Pao-Lien and the Cave Dragon, Wu

twilight 5 :: April 14, 2000 CE

The village has changed so much that Pao-Lien believes she would not have recognized it or have been able to find the stallkeeper--it is a city, now.  But the Wu Dragon knows the way.  He alights in front of a store with bright, neon lights and beautiful, fashonable clothes displayed in the window.

The shopkeeper invites them in--she is dreessed in a fetching blue business suit--and rejoices at the sight of her son, Dragon Wu.  In his excitement, Wu breathes heavily, and the fire singes some of the clothing on the rack. 

"Goodness," the shopkeeper says, "what a long time this curse has been on us, you a Dragon, and the maiden, Pao-Lien, nearly unable to walk in her tight shoes.  It's time to fix this for once and all."

In a twinkling, the shopkeeper changes into a fairy godmother with a long, pink gown and a feather headdress.  She pulls a rabbit from the folds of silk, waves her wand, and repeats the magic spell:  "Madame Wu speaks! Now the little dove, daughter Pao-Lien, comes moonsign, comes peacemaker through the eons, breaks the spell of revenge.  Son is Wu-man, and maiden walks free."

Pao-Lien feels her toes again, and is delighting in the sensation of her bare feet on the varnished floor when she is astounded to see the Wu Dragon turning into a what?--a kindly, middle-aged man.

"This couldn't have happened at a better time," the shopkeeper  says--Pao-Lien sees that she is again dressed in the blue business suit.  "I am just about to expand my business--begin exporting shoes and feathered dresses to America.  You, son Wu, can be the President of the company."

Mother and son embrace.  Pao-Lien, meanwhile, wonders what will become of her--how she will find her way back home. But all is well.  The old shopkeeper gives Pao-Lien a ticket for the subway, and two new pairs of shoes.   Some fancy Nike's for her brother, Li, and a pair of just-right walking shoes for herself.

"If you need a job, be sure to come see me," the old woman says, "you are a natural for the fashion business."






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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

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