World of Tales

The Spirit of the Wu-Lian Mountain

Chinese Folktale

To the west of the gulf of Kiautschou is the Wu-Lian Mountain, where there are many spirits. Once upon a time a scholar who lived there was sitting up late at night, reading. And, as he stepped out before the house, a storm rose up suddenly, and a monster stretched out his claws and seized him by the hair. And he lifted him up in the air and carried him away. They passed by the tower which looks out to sea, a Buddhist temple in the hills. And in the distance, in the clouds, the scholar saw the figure of a god in golden armor. The figure looked exactly like the image of Weto which was in the tower. In its right hand it held an iron mace, while its left pointed toward the monster, and it looked at it with anger. Then the monster let the scholar fall, right on top of the tower, and disappeared. No doubt the saint in the tower had come to the scholar’s aid, because his whole family worshiped Buddha dutifully.

When the sun rose the priest came and saw the scholar on his tower. He piled up hay and straw on the ground; so that he could jump down without hurting himself. Then he took the scholar home, yet there where the monster had seized his hair, the hair remained stiff and unyielding. It did not improve until half a year had gone by.

Note: This legend comes from Dschungschong, west of the gulf of Kiautschou. “The tower which looks out to sea,” a celebrated tower which gives a view of the ocean. At present the people give this name to the Tsingtau Signal Station. Weto (Sanscrit, Veda), a legendary Boddhisatva, leader of the hosts of the four kings of heaven. His picture, with drawn sword, may be found at the entrance of every Buddhist temple. In China, he is often represented with a mace (symbolizing a thunderbolt) instead of a sword. When this is the case he has probably been confused with Vaisramana.

The Chinese Fairy Book

Chinese fairy book

Notes: The Chinese Fairy Book contains 74 Chinese folktales, sorted into several categories.

Author: Various
Editor: Dr. R. Wilhelm
Published: 1921
Publisher: Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York



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