the sky. Di Jun was so angry for the death of nine of his children that he condemned Yi to live as an ordinary mortal in the earth.

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Mar 25, 2010 at 06:11 o\clock

Chinese Valentine's Day

by: aryson   Keywords: Chinese, Valentine, Day

Chinese Valentine's Day is on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar. A love story for this day is about the 7th daughter of Emperor of Heaven and an orphaned cowherd. The Emperor separated them. The 7th daughter was forced to move to the star Vega and the cowherd moved to the star Altair. They are allowed to meet only once a year on the day of 7th day of 7th lunar month.

The story began from the good-looking poor orphaned boy living with his elder brother and sister-in-law. After his parents past away, his brother inherited the house and the land. The boy owned an old ox. He needed to work on the farm's field with the ox everyday. So he was called a cowherd. His daily life was just like in a Cinderella story.

The 7th daughter of Emperor is good at handcrafting, especially weaving clothing. So she was called a Weaving Maid. The Emperor likes her skill to weave clouds and rainbows to beautify the world.

The ox was actually an immortal from the Heaven. He made mistakes in the Heaven and was punished as an ox in the Earth. One day, the ox suddenly said to the cowherd, "You are a nice person. If you want to get married, go to the brook and your wish will be come true." The cowherd went to the brook and saw all 7 pretty daughters of Emperor came down from Heaven and took a bath in there. Fascinated by the youngest and also the most beautiful one, he took away her fairy clothes secretly. The other six fairies went away after bath. The youngest couldn't fly back without her fairy clothes. Then the cowherd appeared and told her that he would not return her clothes unless she promised to be his wife. After a little hesitation and with a mixture of shyness and eagerness, she agreed to the request from this handsome man. So they married and had two children two years later.

One day, the old ox was dying and told the cowherd that he should keep his hide for emergency purpose.

The Emperor found the sky's not that beautiful as before without the 7th daughter weaving clouds and rainbows. He wanted his daughter's grandmother to find the missing daughter and to bring her back. . While the 7th princess was flying to the Heaven with her grandmother, the cowboy wore the ox hide, took his children in two bamboo baskets with his wife's old fairy clothes and chased after his wife in the sky. The grandmother made a milky way in the sky with her hairpin, which kept them separated. The 7th princess was moved to the star Vega (The swooping - Eagle) in the Lyra (Harp) constellation. And the cowherd with his two children stayed in the star Altair (Flying one) in the Aquila (Eagle) constellation. The star of Vega is also known as the Weaving Maid Star and the star of Altair is as the Cowherd Star in China.

Magpies were moved by their true love and many of them gathered and formed a bridge for the couple to meet in the evening of the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, which is the day the Emperor allowed them to meet once a year.

They said that it's hard to find a magpie on Chinese Valentine's Day in China, because all magpies fly to make the bridge for the Weaving Maid and Cowherd. The one thing to prove that is the feathers on the head of the magpies are much lesser after the Chinese Valentine's Day. If the night Chinese Valentine's Day rains, the rain are the tears of the Weaving Maid and Cowherd.

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Jan 29, 2010 at 09:28 o\clock

EAS system

by: aryson   Keywords: EAS

Emergency Alert System:

The Emergency Alert System (EAS system) is a national warning system in the United States put into place in 1997, superseding the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) and the CONELRAD System and is jointly coordinated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), EAS label and the National Weather Service (NWS). The official EAS is designed to enable the President of the United States to speak to the United States within 10 minutes (this official federal EAS has never been activated). The EAS regulations and standards are governed by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the FCC. Each State and several territories have their own EAS plan. The EAS covers AM, FM and ACSSB(R) (LM(R)) radio, and VHF, UHF and cable television including low-power stations. Digital television and cable providers, along with XM and Sirius satellite radio, Worldspace, IBOC, DAB and digital radio broadcasters have been required to participate in the EAS since December 31, 2006. DirecTV, Dish Network, Muzak, DMX Music, Music Choice and all other DBS providers have been required to participate since May 31, 2007. Video Dial Tone (OVS) has been required to participate since July 1, 2007.