|Chinese Fairy Tales
THE second daughter of the Ruler of Heaven once
came down upon the earth and secretly became the wife of a mortal man
named Yang. And when she returned to Heaven she was blessed with a son.
But the Ruler of Heaven was very angry at this desecration of the
heavenly halls. He banished her to earth and covered her with the Wu-I
hills. Her son, however, Oerlang by name, the nephew of the Ruler of
Heaven, was extraordinarily gifted by nature. By the time he was full
grown he had learned the magic art of being able to control eight times
nine transformations. He could make himself invisible, or could assume
the shape of birds and beasts, grasses, flowers, snakes and fishes, as
he chose. He also knew how to empty out seas and remove mountains from
one place to another. So he went to the Wu-I hills and rescued his
mother, whom he took on his back and carried away. They stopped to rest
on a flat ledge of rock.
Then the mother said: “I am very thirsty!”
climbed down into the valley in order to fetch her water, and some time
passed before he returned. When he did his mother was no longer there.
He searched eagerly, but on the rock lay only her skin and bones, and a
few blood-stains. Now you must know that at that time there were still
ten suns in the heavens, glowing and burning like fire. The Daughter of
Heaven, it is true, was divine by nature; yet because she had incurred
the anger of her father and had been banished to earth, her magic
powers had failed her. Then, too, she had been imprisoned so long
beneath the hills in the dark that, coming out suddenly into the 
sunlight, she had been devoured by its blinding radiance.
Oerlang thought of his mother’s sad end, his heart ached. He took two
mountains on his shoulders, pursued the suns and crushed them to death
between the mountains. And whenever he had crushed another sun-disk, he
picked up a fresh mountain. In this way he had already slain nine of
the ten suns, and there was but one left. And as Oerlang pursued him
relentlessly, he hid himself in his distress beneath the leaves of the
portulacca plant. But there was a rainworm close by who betrayed his
hiding-place, and kept repeating: “There he is! There he is!”
was about to seize him, when a messenger from the Ruler of the Heaven
suddenly descended from the skies with a command: “Sky, air and earth
need the sunshine. You must allow this one sun to live, so that all
created beings may live. Yet, because you rescued your mother, and
showed yourself to be a good son, you shall be a god, and be my
bodyguard in the Highest Heaven, and shall rule over good and evil in
the mortal world, and have power over devils and demons.” When Oerlang
received this command he ascended to Heaven.
Then the sun-disk
came out again from beneath the portulacca leaves, and out of
gratitude, since the plant had saved him, he bestowed upon it the gift
of a free-blooming nature, and ordained that it never need fear the
sunshine. To this very day one may see on the lower side of the
portulacca leaves quite delicate little white pearls. They are the
sunshine that remained hanging to the leaves when the sun hid under
them. But the sun pursues the rainworm, when he ventures forth out of
the ground, and dries him up as a punishment for his treachery.
Since that time Yang Oerlang has been honored as a god. He has oblique,
sharply marked eyebrows, and holds a double-bladed, three-pointed sword
in his hand. Two servants stand beside him, with a falcon and a hound;
for Yang Oerlang is a great hunter. The falcon is the falcon of the
gods, and the hound is the hound of the gods. When brute creatures gain
possession of magic powers or demons oppress men, he subdues them by
means of the falcon and hound.