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美猴王出世



Birth of the Monkey King

            Legend says that in very ancient times, on the vast sea there was a beautiful Flower-Fruit Mountain. There was a large rock on the summit of Flower-Fruit Mountain. Around the rock, there grew many fresh grass and beautiful flowers.

            One day, with a gigantic sound “Peng!” the gigantic rock on the summit suddenly split apart, and from the inside leaped out a rock monkey. As soon as the rock monkey was given birth, he could run and jump. On Flower-Fruit Mountain, he picked and ate fruits when he was hungry and he drank from the spring when he was thirsty. His life was very pleasant.


            One year in the summer, it was very hot. The rock monkey and some other monkeys played under the shade for a little while, and then went to the nearby stream to bathe. The monkeys see the stream flowing, and someone asked: “hey, very strange, where does this stream originate?” Everybody shakes their head and says that they don’t know.

            One monkey said: “let’s go up along the stream and see where all this water comes from, okay?”

            All the other monkeys said: “Okay! Okay!” “Let’s go and see!” “Let’s go and look!”

            They yelled as they ran up along the stream.  As they ran and ran, they suddenly saw a waterfall, coming down from high up the mountain. Together everyone clapped their hands and yelled good, happily screaming: “Haya! So the stream water all comes from here! So marvelous! So marvelous!”

            At this time, another monkey pointed at the waterfall and asked: “Say, what is inside the waterfall?” Everybody heard and shook their head again. An old monkey started: “How about this, whoever has the ability to go inside the waterfall and come back out without hurting his body, then we will worship him as a king, okay?” Everyone chanted: “Okay! Agreed!”

            As soon as the old monkey finished, the stone monkey leaped out, loudly yelling: “I’ll go in first! I’ll go in first!”

            The rock monkey closed his eyes, stooped down, and yelled “Hai!” He used strength and leaped right into the waterfall.

            The rock monkey jumped into the waterfall. He steadied his steps, opened his eyes,raised his head, and looked. There was no water around him, and he was standing on a metal bridge.

            The rock monkey crossed the metal bridge, looking around as he walked, and he saw a house not far away. He came to the front of the house; the door was open and there was no sound from inside. He entered the house, and inside there were stone tables and beds, and some stone plates and bowls. He laid down for a little while on the stone beds, sat for a little while on the stone tables, and picked up and examined the stone plates and bowls. The stone monkey walked outside, and saw some vegetation along the paths in front of the house. This really was a good place.

            The rock monkey was very shocked. He looked to the left and to the right. He lifted his head, and he saw a horizontal sign, and on it were the words: “Curtain of Water Cavern”. The rock monkey was very happy, and as he thought of the monkeys waiting outside, he hurriedly walked backward. The rock monkey went back to the metal bridge. He closed his eyes, squatted down, and jumped back out of the waterfall.

            When the others saw the rock monkey exiting the cavern, they came up and surrounded him, asking: “How is it on the inside? How deep is the water?”

            The rock monkey jubilantly replied: “Hey, really couldn’t believe it, there isn’t a single bit of water on the inside, and the space inside is big! Also there is a lot of stone tables and beds, along with stone bowls and plates!” When those monkeys heard, they quickly said: “Quickly bring us in to see! Quickly bring us in for a look!”

            The other monkeys closed their eyes along with the rock monkey, and they all knelt down and jumped into the Curtain of Water Cavern one after another. After all the monkeys crossed the metal bridge and come to the front of the house, and when they saw the stone bowls and plates, they were all very excited. One said: “That bowl is good. I want that bowl!” Another said: “That dish is big. I want that dish!” The monkeys carried around the things in the house, being very busy.

            At this time, the old monkey jumped out again, pointing to the rock monkey and said: “Not long ago we agreed, whoever could come in and go out again and not harm themselves would be worshipped as a king. Now, the rock monkey has come in and out and back in again, and he also found such a good place for everyone to rest and sleep, we should elect him as our king!”

            The other monkeys heard, and they all thought that the old monkey was correct. The old monkey invited the rock monkey to sit on the big stone chair, while everyone kneeled down in front of the big stone chair, chanting the rock monkey king. One little monkey suggested: “How about we call him the Monkey King?” All the other monkeys agreed to this choice.

            From then on, the Monkey King would lead the monkeys, playing on Flower-Fruit Mountain in the day, and resting in the Curtain of Water Cavern at night. Days were going very happily.

            Countless happy years have passed. One day, the Monkey King suddenly wrinkled his forehead and appeared sad. The monkeys saw this, and asked: “King, we have food to eat and water to drink, and we play happily too. For what are you not happy about?” The Monkey King replied: “We eat and drink and play every day, but this has no meaning. We should go learn some skills and abilities.”

            The other monkeys heard and said: “On Flower-Fruit Mountain, you have the greatest abilities. How about we all learn from your majesty?”

            The Monkey King shook his head: “You might learn from me, but who do I learn from?”

            The old monkey walked up and asked: “Your majesty, what abilities do you want to learn?” The Monkey King said: “I want to learn how to be immortal!”

            The old monkey said: “King, you then must find gods to learn their magic methods and abilities.”


            When the Monkey King heard the old monkey say this, he happily leaped into the air. He said to the others: “Tomorrow I will leave you to find the gods. Even if I have to go to the edges of the sky and land, I will find the immortals to learn how to live forever and be immortal.” The other monkeys all applauded upon hearing this.

            The monkeys went onto the mountain and chopped a big tree to make a log raft. They also got a lot of fresh fruit to send off the Monkey King.

            The next day, the Monkey King went onto the raft, and embarked onto the vast ocean.