The legend of “Nuwa mending the sky” occurred in ancient times far far away. The beautiful and merciful Goddess, Nuwa, came to the eastern land. Her arrival filled all the plants and animals in the human world with vitality.
One day, Nuwa came upon a broad field. She was so delighted by the world full of the chirping of birds and the fragrance of flowers that she didn’t want to go back. She however had a nagging feeling that something was missing. The feeling stayed with her as she walked all the way to the water. She squatted down to drink. Seeing the beautiful image of herself in the mirror-like water gave her the idea of creating lives. Excitedly, she grasped a handful of mud, and molded a figurine, an imitation of herself. Strangely enough, when she put down the figurine, it immediately came to life! How magical! It even called her “Mama” and jumped up and down. Joyfully she molded another, and then another, and another. She worked so hard that her fingers grew sore. But still, the figurines she molded were too few; how could they fill the broad field? Then an idea came to Nuwa: she dipped a long strand of ivy into the mud. When she lifted it, the mud dripped from the ivy rope and became human beings. Nuwa cherished her creations; she was wild with joy and ran across mountains and rivers, and before long the field was full of people. From then on human beings lived in the wonderful world, creating wealth, working with their hands, and leading happy and peaceful lives.
However, the prosperity did not last long. One day a great storm came. The wind rose and clouds scudded across the sky. Thunder roared, as a jagged flash of lightning set the woods on fire. Birds and beasts fled in panic at the deafening sound, but then half the sky fell off. A torrential downpour doused the fire and drenched the woods and fields. The riverbed of heaven was broken. The water in the heavenly river poured straight down. The ground was about to be submerged in a flood. Seeing that the people would drown, Nuwa’s heart broke. She raised a giant rock above her head and made a flying jump toward the hole that the heaven river gushed through. But the stream was so strong that Nuwa was flushed down with the rock. She raised the giant rock and jumped again, but the water again flushed the rock and Nuwa away from the hole. Nuwa was not discouraged. She picked up many beautiful stones from the rivers and lakes, and piled them up to form a beautiful shiny five-color mountain. Next she cut reeds from the field and mixed them together with the stones, and then set fire to the reeds. The fire burned continuously for nine days and nights. The Goddess Nuwa raised the burning melted-rocks and jumped to the sky. She kept mending and filling for seven days and nights and finally, the big hole was fixed.
The sun shone again after the rain, and colorful clouds floated in the sky. Nuwa was burned all over her body. The heroic goddess overcame an especially big disaster. The people were finally saved. All heaven and earth celebrated together. Thus began the golden age of living in harmony, men plowing, women weaving, and all enjoying a good and prosperous life. Bearing their harvests, they thanked Nuwa. A thunder-chariot, drawn by a flying dragon, bore the Goddess up to the clouds and beyond, toward the ninth heaven.
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