Chapter 17. Chinese

Monkey King

They say he was blown from a magical stone at the top of Mount Huagou. His name was Sun Wukong. He earned the title of Monkey King with his strength, courage, and luck while living among monkeys in the forest. There he obtained his magical staff, his cloud-walking boots, his gold chainmail shirt, and his phoenix cap. Called to serve the Jade Emperor, Sun Wukong was too proud to serve in menial capacities. He defied all attempts to please him or subdue him, so the emperor called upon Buddha, who imprisoned him under a mountain for five hundred years. He was freed only by a traveling monk named Tang Sanzang, whom he served because the goddess of mercy, Guanyin, had given the monk a magical band that kept the Monkey King in his control. Serving Tang Sanzang faithfully, and attending to his teachings, Sun Wukong eventually conquered his anger, greed, and envious nature, showing that even a macaque can achieve enlightenment if he is bound by the goddess of mercy.

Goddess of the moon

Her name was Heng’e. Young and beautiful, she thought she could get whatever she wanted. She stole the elixir of immortality from her husband, the Lord Archer, Hou Yi. It had been given to him for his heroic deeds, but it was only enough for one, so he didn’t drink it. Heng’e stole it, drank it, and escaped to become the goddess of the moon, which her lonely husband looked longingly upon.