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All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #8

All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #8

“CHANG, THE HEAVENLY TEACHER, CHIEF OF THE TAOISTS, BESEECHES THE GODS TO DRIVE AWAY THE EVIL FLUX. THE COMMANDER HUNG, IN HEEDLESSNESS, FREES THE SPIRITS.”

Then was the Commander afraid and he said, “You are but a cowherd, and how do you know?”

The acolyte laughed and said, “In the morning I serve The Heavenly Teacher in his temple and I heard him say, ‘Today the Son Of Heaven has sent a Commander Hung to me and he comes bearing the imperial mandate and the jade censer and he comes here on the mountain and he would have me got to the capital to make a mass of three thousand six hundred chants and so drive away the plague. Therefore will I mount a crane and ride the clouds and go thither.’ By now I do think he is gone, for he is not in the temple. Do not go up then for on the mountain there are fierce tigers and wild beasts and even your life may be lost.”

The Commander said, “Do not lie to me.”

Then the acolyte laughed and answered nothing but again he blew upon his flute, and so he turned to the other side of the ridge. The Commander thought to himself, saying, “But how is it this little lad knows everything? I believe The Heavenly Teacher must have commanded him to come and speak to me thus. Truly must this be so. When I think of climbing further and of how frightened I have been just now, better would it be if I returned.”

So the Commander took up the censer and sought again his old path and he hastened down the mountain. All the Taoists met him and he sat down in the guest hall and then the abbot asked him, “Did you see The Heavenly Teacher?”

Then the Commander said, “I am an honored official in the imperial court and how was it you bade me climb that mountain road and suffer thus? Truly might I all unknowing have lost my life. When I head gone half up the mountain there leaped out upon me a slant-eyed white-browed tiger and he frightened my souls and spirits clean away from me. Again I had not passed through more than on valley up the mountain when out of the viny bamboos there sprang a great snowy-spotted serpent and he heaped himself into circles and cut off the road I must go. If my destiny had not been greatly good how could I have come back with my life? – But it was all because of you Taoists who thought to make a joke of a high lord!”

Then the abbot replied, saying, “And how would such poor Taoists as we dare to treat so mighty a lord thus lightly? Nay, this tiger and this serpent were trials sent by our Heavenly Teacher to try your heart, for although there be tigers and serpents on this mountain of ours they are not such as harm men.”

<Continued – Prologue #9>

 

December 18, 2010 Posted by | Read | Leave a comment