Pao-Lien and the Cave Dragon, Wu

highnoon 3 :: April 14, 0 CE

By noon, Pao-Lien is beginning to get hungry.  She feels like she has walked a very long time, and she notices that the open meadow has gone, and there are rice paddies all around.  The houses are so pretty, with walls of real stone and straw!

When she gets to the place where the mountain rises straight up, she is surprised to see a village, and a small marketplace.  At one end of the market alley, a stallkeeper sits, selling chunks of rabbit rolled in rice--it smells so good!  But, she remembers her stepmother's warning, so she does not stop.  She takes the path to the right, not even daring to look at the dark side of the mountain, where, she knows, you can see the Cave of the Wu Dragon.

As she walks by, though, she hears the stallkeeper call to her:  "Maiden, can you help me?"

Pao-Lien does not know what to do, but she has been taught to respect her elders.  She returns to the little stall.  "Did you need me, honored mother?" she asks.

"Oh, yes," the stallkeeper says, "my dear son is being hunted by the villagers; they want to kill him.  If you will take a message to them, he will be saved.  He is in the cave on Wu Mountain."

Pao-Lien does not want to go to the cave; she explains that she is on an errand for her stepmother and must find the wise old woman who sells shoes. 

"I'll give these magic shoes to you--and you shall have shoes for your brother when you return, my dear, if you will go in aid of my son.  It is too far for me to go--and I can't leave my wares."

Pao-Lien is already feeling strange and lost in this place--the village seems larger by the minute.  So she agrees to go, and harkens to the stallkeeper's message.  The stallkeeper's last words are:  "put the shoes on only when you need them the most."

"Good luck, maiden, you shall be the peacemaker."





   fields.gif (17654 bytes)

morning 1 :: April 14, 2000 BCE

morning 2 :: April 14, 1000 BCE

highnoon 3 :: April 14, 0 CE

afternoon 4 :: April 14, 1000 CE

twilight 5 :: April 14, 2000 CE

night 6 :: April 14, 3000 CE

Return to CyberCarpet