Школа английского

The Monkey King - Wu Cheng

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CHAPTER ONE

Monkey's Story
Monkey pulled out some hairs from his chest and, crying 'Change!' threw them into the air. At once, they became several hundred small monkeys.
From the beginning of time, the rock was smoothed and cleaned by Heaven and Earth, by the strong sun and the gentle moon, until one day it broke into two pieces and gave birth to a stone egg, about as big as a child's ball. From the egg came a stone monkey.
At once, this monkey learned to climb and run. But first, it looked north and south and east and west. As it looked, a strange light came from its eyes.
The light shone as far as the Jade Emperor, who sat in the Cloud Palace of the Golden Gates. The Jade Emperor asked his ministers to open the gate of the Southern Heaven and look out at the light.
'This light,' reported the ministers, 'comes from the small country of Ao-lai, to the east of the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit.'
And in the country of Ao-lai, the monkey ran and jumped. He picked flowers, ate grass and fruit, and drank from streams and rivers. His friends were all the animals of that country, and the other monkeys were his family. At night, he slept among the rocks and in the day he walked through the caves.
One day, the monkeys were washing in a stream when one of them spoke. 'None of us knows where this stream comes from. Let's follow it and find out.'
So they all ran up the stream until they came to a great waterfall.
The monkeys shouted, 'Lovely water, lovely water! It starts in a mountain cave and runs all the way to the Great Sea. Who can find the place where the water comes from? If one of us could find this place and return safely, we would make him our king!'
'I will go!' shouted the Stone Monkey. 'I will go!'
Look at him! He shuts his eyes, and with one big jump he passes through the curtain of water. But there is no water where he has landed. Instead he finds a great, shining iron bridge in front of him.
Monkey walked along the bridge and came to a cave. Outside the cave there was a sign: This Cave of the Water Curtain in the Country of the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit Leads to Heaven.
Monkey laughed and jumped with happiness. He ran back across the bridge, shut his eyes and jumped through the waterfall to the other monkeys.
'Good news!' he shouted. 'Good news! Come with me, all of you!'
They followed the Stone Monkey to the Cave of the Water Curtain. There the Stone Monkey sat down and talked to them.
'Gentlemen!' he said. 'I have been through the waterfall and have come back again. I have given you a home in this cave, so am I not your king now?'
The monkeys bowed to the Stone Monkey and they all cried, 'Great King for a thousand years!' The Stone Monkey became the Monkey King and he made other monkeys his ministers.
And all the monkeys were happy. During the day they walked and played on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, and at night they slept in the Cave of the Water Curtain. They had everything they wanted. Their lives were complete.
The Monkey King enjoyed this simple life for several hundred years. But one day at a great party with all the other monkeys, he suddenly started to cry.
The other monkeys all bowed, saying, 'Why is our king so sad?'
'Today,' said the Monkey King, 'I am not sad. But I am worried about the future. Sadly, the time will come when I will become old and weak. Yama, King of Death, is waiting to destroy me. I do not want to be born again on Earth. How can I live for all time among the people of the sky?'
The monkeys all started to cry, each thinking of his own mortality. One of them said, 'Only Buddhas and Immortals do not go to Yama, King of Death. Only they live forever.'
'Where can I find these Immortals?' asked the Monkey King.
'Here on Earth they live in very old caves far to the West.'
'Tomorrow,' said the Monkey King, 'I shall say goodbye to you. I shall go down the mountain and travel to the end of the world. I want to learn to live for all time and to escape from death.'
Next morning, he walked to the sea and sailed in a boat to the borders of the Southern World. There he climbed out on to the beach. And then he walked and walked, through towns and cities, to the West.
On the way, he learned to wear clothes and to behave like a human. But he met humans who wanted only to be rich and famous. He met nobody who worried about his mortality.
One day, he came to the Western Ocean, where he built another boat. Then he sailed to the Western Continent, where he saw a very high and beautiful wooded mountain. At the top of the mountain was the Cave of the Moon and Three Stars, where the Immortal Subodhi lived.
Monkey at once bowed and touched the ground with his head three times.
'Where do you come from?' asked the Immortal.
'I am from the Cave of the Water Curtain,' said Monkey, 'on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit in the country of Ao-lai.'
'That is impossible!' shouted the Immortal. 'Between there and here are two oceans and the whole of the Southern Continent. You are lying!'
'I have sailed across the oceans and walked over the continents for more than ten years,' said Monkey. 'At last I have reached here.'
Monkey told the Immortal how he had come from a magic stone. The Immortal thought that Monkey was a natural product of Heaven and Earth, so he agreed to teach him. Monkey jumped up and down with happiness.
Day after day, he and the other students learned to speak and behave correctly. They learned to write well and to study the Scriptures. When they were not studying, the students grew flowers and trees. They lit fires and fetched water. And so Monkey lived in this way for six or seven years.
Finally, the Immortal sent for Monkey late one night because he wanted to teach him the Way of Long Life.
'Come close and listen carefully,' said the Immortal.
Monkey went down on his knees on the floor at the Immortal's feet, listening carefully. The Immortal recited a magic poem with many lines. The words shook Monkey's soul and he was never the same Monkey again. He thanked the Immortal many times, because now he knew the Way of Long Life.
Time passed quickly and three years later the Immortal again invited Monkey to his room, where he taught him seventy-two transformations. Monkey was a quick learner and he practised until he could change himself into something else, using all seventy-two ways.
One day, when the Immortal and his students were in front of the cave admiring the evening view, the Immortal spoke to Monkey. 'Monkey, how much have you learned?'
'Thanks to you,' said Monkey, 'I have learned a lot. In addition to changing myself into other forms, I can already fly.'
'Let me see you do it,' said the Immortal.
Monkey put his feet together, jumped twenty metres into the air and rode the clouds for a few minutes. Then he dropped to the ground, saying, 'You see, I can ride the clouds.'
'That is not riding the clouds,' said the Immortal, laughing. 'A real cloud-rider can start in the morning from the Northern Sea, cross the Eastern, the Western and the Southern Seas and land again in one day.'
'It sounds very difficult,' said Monkey.
'Nothing in the world is difficult,' said the Immortal. 'Only our own thoughts make things seem difficult. Now I will teach you to fly from one continent to another.'
The other students laughed, saying, 'If Monkey flies all that way, he will be able to earn a living as a postman.'
But Monkey spent all night practising what the Immortal had taught him.
By morning he could fly wherever he wanted.
One summer day, some students were sitting under a tree. A student said, 'Monkey, why do you deserve private teaching by the Immortal? Has he taught you the transformations, by all the seventy-two ways?'
'I have been working on them day and night and now I can do them all,' said Monkey.
'Could you show us?'
Proudly, Monkey made a magic sign, said some magic words and transformed himself into a tree.
'Well done, Monkey, well done!' shouted the other students. They all laughed.
The Immortal heard their laughter and he came running out from the cave.
'Who is making all this noise?' he asked.
Monkey changed himself back from a tree to a monkey. He sat with the students again and said, 'Immortal, we are practising our lessons out here.'
'You were all shouting and laughing!' said the Immortal, angrily. 'I want to know why.'
Then one student said, 'Monkey was transforming himself into a tree, just for fun.'
'You, Monkey, come here!' shouted the Immortal. 'Why do you think I taught you these secrets of life? So you can make other people laugh?'
'I am very sorry,' said Monkey.
'I will not punish you,' said the Immortal. 'But you cannot stay here. You must leave us.'
Monkey started to cry. 'Where can I go?' he asked.
'Go back to where you came from. Go as quickly as you can. Never tell anyone that you were a student of mine. I am sure that no good will come of your life.'
And so poor Monkey said goodbye to everybody. He flew back to the Eastern Sea and his home in the Cave of the Water Curtain on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit.
'Little ones,' shouted the Monkey King, 'I have come back!'
At once, big and small monkeys leapt out of trees with cries of 'Long live our King!' Then, pushing each other to get near him, they cried, 'Why did you go for so long? We have been watching for your return day after day! While you were away, a demon took our cave and everything we own and many of our children. Now we dare not sleep, night or day.'
'What demon dares to do this?' cried Monkey. 'I will make him pay!'
'King, he is called the Destroying Demon, and he lives north of here. But he comes and goes like a cloud, like wind, like rain, like thunder and lightning, so we do not know where his home is or how far away.'
'Well, don't worry,' said Monkey. 'I will go and look for him.'
Dear Monkey! He leapt into the sky and soon saw in front of him a high mountain and a cave, where the Destroying Demon was waiting for him.
'Where is the owner of the Cave of the Water Curtain?' cried the Demon.
'You have such large eyes,' shouted Monkey, 'but you cannot see Monkey?'
'Oh! You are not half a metre high! If I killed such a small creature with my sword, I would look foolish.'
So the two of them fought with their hands and feet, hitting and kicking each other. Soon the Demon was fighting like a wild animal. Monkey pulled out some hairs from his chest and, crying 'Change!' threw them into the air. At once, they became several hundred small monkeys.
See how the monkeys jump on the Demon, pulling and hitting him. Then Monkey takes up the Demon's great sword and brings it down on his head, breaking it in two. Then, by his magic, he transforms all the monkeys back into hairs.
When Monkey returned home to the cave on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, he brought the great sword of the Destroying Demon, and he amused the other monkeys by teaching them to make weapons of wood.
Then, one day, the Monkey King called all the other monkeys to him.
'All this,' he said, pointing to their wooden weapons, 'is only a game. We cannot defend ourselves from a real enemy with these.'
'We know a city that is full of soldiers. They must have plenty of weapons,' the others said. They quickly told Monkey where it was.
'Stay here and amuse yourselves,' Monkey said. 'I will see what I can do.' Dear Monkey! Using his magic, he flew to the city and, with his breath, blew such a strong wind that all the people locked themselves indoors. This was his chance. He found where the weapons were kept, kicked down the door, and changed his hairs into thousands of small monkeys who took the weapons. Carried on a magic wind, they were soon back at the cave.
The monkeys learned to use the weapons, and all sorts of wild animals and demon kings began to call Monkey their king.
But Monkey found his own weapon too heavy, so he went to the Dragon of the Eastern Sea in search of something lighter. The Dragon King welcomed him to the palace, with his dragon children, dragon grandchildren and fish soldiers.
Monkey made his request, and a fish soldier brought out a great sword.
'Too heavy,' said Monkey.
More fish soldiers brought out an enormous fork.
'Too light,' said Monkey.
The dragon mother and her daughter came from a back room in the palace and suggested their magic iron cudgel.
'The Gods used it when they decided how deep the rivers and the seas should be,' said the Dragon King. He agreed that Monkey should have it.
When it was brought, Monkey saw that it was a thick piece of iron six metres long. He used his magic to bring it down to less than a metre. Then he waved it over his head, striking terror into everybody in the room.
But now he demanded something to wear, to go with the weapon, and this was too much. A pair of cloud-stepping shoes, a cap of red gold and a coat of light metal were brought to him, but the angry Dragon King also sent for his brothers from the Southern, Northern and Western Seas and told them about Monkey's many requests.
The Dragon of the South was angry. 'Put him in prison!' he cried.
'No, no,' warned the Dragon King. 'We cannot go near him now. If he touches us with that iron cudgel, he will kill us. Let him keep the clothes. We will complain to Heaven, and Heaven will punish him.'
Monkey took the clothes, but he knew that they were going to complain about him.
Soon after that, the Jade Emperor received the complaint from the Dragon of the Eastern Sea.
'How long,' the Jade Emperor asked his ministers, 'has this Monkey existed, and why does he behave like an Immortal?'
'In the last three hundred years, he has learned a lot,' said a minister. 'Let's give him work here in Heaven where we will be able to watch hint.'
This suggestion pleased the Jade Emperor, and a minister was sent to bring Monkey to Heaven. Monkey tidied his clothes, told the older monkeys to look after the younger ones, and followed the minister to Heaven.
'I am going to give you a job,' said the Jade Emperor to Monkey. 'You are going to look after the Apple Garden.'
Monkey was very happy and ran to the Apple Garden to start work. He was told that on the outer side of the garden were special apples. They were ready to eat once in three thousand years. If you ate one of these, you would become wise, with strong arms and legs and a light body. In the middle were trees with apples that were ready to eat once in six thousand years. If you ate these, you would go up in the air and stay there, and would never grow old. At the back were trees with apples chat were ready to eat once in nine thousand years. If you ate these, you would live longer than Heaven and Earth.
Monkey was very happy with this information. He watched the trees closely, making up his mind to eat the fruit before anybody else got a chance.
Soon, noticing that some apples were ready to eat, he sent his helpers away.
He climbed into a high tree and ate until he could eat no more.
When the Queen of Heaven sent her lady assistants for apples, they were turned away at the gates by Monkey's helpers. 'We must ask the Monkey King first,' they said. 'He is resting in one of the trees.'
But when they came to the tree, they found only Monkey's cap and shoes. They could not see him. In fact, Monkey had made himself five centimetres long and was asleep under a leaf.
The Queen of Heaven's lady assistants picked three basketfuls from each of the first two groups of trees. When they came to the third, they found just one apple. When one of the ladies tried to pick it, Monkey woke up. At once, he changed back to his true size.
'Who are you?' shouted Monkey.
The lady assistants went down on their knees. 'Monkey King, don't be angry. We were sent by the Queen and we could not find you. Please forgive us.'
'Get up from your knees,' said Monkey, his voice full of kindness. 'I have heard that the Queen of Heaven is having a banquet. Can you tell me who is invited?'
Monkey was told that all the Immortals, Emperors of the Four Quarters and Gods of the seas and hills would be there. He immediately asked, 'Will I be invited?'
'I have not heard,' said one of the lady assistants. 'We do not know.'
'Quite right, ladies,' said Monkey. 'Just wait here while I go and see.'
Dear Monkey! He recited some magic lines, crying 'Stay, stay, stay!' The lady assistants were suddenly unable to move while he went off on his magic cloud.
No one had arrived at the banquet yet, but Monkey could smell the food and wine. He sent the servants to sleep by magic. Look at them, how their hands fall to their sides, their heads drop on to their chests, their eyes close! Monkey then took some of the finest and best of the food and drank glass after glass of wine until he was quite drunk.
'Bad! Bad!' he thought to himself. 'I will certainly get into trouble, so I will go home and sleep.'
But it was too late for that.
Back at the Apple Garden, the Queen's ladies were finally saved. They reported that the Monkey King had eaten many of the biggest apples and had now disappeared.
When the great Goddess Kuan-yin arrived for the banquet, she found half the food eaten and all the wine gone. When the servants were woken, they explained that the Monkey King had sent them to sleep. That was the last time they had seen the food and the wine. The Jade Emperor was informed and he sent heavenly soldiers to find Monkey.
Monkey was burned in fire for nine days, and at the end of it his eyes were red but he was still alive. He was attacked with swords and the Gods of Thunder threw thunder at him. But nothing could destroy him.
In the end, hearing of this situation, the great Buddha himself arrived and called Monkey to him. 'How long ago,' he asked him, 'did you try to become an Immortal and learn the things that make you dare behave like this?'
Monkey at once recited:
Born of Earth and Sky, I am a magic Immortal.
I am an old monkey from the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit;
In the Cave of the Water Curtain, I work and laugh and play.
I found a friend and teacher who taught me the Great Secret;
I made myself perfect in the Ways of Immortality,
I learned transformations without limit or end,
I tired of the narrow world of men, and lived in the Jade Heaven.
But why should Heaven's palace have only one emperor?
On Earth king follows king, as the strong bow to the stronger.
Only a hero fights with the Gods of Gods.
That was what Monkey recited. Buddha laughed. 'But you are only a monkey-spirit,' he said. 'The Jade Emperor has been making himself perfect for countless years. How can you hope to take his place and become emperor yourself? You are only an animal that looks half human! Talk no more of this.'
'Why should he be emperor for all time? Tell him to go and to give me my chance,' said Monkey. 'That is all I ask. And if he will not, I will see that he never has any peace.'
'What magic have you got that would help you to take Heaven for yourself?'
'I have a lot of magic,' replied Monkey. 'I can jump through the clouds from continent to continent. Am I not good enough to live in the palaces of Heaven?' Buddha said, 'If you are really so clever, you will sit here in my right hand and then jump off. If you succeed, you can become the Jade Emperor. But if you fail, you will go back to Earth and you will be punished for centuries.'
Monkey thought, 'This Buddha is a complete fool. How could I fail to jump off his hand!'
Buddha held out his hand, which looked about the size of a large leaf. Monkey took the magic iron cudgel that the Dragon King had given him, and that he had transformed into a stick the size of a needle. He put it behind his ear and then he jumped from the hand as far and as fast as he could.
He was flying very fast, but Buddha watched him with the eye of wisdom. Monkey came at last to five high pink towers.
'This must be the end of the world,' said Monkey to himself. 'Now I will return to Buddha, become emperor, and all Heaven will be mine. But I had better leave some sign that I was here.'
Pulling out a hair, he changed it into a writing-brush heavy with ink, and at the bottom of the middle tower he wrote: The great Monkey King reached this place. Then he jumped back to where he had come from.
Standing on Buddha's hand, he said, 'I have gone and I have returned. You can tell the Jade Emperor that his job is mine.'
'You smelly creature,' said Buddha, 'you have been on my hand all the time.'
'You are completely wrong,' said Monkey. 'I travelled to the end of the world, saw five pink towers and wrote on one of them. Would you like me to take you and show you?'
'No need,' said Buddha. 'Just look down.'
Monkey looked down, with his eyes still red from the nine days of fire.
There, at the bottom of the middle finger of Buddha's hand, he saw the words «The great Monkey King reached this place.»
Monkey could not speak and his red eyes opened wide in surprise. At last he said, 'Impossible! Impossible! I wrote that on a tower going high into the sky. How did it get on the Buddha's finger? It is magic! I shall go back to look!'
Dear Monkey! He was preparing to jump again when Buddha pushed him out of the Western Gate of Heaven. As he did, he changed his five fingers into Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. They became a mountain which pressed poor Monkey down with its great weight.
The name Mountain of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth was written on a large rock on the mountain. Under the mountain there was enough air for Monkey to breathe, but no opening which Monkey's head or hand could squeeze through.
Buddha then told a spirit to look after Monkey and give him food and drink.
'And when the days of his punishment are finished,' said Buddha, 'a man will come here and save him.'
Time passed, and then one day the Buddha said to his followers, 'I have noticed a lot of difference between the people who live in the four continents of the world. The people in the East are polite, peaceful and cheerful. People in the North are lazy and stupid, so do little harm. In our Western Continent, there is no killing, although there is little real wisdom. But in the South, they are greedy and murderous. A knowledge of the True Scriptures might improve them.'
'Do you have these Scriptures?' asked his followers.
'Yes, three baskets of them,' said Buddha. 'One speaks of Heaven, another of Earth, and a third can save people from the Wrong Way. These are the path to perfection, the only gate to the True Way. But down in the real world, people are so stupid that they laugh at them. I need to find someone who will go to the Eastern land. There he might find a believer who could come here from China.
I would give this believer the Scriptures to take back to China and change the hearts of the people.'
The Goddess Kuan-yin came forward and bowed three times.
'I would like to go to the Eastern land and find someone to fetch the Scriptures.'
'Who would be better than you!' said Buddha.
So Kuan-yin called her bodyguard, Hui-yen, who carried a great iron cudgel, and they started at once.
After they had travelled a long way, they came to the River of Sands. There, a horribly ugly creature leapt out of the water and began a terrible fight with the bodyguard.
Suddenly, the creature stopped fighting, looked hard at the bodyguard and asked, 'Who dares to fight with me? Surely I have seen you before in the gardens of the Goddess Kuan-yin?'
'The Goddess herself is here, in front of you,' Hui-yen replied.
'I ask you to forgive me!' cried the creature. 'I am not really the ugly creature that you see. I was given this horrible shape as a punishment for a crime that I did in Heaven. I was sent to the world below, where I am always hungry and I must attack travellers and eat them.'
'But you are adding new crimes on Earth to your crime in Heaven by killing people,' said the Goddess Kuan-yin.
'Why not come with us? If our journey is successful, you will be forgiven and allowed to return to Heaven.'
'I would gladly go back,' the creature answered. 'But I have eaten so many humans. Even now, nine heads are lying on the waters of the River of Sands. I have played games with them and I do not think I will be allowed back into Heaven after that.'
'Don't be silly,' she replied. 'Take the heads and hang them round your neck.
I shall make you a priest and give you the name «Sandy Priest».
Wait here and never again take a human life. You will see that a man will come this way. He will be looking for the Scriptures and a good use will be found for the nine heads.'
So the Goddess and her bodyguard continued their journey and came to a high mountain with a most horrible smell. A dirty, smelly, piglike creature leapt out and attacked Kuan-yin with a great fork and fought hard with her bodyguard.
For safety, Kuan-yin stood in the sky above them and then threw down flowers, which fell between the bodyguard's cudgel and the fork.
'Fighting with flowers?' cried the pig. 'What kind of priest are you?'
'The great Goddess Kuan-yin threw them down on us from her cloud, where she is standing,' replied the bodyguard.
At once, the pig bowed to the sky. 'Forgive me, Goddess, forgive me! I am not really a pig at all. For a crime in Heaven, the Jade Emperor sent me down here.'
'This is a chance for you,' said Kuan-yin. 'We are on our way to China to look for a man who will collect the Scriptures. If you went with him to India, we would forgive all your crimes.'
'I will! I will!' the pig-like creature shouted.
So they gave him the name of Pigsy, and left him to watch for the pilgrim who would collect the Scriptures.
The Goddess and her bodyguard went on their way and soon they met a dragon who had fought against the Gods.
'Can you help me?' the dragon cried out.
Kuan-yin went back to Heaven. She asked the Gods to forgive the dragon if he would transform himself into a white horse and carry the pilgrim to India.
Continuing their journey, the Goddess and her bodyguard suddenly saw a mountain covered in magic fog and lit by golden light from Heaven. They recognised it at once as the mountain which covered the Monkey King.
Kuan-yin looked sad and recited:
Long ago he was purposelessly brave.
In his blackness of heart he spoiled the Heavenly Apple Banquet
And tried to take the place of the Jade Emperor.
Will he ever again be free and win back his name?
Then came a voice from inside the mountain: 'Who is reciting a list of my crimes?'
Kuan-yin found the spirit who looked after Monkey. This spirit led her to Monkey's prison under the mountain, which was a kind of stone box.
Monkey looked out through a thin opening with his red eyes and cried, 'You are the Goddess Kuan-yin! Why have you come here? Buddha tricked me and I have sat in this little box for five hundred years. But I am very sorry for the things I have done and now I want to do good in the world.'
Kuan-yin was very happy. 'Just wait quietly here until I return with my pilgrim and he will save you,' she said.
And so they left Monkey and went on to the East, to find the pilgrim.
CHAPTER TWO
The Journey Begins
'I can tell you that I have killed quite a lot of people. And I am still the great Monkey King!' answered Monkey.
At a time when the great and very old city of Ch'ang-an was the capital of China, there was an examination to find the cleverest men in the country. These men would do the work of the government.
A man by the name of Ch'en O decided to try his luck at the examination, as it was his mother's wish. Arriving late, he found that the examination had begun. But to his surprise, he won first place and he received a letter signed by the Emperor.
In those days, the winner of first place in the examination was led through the streets on horseback. And by chance, on that day, the only daughter of a minister sat in her high tower with a ball in her hand. Seeing the handsome Ch'en riding by, and knowing of his success in the examination, she threw the ball cleverly on to his hat. This was how a lady chose her husband.
No time was wasted. Ch'en and the minister's daughter were married, and hand in hand they went into the bedroom as man and wife. Early next morning, Ch'en was made Governor of Chiang-chou and, as he was told to begin work at once, he started on the journey with his wife.
It was late spring. There was a gentle wind in the trees and a light rain fell. The road to Chiang-chou took Ch'en and his wife close to his home, so they stopped at his mother's house. Ch'en said to his mother, 'You wanted me to take the examination, and look at all the good luck that has come from it. I would like to thank you and to ask you to come with us.'
His mother happily agreed and after travelling for some days, the three arrived at the Hotel of Ten Thousand Flowers. But here the mother suddenly became ill and asked to rest.
Next day, a man arrived with a gold-coloured fish for sale and young Ch'en bought it for his mother. Suddenly, he noticed that the fish's eyes were strange. 'This is not an ordinary creature,' he said. He asked where it was caught and then returned it to the river in the same place.
'You were right to put the fish back in the river,' said his mother when he told her about the fish's eyes. Then she said, 'Leave me here with some of the luggage and I shall follow when the days are cooler.'
When Ch'en, his wife and servants arrived at the same river, they were met by two boatmen who Ch'en had harmed in an earlier life. They stared at his young wife, who was very beautiful. Then they took the boat to a lonely place and killed first the servants and then Ch'en himself. The young woman tried to throw herself into the river, but they stopped her.
One of the murderers, whose name was Liu, put on the Governor's clothes, took the official papers and left for Chiang-chou with Mrs Ch'en.
Liu left the boat with the other boatman, Li, who threw the bodies into the river. The bodies of the servants could be seen on the river, but Ch'en's body went straight to the bottom. A servant of the Dragon King saw it there and went to the palace to tell the Dragon King himself. The Dragon King asked to see it.
When Ch'en's body was brought to him, he recognised this man. In the body of a gold-coloured fish, the Dragon King had been saved by him only a few days before. In return for Ch'en's kindness, the Dragon King sent his servant to the place where the souls of the newly dead go. The servant returned with Ch'en's soul and Ch'en woke from the dead.
When he had heard Ch'en's story, the Dragon King said, 'You certainly helped me. So I shall now give you back your life. I want you to work in my Water Office.'
While this was happening, Mrs Ch'en was so unhappy with Liu that she could not eat or sleep. But because she was going to have her husband's child, she thought it was best to follow this terrible man quietly. After a long journey they reached Chiang-chou, where Liu the boatman became the new governor.
Time passed and Mrs Ch'en gave birth to a son. At the same time a mysterious voice whispered in her ear, 'Listen to what I am telling you. This child will be famous around the world. But you must protect him from Liu, who will certainly try to harm him. Your husband is safe with the Dragon King and one day you will all be together again and your enemies will be punished.' Then there was silence. Mrs Ch'en held her son in her arms, but she could think of no other way to protect him.
And as the voice had said, when Liu returned he ordered the death of the child. But the unhappy mother wanted more time with her son. 'I will put him in the river tomorrow,' she promised Liu. 'Perhaps,' she thought, 'a kind god will save him.'
She bit her finger and, with her blood, wrote a letter giving the names of the child's parents. Then, so that she would know her child again, she bit off the top of the little toe of his left foot. When morning came, she tied the baby into one of her shirts and went quietly down to the river with him.
As she stood at the water's edge, a large piece of wood came down the river. Quickly, she tied the shirt with the baby in it to the wood and put the letter she had written in the shirt. Then she pushed the wood to the centre of the river and walked back, crying every step of the way.
The piece of wood with the baby on it was carried at last to the Temple of the Golden Mountain. The Holy Master, hearing the sound of a baby crying, went to the river and found the strange boat. He read the letter about the child's father, and immediately gave the child the name of River Wood. Then he asked some farmers to look after him.
Seventeen years later, the young man had been given the new name of Hsuan Tsang and had been made a priest in the Holy Master's temple. One day an old and stupid priest cried out, 'Who do you think you are? No one even knows your real name!' He was jealous of the young man's wisdom.
The unhappy boy ran to the Holy Master. 'Can there be,' he asked, 'a man without a father or mother?'
From a hiding-place in his room, the Holy Master took down a small box containing the blood-letter and the shirt. Soon Hsuan Tsang knew the whole story and the terrible wrong done to his parents. He wanted to kill his father's murderer.
'If you must go,' said the Holy Master, 'take these things with you. Travel as a poor priest, go to Chiang-chou and demand to see your mother.'
That same night, his mother dreamed of a moon behind the clouds. When the clouds moved, she saw a full moon, and then she thought of her son. 'He must be seventeen by now. Perhaps Heaven will bring us together again.'
Suddenly, she heard a priest asking for money at the gate and went out to him. When she heard his place of birth, the Golden Mountain, she looked at him closely and said, 'Little priest, you are very like my husband. Who were your parents?'
'A wrong was done to my parents,' was the answer. 'My Holy Master told me to come here and find my mother. My father's name is Ch'en, but my holy name is Hsuan Tsang.' Then he took from the box the blood-letter and the shirt. She recognised them at once and she put her arms around him.
'Leave me, leave me!' she cried. 'If Liu finds you, he will kill you. Go now, as fast as lightning! But tomorrow I will say that I have promised a hundred pairs of shoes to the poor and I must journey to the temple to offer this present to the Gods. There we can talk.'
True to her promise, within five days a hundred pairs of shoes were put on a boat and, with some servants, she made the journey to the Golden Mountain. All the priests came out to welcome the visitor, but when she had prayed she asked them to leave.
Then, on her knees in front of Hsuan Tsang, she took off the shoe and sock from his left foot. As she expected, the top of his left toe was missing.
Again the mother and son put their arms around each other, and she thanked the Holy Master for his great kindness. Then she gave Hsuan Tsang a ring to take to the Hotel of Ten Thousand Flowers, where his grandmother had been left behind.
'Here, also, is a letter to my father in the capital,' she said. 'Tell him to ask the Emperor to send horses and men to kill Liu and save me. Now I dare not stay any longer, but must return home.'
Hsuan Tsang went to the Hotel of Ten Thousand Flowers and asked about his grandmother. The owner of the hotel told him, 'The lady was here for several years. But she went blind and now, asking people in the streets for money, she lives in a box.'
Hsuan Tsang finally found his poor grandmother, who cried, 'Oh! I thought my son had forgotten me! And now Heaven has sent a grandson to find me.'
After paying her bills and leaving her in a comfortable room at the hotel, Hsuan Tsang rushed back to the capital and to the house of Minister Yin. But they refused to let him in. 'No one in our family is a priest,' he was told.
'Last night I dreamed about my daughter,' said the wife. 'Perhaps he has a message from her.'
Hsuan Tsang bowed to them and took out the letter that his mother had written. The minister cried, 'Wife! This is our grandchild. Ch'en has been killed and our daughter has been forced to live with the murderer. I will ask the Emperor for soldiers to kill that man.'
The Emperor was wild with anger and sent an army of sixty thousand men to Chiang-chou. They easily found Liu and took him away to cut his head off.
Now Yin sent for his daughter. She did not wish to see her father because she was ashamed. Had she not lived as the wife of her husband's murderer? But Yin told her that it was not her fault. He put his arms around her and around his grandson and kept them in his arms for a long, long time.
By now, the soldiers had found the other boatman, Li, and had cut his head off too. And where he had killed Ch'en, Li's body was cut open. His heart was offered to the soul of the man he had killed.
The Dragon King heard of this and he sent a message to Ch'en. 'Congratulations! Your wife and her father and your child are all by the river, offering the heart of the man who killed you. I will now return your soul to you and let you go.'
Mrs Ch'en wanted to throw herself into the river where her husband had died, but suddenly a body came up from the bottom of the river. Mrs Ch'en recognised it as her husband's body and cried and screamed.
The hands moved, and then the legs, and then the whole body, until Ch'en himself climbed out of the water. He looked at them in great surprise and said, 'What are you all doing here?'
A great banquet was ordered and next day they all left for home. On the way, they called at the Hotel of Ten Thousand Flowers for the grandmother and took her back to the capital.
At last Chen became a government advisor. His son, Hsuan Tsang, went back to his work as a priest at the Temple of the Golden Mountain. But when the Emperor died, priests all over China were asked to choose the holiest priest, and they chose Hsuan Tsang.
At this time, the search was still continuing for a priest holy enough to fetch the Scriptures from India. The Goddess Kuan-yin, realising that the holiest priest was River Wood, said to herself, 'No one could be a better man than him.'
In the great city of Ch'ang-an, the new Emperor asked Hsuan Tsang to go to India and fetch the Scriptures. When Hsuan Tsang agreed to go, the Emperor said, 'If you dare to go on a journey as long as this, with all its dangers, I will make you here and now the brother of my soul.' Then he bowed four times.
'If I do not reach India and do not bring the Scriptures back to China, I must be sent to Hell,' the young priest replied.
The Emperor called for wine and said, 'I suggest that you take the name of the Scriptures in India — Tripitaka. What do you think?'
Hsuan Tsang accepted the name and from that day he was called Tripitaka.
It was three days before the full moon when Tripitaka left the gates of Ch'ang-an. After a day or two of hard riding, he reached the Temple of the Low Cloud. There the Holy Master and almost five hundred priests discussed his journey and its terrible dangers and difficulties. Tripitaka pointed in silence to his heart.
'It is only the heart that can win against difficulties. I have made my promise and I cannot go back until I have reached India, seen Buddha and got the Scriptures.'
Next morning, Tripitaka got up early. A bright moon was shining on the snow on the ground as he left. Almost immediately, he lost his way, and suddenly the ground moved under his horse. The horse and rider fell into a deep hole.
'Take him! Take him!'
Looking up, Tripitaka saw a crowd of ugly creatures looking down at him. They pulled him out of the hole. Their leader was an ugly Demon King, who gave orders to eat him.
But two dark ugly creatures arrived as guests, and two other men were brought out as a meal for them. The ugly creatures ate like wild animals, their teeth pulling at the men until they had completely eaten them. Watching this, Tripitaka was almost dead with fear.
But then all the ugly creatures went to sleep. Tripitaka was losing all hope of escape when suddenly an old man appeared. He blew in Tripitaka's face and asked him if the horse belonged to him. Tripitaka saw to his surprise that his horse was not harmed. He asked what this place was and who the ugly creatures were. He was told it was a mountain full of demons and animal-spirits.
'They did not eat you because your soul was too good,' said the old man.
'It was your soul that saved you. Follow me and I will show you the way out of here.'
The old man led him out of that place; then, as Tripitaka turned to thank him, the old man flew up into the sky on a great white bird. A piece of paper blew down, and on it was written, 'I was sent by the Gods to protect you on your journey. Remember, the Gods will be watching you.'
Tripitaka could only bow low in thanks before he began his journey again. After half a day he found himself in difficult mountain country, moving forward slowly over sharp rocks. In front of him, two tigers waited. Realising the danger, he looked behind him and there he saw an insect that could kill him. On his right stood a wild animal that he had never seen before. His frightened horse went down on its knees.
As the terrible creatures all started attacking him at once, a man appeared with a sword. He took Tripitaka from his horse.
'I am a hunter who these animals know and fear. You and I are from the same country and you and your horse can rest at my house until tomorrow.'
On the way to his house the hunter killed a tiger, saying, 'This is luck! Enough meat to last you for days!'
Arriving at a mountain farm, Tripitaka was presented to the hunter's mother, who invited him to stay overnight. But when the cooked tiger was put in front of him he had to say that, as a priest, he did not eat meat. He was given rice and salad instead. Then, putting his hands together, he said a prayer.
The hunter was surprised. 'You priests are certainly strange,' he said. 'You cannot even eat without a prayer.'
After dinner the hunter led his guest to a little house full of animal skins. Tripitaka did not like that very much, so his host took him instead to a field of red and gold flowers. There, animals ran to him when he called.
Tripitaka had been asked by the hunter's mother to say prayers for her dead husband. So scriptures were read and prayers were said all through the next day until evening.
That night everyone in the family dreamed the same dream: the hunter's father had been allowed to leave the Lower World and was born again as the child of a rich landowner. This, they were sure, was a result of Tripitaka's prayers and they all thanked him. They wanted to give him presents of silver, but he refused the presents and left on his journey, with the hunter as his guide.
At the Mountain Between Two Countries, which was steep and rocky, the hunter climbed quickly but Tripitaka was very tired.
'This country to the East,' said the hunter, 'is our land of Tang, and to the West is the country of the Tartars. I cannot go into their country, so you must continue alone.'
Feeling a great fear and hopelessness, Tripitaka held the hunter's arm. Suddenly, from under the mountain, a voice cried, again and again, 'The Master has come.'
'Who is that?' Tripitaka asked, fearfully.
'It is the voice of the old monkey calling from his stone box under the mountain. The story is that long ago, when the mountain was called the Mountain of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth, a magic monkey was put in a stone box by angry gods. He is certainly still alive. You need not be afraid. We will go down and have a look.'
As the hunter had said, there was a stone box with a hole in it, and through the opening they could see the head of a monkey.
'Master! Master! Free me from here and I will protect you on your journey to the West!'
The hunter said, 'First, we want to know more about you.'
'I will not tell you anything,' said Monkey. 'I wish to speak to the priest.'
'What do you want to say to me?' asked Tripitaka.
'Were you sent by the Emperor of T'ang to fetch the Scriptures from India?'
'I was.'
'I am the Monkey King and five hundred years ago I made trouble, so Buddha put me in this stone box. The Goddess Kuan-yin has visited me. She said that if I protect the pilgrim on his way to India I will be forgiven and freed. So let me be your follower.'
'But how can I get you out of this stone box?'
'If you make a wish, Master, I will be out,' said Monkey. 'Go to the top of the mountain and there you will see a rock with letters of gold written by Buddha himself. Lift the rock and I will be free.'
'How can we believe him?' the hunter whispered to Tripitaka.
'It is true! It is true!' screamed Monkey, from inside his box.
Tripitaka and the hunter climbed up again to the top of the mountain, and there they saw golden light pouring from a rock which had gold writing on it.
Tripitaka went down on his knees and said, 'If this is the wish of the Gods, I will take this Monkey with me to India. Take away this rock and free him.'
A warm and sweet-smelling wind blew across the mountain and lifted the rock and Buddha's writing up into the air. Tripitaka and the hunter returned to Monkey.
'You can come out,' they said. With a great noise of breaking stone, Monkey came out of the stone box and bowed in front of Tripitaka. He cried, 'Master, I am out,' and then he began to prepare Tripitaka's horse for the journey.
Tripitaka thanked the hunter for his kindness and he and Monkey continued their journey.
When Tripitaka and Monkey left the mountain, a tiger appeared in front of them, showing its teeth. Monkey seemed very happy. 'He has come to give me his coat,' he said.
He took a needle from behind his ear and the needle was immediately transformed into a cudgel. 'It is five hundred years since I last used this weapon,' he cried.
Look at Monkey! He walks forward bravely, down comes the cudgel, and the tiger falls dead.
'Sit down,' said Monkey to Tripitaka, 'while I take his coat.'
Dear Monkey! He took a single hair from his own tail, blew on it, and said some magic words. The hair became a sharp little knife, and with this knife he cut off the tiger's skin. 'Now we can leave this place,' he said. 'When we reach the next house, I will make a fine coat from the skin.'
Monkey then explained the magic of his cudgel, which was not only for killing tigers and dragons, but also for making rivers go backwards or starting storms on the sea. But then he saw a house in some trees, where they could spend the night.
He got down from his horse and cried, 'Open the door!'
A very old man, angry at the rude command, began to push open the door. But seeing Monkey carrying a tiger skin and looking like a demon, he became very frightened. Then he saw that Monkey was with a priest and he was told that Monkey was the priest's follower. Suddenly, he recognised Monkey.
'You are the Stone Monkey in the stone box,' said the old man in great surprise. 'How did you get out?'
Monkey told his story and then was asked his age.
'First, how old are you?' asked Monkey.
'One hundred and thirty.'
'You are young enough to be my great-great-grandson,' said Monkey. 'I was under that mountain for five hundred years.'
'True,' said the old man. 'And when I was a boy, there was grass on your head and dirt on your face.'
'Yes!' said Monkey. 'I do not wish to make trouble, but it is five hundred years since I last washed. Could you let us have a little hot water?'
When they had both washed, Monkey took Tripitaka's white shirt, made himself a tiger-skin coat and asked, 'How do I look in these clothes?'
'Fine!' said Tripitaka. 'You really look like a pilgrim!' And he let Monkey keep the shirt.
Many days later, the two travellers were attacked by six men with swords.
The men demanded their horses and everything they had with them.
'You are just thieves!' cried Monkey. 'If you give me one seventh of everything you have ever stolen, I will let you live.'
Angrily, they all hit Monkey on the head, again and again.
Monkey said, 'Let me know when you are tired and I will take out my needle.'
Of course the needle from behind Monkey's ear transformed itself into a cudgel, and soon he had killed all six of them. He returned, crying, 'Master, we can start now. I have killed them all.'
'You should never kill,' said Tripitaka, sadly.
'But I had to! They were going to kill you!'
'It is better for a priest to die than to kill others.'
'Well, I can tell you that I have killed quite a lot of people. And I am still the great Monkey King!' answered Monkey.
'Your bad behaviour in Heaven caused you to live in a stone box for five hundred years,' said Tripitaka. 'If you hope to come with me to India, you will need to change your ways.'
Monkey was very angry that Tripitaka had spoken to him like that. 'Master,' he shouted, 'I am leaving.'
Tripitaka said nothing, so Monkey leapt up, ran away and was soon out of Tripitaka's sight.
Tripitaka thought, 'It is no use trying to teach people who are like that.' So, putting all the luggage on the horse's back, he left alone and on foot.
The young priest had not gone far when he met an old woman carrying a cap. She asked him why he was travelling alone without a follower to help him.
'I had a follower, but he behaved badly. When I told him that, he ran away.'
'That is unfortunate,' she said. 'This cap belonged to my son, who died. I can gladly give it to your follower if he would like it.'
'He ran away to the East,' said Tripitaka.
'Then he will certainly go to my house and I shall send him back. If you want him to return, you will need a spell.' She told him the words. 'You must make him wear this cap. When he disobeys, say the words of the spell and he will give you no more trouble.'
The old woman transformed herself into a golden light and disappeared towards the East. Tripitaka knew then that she was really the Goddess Kuan-yin.
Monkey had jumped on to a cloud and was returning to his cave in the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. On the way, he decided to drink tea with the Dragon King. When Monkey had told his story, the Dragon King told him about the value of patience.
'Monkey King, it is necessary to control yourself if you do not want to spoil all your chances.'
Monkey thought about that and then jumped up. 'Don't say another word!' he said. 'I will return to my Master at once.'
'Master,' said Monkey, when he found Tripitaka sitting sadly by the side of the road, 'what are you doing, still sitting here?'
'Waiting for you,' he answered. 'I could not continue alone.'
'I only went to drink tea with the Dragon King,' said Monkey.
'If that is true, you should think about my thirst and my hunger too.'
Monkey went to their luggage to look for food and found the gift of the cap.
'If a person wears that cap,' said Tripitaka, 'they can recite the Scriptures without learning them first.'
'Let me put it on!' cried Monkey.
'Yes, put it on.'
As Monkey put it on, Tripitaka pretended to eat some dried fruit, but he was really reciting the magic spell.
'My head is hurting!' screamed Monkey.
Monkey fell on the ground, trying to take the cap off, but a metal ring inside the cap was getting tighter and tighter. Tripitaka stopped reciting the spell because he was afraid that Monkey would break the metal ring.
The pain in Monkey's head disappeared, but the cap was still tightly there.
'You have put a spell on me,' cried Monkey.
'Yes,' said Tripitaka. 'It is called the Scripture of the Tight Cap. Will you make trouble again?'
'Never! I promise,' answered Monkey, but in his heart he was very angry. He ran at Tripitaka with his cudgel.
Quickly, the priest again recited the words of the spell, and Monkey fell to the ground screaming. The cudgel dropped from his hand.
'Were you going to hit me?' Tripitaka asked.
'Hit you? I dare not!' cried Monkey.
Tripitaka stopped reciting because he did not like to see Monkey suffering such terrible pain.
'Who taught you this trick?' Monkey asked when the pain stopped.
'An old woman who I met recently.'
'Then it was the Goddess Kuan-yin. I will go to the Southern Ocean and hit her with my cudgel!'
'As she taught me this spell, she can surely use it herself,' said Tripitaka.
Monkey sat up, holding his head, which still hurt him. 'I am very sorry,' he said. 'I will travel to India and never leave you. I will protect you until the end.'
Unable to defend himself, Monkey put the luggage together, and they started off again towards the West.
CHAPTER THREE
Tripitaka Finds New Followers
With her magic breath she shouted 'Change!' She transformed the Dragon into the horse that he had just eaten.
It was the middle of winter and a cold wind was blowing from the North.
There was ice everywhere and deep snow was lying on the ground. But the brave priest, his follower and the white horse continued their journey across the mountains.
They were looking down at a river when suddenly a dragon appeared in it and then climbed slowly out of the water. While Monkey and Tripitaka ran and hid, the Dragon, moving along at speed and without stopping, opened its mouth and ate the horse.
Monkey left Tripitaka sitting on a rock and went back to get the horse and luggage, but he could not find the horse. He took the luggage to the place where he had left Tripitaka.
'The Dragon is gone,' said Monkey, 'and the horse is too. It probably ran away because it was frightened.'
'How are we going to find it?' asked Tripitaka.
'Wait here and I will have a look,' said Monkey.
Monkey leapt into the sky and looked for it with his bright red eyes.
'I cannot see it anywhere,' he told Tripitaka. 'I think the Dragon ate it.'
'How can I travel if it has been eaten? It is much too far to walk,' cried Tripitaka. Poor Tripitaka was so sad that he could not stop crying.
Monkey, who hated that kind of attitude, shouted at Tripitaka, 'You look like a fool, sitting there crying! Wait there while I go after the Dragon.'
'You cannot do anything to the Dragon if he is in the water,' said the young priest, still crying. 'And next time he will eat me!
'You are hopeless! Hopeless!' shouted Monkey, angrier than ever. 'Do you want to sit there staring at the luggage forever?'
He was still shouting angrily when the voices of Gods were heard in the sky. 'Monkey, don't be angry. Priest, don't cry. We are here to protect you,' they said.
'Then you had better stay here and look after the Master,' said Monkey. 'I am going to find that horse! Don't worry about me!'
Tripitaka, feeling better, asked Monkey to be careful.
Dear Monkey! He pulled his tiger-skin coat around his body, picked up his cudgel and walked down to the river.
'You demon fish, return my horse to me,' he called into the water.
The Dragon leapt out of the river. 'Who is making all that noise?' it shouted, angrily.
'Come and fight,' shouted Monkey, as he waved his cudgel. 'And give me back my horse!'
Monkey hit the Dragon's head with his cudgel. The Dragon came forwards with his mouth wide open. It was a long and brave fight. They fought backwards and forwards, round and round, and up and down until the Dragon began to feel weak. With a quick turn of his long tail, he disappeared back into the river. Monkey shouted for him to come back and fight, but the Dragon did not listen. Monkey decided to go back and tell Tripitaka.
When Monkey returned, Tripitaka said something that Monkey did not like. 'The other day, after you fought the tiger, you said you could also kill dragons. I do not understand why you are having such difficulties with this dragon.'
'Not another word!' he cried. 'I will soon show you who is master!'
Annoyed, Monkey went back to the river and used his magic to make a storm. The Dragon leapt up and shouted, 'What sort of creature are you? Where do you come from?'
'That is not your business — just return my horse!'
'How can I? Your horse is inside me. And if I do not, what will you do to me?'
'Look at this cudgel,' said Monkey. 'If you do not give me back the horse, you will pay for it with your life.'
Again they fought, and then the Dragon transformed himself into an insect and disappeared into the long grass. Beating the grass with his cudgel, Monkey danced around wildly, trying to find him. But it was impossible. So Monkey returned to Tripitaka, who was feeling quite sorry for himself.
'I will be dead from cold or hunger before we get across this river,' said Tripitaka.
Monkey danced and jumped and leapt in anger, but finally he had to ask the Goddess Kuan-yin for help. When he saw her, he became angry again.
'You told me to look after this priest,' shouted Monkey. 'So why did you give him a cap that I cannot take off my head? It gives me terrible pains when he says the words of the spell!'
The Goddess laughed. 'Because you are so full of tricks, there is no other way to control you.'
'But what about this dragon? That is your work too. Why did you let him eat my Master's horse? You should be ashamed of yourself!'
'That dragon,' said the Goddess Kuan-yin, 'behaved badly in Heaven. If he carries the priest of the Emperor T'ang on his journey to India, he will be forgiven and he knows this. No ordinary Chinese horse could possibly do it. I cannot understand why he ate the horse. I will go with you and find out.'
She got down from her seat inside her cave and rode on a magic light to find the Dragon. When the Dragon saw Kuan-yin, he changed into a human.
'Did you know that this is Tripitaka's follower?' asked Kuan-yin.
'How could I? I asked him what kind of creature he was and he shouted at me, «That is not your business.» I ate his horse because I was hungry. He never said anything about looking for Scriptures. He never once used the word «T'ang».'
'Monkey is fonder of showing others his own powers than explaining anything,' said Kuan-yin. 'But in future, if anyone questions him, he must say that he is looking for Scriptures. Then there will be no more trouble.'
The Goddess went to the Dragon and put some drops of sweet water on him. Then with her magic breath she shouted 'Change!' She transformed the Dragon into the horse that he had just eaten. She told the Dragon to change his bad behaviour and to promise never to go back to his old ways.
'If you keep this promise, you will be given a golden body,' she told him, 'and you will be given wisdom.'
The Dragon said, 'Thank you. I will keep this promise.'
Then the Goddess turned to go, but Monkey held her arm saying, 'That is not good enough! How can I help a priest to travel over these mountains with only a horse? I cannot continue this journey.'
'That is strange,' said the Goddess. 'You always used to be brave, if nothing else. But there is one more power I can give you.'
She took three leaves from a tree and dropped them on Monkey's back, where they immediately became magic hairs.
'These,' she said, 'will get you out of any trouble.'
Monkey thanked her. Then he took the
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