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Chang er Moon Lady (repost)
Chang Er the Moon Lady
The ancient Chinese believed that the universe was divided into three
worlds: the heaven, the earth and hell. Heaven was a place of paradise and
presided over by the Jade Emperor. Immortals, good people and fairies
lived in heaven. Then you have earth on which ordinary people, like you
and I live. At the bottom of the scale was hell - to which people of evil,
criminals and sinners were condemned.
Working as a lady-in-waiting in the palace of the Jade Emperor was a
beautiful young girl. One day, she accidentally broke a very valuable
procelain jar which she had been cleaning. She was summoned to appear
before the Jade Emperor who asked her to explain why and how she broke
the jar. All she could say was that she broke it by accident. Unhappy with
her answer, the Jade Emperor banished her to earth and erased her memory
of life in heaven. However, the Jade Emperor promised that she could
return to live in Heaven again if she could contribute a great valuable
service for humanity on earth.
She was assigned to be re-born in a family of a poor farmer by the
surname of Chang. She was named Er which meant graceful or elegant.
Chang Er grew up as an ordinary peasant girl like all other girls in
One day, eighteen years later, a young hunter by the name of Hou Yi
went hunting in the hill near Chang Er's village. He was from another
village and an excellent marksman with the bow and arrow. While on his way
home he passed through Chang Er's village. He saw a beautiful girl
attending to the fowls in front of her house and was attracted immediately
to her beauty. She was none other than Chang Er.
The next day, under the pretext of returning from hunting, Hou Yi
deliberately traversed the village again, hoping to see the beautiful
girl he had seen the day before. Chang Er was nowhere to be seen and Hou
Yi loitered in the village for a long time. When the subject of his
attention finally appeared, Hou Yi wasted no time in introducing himself
and a friendship was immediately struck up.
Then, one day a very strange phenomena happened. Ten suns rose in the
east instead of one. The blazing suns beat down intensely upon earth.
Everything on earth became very hot and was drying up. Masses of people
died of dehydration and people were resigned to a certain death.
Fortunately, Hou Yi had an idea on how to save the world. He went up
to a very high mountain and with his bow and arrows shot down nine suns.
The weather on earth gradually returned to normal. Hou Yi was hailed as
the hero by the people. In gratitude for saving their lives the people
elected him as their King. King Hou Yi married Chang Er and their life
together was blissful.
Hou Yi realised that man was not immortal and, like his fellow beings,
he could not live forever. He became obssessed with the desire to seek
immortality and relied more and more on superstitions. He employed in
his palace many sorcerers whose jobs were to report to him the activities
of any itinerant fairy or immortal who travelled about around the country.
There was a most prominent sorcerer whose reports were more reliable
than those of the rest. He told Hou Yi that he could make elixir of
longetivity by way of alchemy. For his process he needed many children
to be used as fuel. The process could only produce one elixir tablet and
no more. Hou Yi agreed and was willing to supply him with as many children
as he required. Chang Er was totally against the idea which she thought
to be cruel but, being the simple wife that she was, Hou Yi had his way.
The sorcerer started on the project and Hou Yi ordered his army to
round up and bring to the palace all the children in the land they could
find. Families were grieving for their lost children and the people became
very angry. Hou Yi was less and less mindful of the welfare of his
subjects and his troops continued to plunder the land in search of more
A month later and after many children had been sacrificed the tablet of
elixir was about to be finished. One night Chang Er stole into the
production chamber which was located at the top of the palace. She saw the
nearly finished product inside a big tube. Out of curiosity, she took
it out to have a closer look at it. Then the sorcerer suddenly came into
the chamber. Chang Er tried to hide the tablet but could not find a
place for it. So she put it into her mouth. The sorcerer demanded that she
returned the tablet and proceeded menacingly towards her. In terror she
accidently swallowed the tablet. The sorcerer raised the alarm and Hou Yi
rushed into the chamber. Chang Er was accused of swallowing the tablet.
Hou Yi was furious and demanded the return of the tablet. Chang Er became
very frightened when the two men chased her around the chamber.
Eventually she ran out of the chamber with the men in hot pursuit.
Reaching a dead end at the top of the palace and with no escape in
sight, Chang Er jumped out of an open window.
Strangely, she did not fall to the ground but instead went floating up
into the sky. The elixir tablet had immortalised her and she became a
fairy. She kept floating skyward. Hou Yi had the palace guards bring
him his bow and arrows. He launched a volley of arrows at Chang Er
but missed his target. Chang Er kept floating skywards until she
arrived on the moon.
The Jade Emperor requested her to return to his palace. But Chang Er
refused and decided to live on the moon where she is still living.
Chang Er is often depicted in a picture of a beautiful maiden
against the background of a full moon. The next time when you visit a
Chinese grocery or cake shop see if you can spot a picture of Chang Er.
A Chinese folklore "Chang Er Ben Yue".
- The Deludge
- From: CHUNG Yoon-Ngan <firstname.lastname@example.org>