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The Lady Who Lives On The Moon

The Lady Who Lives On The Moon
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The Lady Who Lives On The Moon

A Chinese story by Anonymous


Once upon a time, there was a beautiful warrior called Chang’e who was married to a brave and strong archer named Houyi.  The couple were both immortals who lived in the heavens, and both were well known for their brave acts of courage against many dangerous adversaries. 

One day, the Queen Mother of the West summoned Chang’e and Houyi to earth because the Jade Emperor’s ten sons had turned themselves into orange balls of fire and were sitting in the sky above the earth.  The heat was too much for the earth.  Ten burning suns in the sky meant that it was never night time, and the earth never had a chance to cool. 

Soon the earth dried up, the rivers turned to dust, crops turned to ash, and the lands became barren.

Houyi was a very skilled archer who never missed his target. And so the brave warrior aimed up into the burning sky, and with his bow and arrow he shot down nine of the suns from the sky.  But Houyi left one sun to circle the earth for evermore so that there would be both night and day.

The jade Emperor was very angry with Chang’e and Houyi and banished them from the heavens for killing nine of his sons, even though he knew that they had done wrong.

And so Chang’e and Houyi had to begin a new life as mortals living on earth.

It was not very long before Chang’e grew restless with her new life.  She did not like living on earth and she missed the heavens and immortality. This restlessness soon turned to sadness, which then turned to anger at her banishment from the heavens.

Houyi felt guilty because he was the one who had used his bow and arrows to cast the Jade Emperor’s sons from the sky, and so he thought that it was his fault that Chang’e had been banished from the heavens.

One day, Houyi went to see the Queen Mother of the West: ‘what am I to do?’ he asked of the Queen.  ‘It is my fault that Chang’e is now a mortal.’

The Queen Mother felt very sad for Houyi so she gave to him an elixir of immortality. ‘Whoever drinks this elixir,’ said the Queen Mother of the West, ‘will be granted eternal life.  But there is only enough for one person,’ she warned, as she handed over the silver vial.

Houyi was very grateful to the Queen, but he knew that he could not give the elixir to  Chang’e because he could not bear to be parted from her side.  So Houyi hid the elixir from his wife and tried to make a happier life on earth for them both.

But one day, Chang’e discovered the vial containing the elixir while her husband was away hunting.  She was tired of living on earth, tired of mortality and the simple life she was forced to live.  And so Chang’e drank the elixir and was granted immortality.  Suddenly her body became very light and drifted up into the sky. But instead of returning to the heavens, Chang’e came to rest on the moon where she was quite alone except for the company of a small white rabbit.

Houyi was very angry when he returned home and discovered that Chang’e had taken the elixir and abandoned him on earth to live alone.  He raised his bow to the night sky and took aim at the moon, but he could not shoot the moon from the sky for fear that he would pierce the heart of his beloved wife.

So Houyi was forced to live alone on earth where he hunted and taught archery to his students.  It was not a happy life, and one day Houyi was killed by one of his own students who was known to be jealous of the warrior’s skill and bravery.

Chang’e achieved the immortality she wanted so desperately, but she remains to this day alone in her palace on the moon with only a white rabbit for company.  She will forever be without her beloved husband Houyi.

 

Each year, on the 15th of August, Chinese people bake Moon Cakes and look up at the night sky.  If it is a clear night, it is said that Chang’e can be seen sitting alone in her palace on the moon with her only friend, the white rabbit.

The Lady Who Lives On The Moon
Find out more
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The Lady Who Lives On The Moon

A Chinese story by Anonymous


月亮上的女子

 

很久很久以前, 有一位很美麗的戰士叫嫦娥, 她嫁了給一位很強很勇敢的弓箭手名叫后羿.  他們兩人都是住在天上的神仙, 英勇善戰, 完成過很多危險的任務, 因此在天上非常有名.

 

一天, 西后娘娘差派嫦娥和后羿下人間執行任務, 因為玉皇大帝的十個兒子把自己變成了一團團橙色的火團, 掛在人間的天空.  十個太陽在天空使得人間太熱了, 全時間都是白天, 夜晚也消失了, 所以熱氣不能散走.

 

漸漸地, 人間變得很乾燥, 河流乾旱, 農作物枯萎, 所有的地都變得十分荒蕪.

 

后羿是一名很厲害的弓箭手, 他從來沒有失手.  於是這個勇敢的戰士便舉起弓, 瞄準那些太陽, 拉弓放箭, 射下了九個太陽, 但是他決定留下一個太陽, 分隔日與夜.

 

玉皇大帝雖然知道是他的兒子做錯了, 但后羿殺了他九個兒子, 令他很生氣, 於是他把后羿和嫦娥貶下人間.

 

然後, 嫦娥和后羿便開始了在人間的生活.

 

不久後, 嫦娥開始厭倦了她的新生活.  她不喜歡留在人間, 以前住在天上, 做神仙的日子多快活阿!  厭倦慢慢變為失望, 然後她開始因為被貶到人間而感到憤怒.

 

后羿很內咎, 因為是他用弓箭把玉皇大帝的九個兒子射下來,  與嫦娥無關, 但現在卻要嫦娥陪他下來人間受罰!

 

一天, 后羿晉見西后娘娘, 問: “怎麼辦? 都是因為我的錯, 嫦娥才成為凡人!” 

 

西后娘娘很同情后羿, 於是她送了一瓶神仙水給后羿, 並說: “任何人只要喝下這瓶神仙水, 就可以得到永生, 成為神仙, 但這份量只夠你們其中一人喝!”  說罷, 西后娘娘把銀色的小瓶子遞給后羿.

 

后羿非常感謝西后娘娘, 但他不想把神仙水給嫦娥, 因為他不能忍受與嫦娥分開.  所以, 后羿將神仙水藏起來, 不讓他的妻子知道, 繼續過凡人的生活.

 

不過有一天, 當后羿出外打獵時, 嫦娥發現了那瓶神仙水!  她已經厭倦了留在人間, 做凡人的生活.  所以, 她喝下那神仙水, 並得到了永生.  突然, 她的身體變得很輕, 飄了起來, 這一飄竟然飄到月亮去了, 而不是天界!  在月亮上沒有人, 只有一隻小白兔, 令嫦娥覺得異常寂寞.

 

當后羿回到家裏, 發現嫦娥喝下了神仙水, 留下他自己一個人在人間生活, 他非常生氣.  他拿起弓和箭, 想把月亮射下來, 但是他不忍心, 怕會傷到他深愛的妻子.

 

所以, 后羿被逼獨自住在人間, 他以打獵為生, 並教學生射箭.  那不是一個快樂的生活, 然後有一天, 后羿被一個一直都妒嫉他才能的學生殺死了.

 

嫦娥雖然再次成為神仙, 但她回不了天界, 一直到今天也住在月亮上, 只有一隻小白兔陪著她.  她永遠都不能再回到她身愛的丈夫后羿身邊.

 

自此而後, 在每一年的農曆八月十五日, 中國人都會邊吃月餅, 邊望上天空.  聽說當天氣明朗的時候, 人們可以看到嫦娥一個人坐在月亮上, 而她唯一的朋友---小白兔則在旁邊.

The Lady Who Lives On The Moon
Find out more
about the contributors

The Lady Who Lives On The Moon

A Chinese story by Anonymous


月亮上的仙女

作者:无名氏

很久以前,在天上的宫殿里住着一位美丽的仙女战士,名叫嫦娥。她的丈夫是天宫里的弓箭手,名叫后羿。嫦娥和后羿夫妻二人都是长生不老的天神,他们英勇善战,在众神仙中大名鼎鼎。

有一天,王母娘娘命令嫦娥和后羿下凡到人间执行一项任务。玉皇大帝的儿子们很淘气,全都变成了大火球一样的太阳,十个儿子,十个太阳,一起挂在天上,所有光线都照射到向人间。这样一来,在人间整日整夜都是白天,没有了夜晚,气温也一直非常高,非常热。

逐渐的,大地干枯,河流断流,庄稼也没了收成。四处都变成了荒地。

后羿是个百发百中的神箭手。他将箭一支支射向天空中的太阳们,一口气射下了九个太阳,只留一个在天上,给人间提供白天和黑夜。

听说了这一切,玉皇大帝非常愤怒。一气之下,将嫦娥和后羿夫妇二人赶出了天宫,发落到人间。他虽然意识到这是个错误的决定,仍然坚持自己的决定。

于是,嫦娥和后羿开始了他们在凡间的生活。

不久之后,嫦娥就厌烦了这种单调的日子,她很怀念以前那种长生不老的神仙生活。她开始变得焦虑不安,对自己被发落到人间感到伤心。

看到妻子这样不开心,后羿很难过,因为是他惹怒了玉皇大帝,才造成了这样的后果。

一天,后羿去拜见王母娘娘,他问王母娘娘:‘由于我的错误,让嫦娥成了凡人。我该怎么办?’

王母娘娘同情他们的遭遇,取出一份长生不老仙丹,说‘吃了这仙丹的人,可以长生不老。但只够你们其中一个人吃,没有更多了。’

后羿拿着仙丹,对王母娘娘千恩万谢。但因为他无法忍受与妻子分离的生活,并不打算给嫦娥吃仙丹。于是,他把仙丹藏了起来,继续过凡人的生活。

但是有一天,后羿外出时,仙丹被嫦娥发现了。她实在难以忍受目前简单乏味的人间生活,迫不及待地吞下了仙丹,重新变成了长生不老的仙女。一瞬间,她的身体变得很轻,飘到了空中。然而这一次,她没能回到天上,而是到了月亮上。

后羿回家后,发现妻子偷吃了仙丹,留下自己一个人在人间,感到非常气愤。他立即举起弓箭,对准月亮要把它射下来。可是,他知道如果一旦射到了月亮,也会射穿自己心爱的妻子的心脏,他怎么能忍心这样做呢?

因此,后羿只能独自在人间生活。他收了很多徒弟,教他们如何射箭。但这样的日子并不开心,最后可怜的后羿竟然死在了自己学生的箭下。

嫦娥获得了永生,但在月亮上的生活是非常孤独的,只有一只玉兔与她作伴,她与丈夫后羿再也没有相见过。

每年农历8月15日,在中国,人们会制作月饼纪念这个传说。人们说,如果当天天气晴朗,可以看到在月亮上的嫦娥和玉兔呢。

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