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Chinese Stories


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Emperor Chin
Said the fairy God- mother , " QED ..your wish will be granted here and now. "
So with a wave of her magical wand ,she turned ChinTse Hwang or Emperor
Chin into a book- loving emperor .
Back to the Chin Dynasty........
Emperor Chin sat in his luxurous chamber in his summer palace.
" Your majesty ..ten- thousand years old .ten-thousand years old. It's is Your
 majesty's wishes that these books be brought here for your order to be burnt .
 " knelt the  general , bowed to the ground.
So the emperor quickly glanced at the  the big heapsof books before him ;
history , poems , novels, documentaries  etc. He was about to order those books
 to be burnt as those were the sorces of books the scholars read and turned
against him. Those books surely must be burnt  for his peace of mind and who
dared say no .!
 Suddenly he caught sight of a red covered book with a painting of a pretty lady
on the cover . So he ordered the book to be brought to him . It was titled , " Phenix
flew south-eastward ."
The prefix poem rather caught the emperor's fancy for his heart was struck by an
unknown earning all of a sudden.( We all know the fairy-godmother magic wand
 had done it ! )
The emperor said , " Wait a moment . Don't burn these books . Bring them to the
 library and don't circulate them no more. They are for my own amusement. "
So night after night , the emperor wouldn't stir out of hisbook chamber but stayed
 there to read , read, read the books , one after the other..His concubines began
to be so jealous of those books , " Will they be burnt quickly
so the emperor will look on us with favour again ! "
So the books were not burnt  if the fairy- godmother magic worked and we would
have a lot , lots more ancient books from those time before the Chin Dynasty .
The literary world would be richer if  such books were not burnt. Think of how
many more poets apart from Li Bai , whose work we can
read and appreciate !
There would have been more of those classics written painstakingly  by scholars ,
night after night, under the moonlight,or lit by small oil lamps .


Once upon a time in China , there was a
very ambitious but cruel emperor. He had
many palaces. The one , where he was
staying , was the most luxurious one.

Everyday he ate sumptuous meals , dressed
in expensive silk gowns and had beautiful
concubines waiting on him .

In the palace, there was feasting, dancing
and singing , drinking , poetry recital
and chess playing , almost everyday .

One day , the emperor was bored. He disguised
himself as a commoner and ventured ouside the
palace .He saw so much unhappiness ; sick and
poor people, lonely and dying man and a
dead infant!


As soon as he reached the palace , he
called his wise men ,

" Search all over the kingdom for
the everlasting-life herb.
Don't come back without it or you'll be
beheaded. However , the one that finds
it will get a rich reward. "

Now , the whole country was agog.
People began to travel into the
farthest corner of the kingdom or
climb the highest mountain in their
search for the everlasting-life herb !

In the end , one poor peasant found the much
looked for herb . He brought it to the
emperor , who gave him a bag full of gold
coins , as a reward .

Now , there was a beautiful and
kind-hearted concubine called Chang-O .
She did not like the emperor's cruel and
greedy ways . If the emperor lived forever
the hundred-surnamed people would suffer !

So , one night , Chang O stealthily crept
into the emperor's chamber and stole the
everlasting-life herb.

" Thief ! thief ! " shouted the guard ,
rushing to her with a sword .

In her fright , Chang- O swallowed
the herb.

A miracle happened ! Her body began
to float ,.. higher , higher
and higher... .into
the sky.... .until she reached the moon..
There she remained for ever !

News spread very fast . People all knew how
brave Chang-O was .
Chang O , a brave and beautiful concubine ,
became a legendary name .

Many centuries later , a famous poet wrote,
" Chang-O regret stealing everlasting-life
herb ;
Nightly ,watching blue sea ,green
sky in loneliness "

Picture by Pi Ci Dodds
Adapted from a Chinese legend )


The story of " Chang O Fly to Moon " tells us
that we cannot look for everlasting life here
on earth , however rich or powerful we are .
All men must die .
However , we can look for everlasting life
not on earth but in heaven if we follow the
" straight and narrow path here on earth " .