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「中秋節的故事(下)」- Moon Festival Story (Part Two)


After nine days of walking, Houyi went into a big forest. It was too dark to see anything. Suddenly, he heard some terrifying voices. Then, Houyi saw several pairs of ghost eyes. Houyi took out his bow and arrows to shoot them. These ghost eyes at last disappeared but only after Houyi had shot eighty-one arrows at them.

Houyi continued his journey. He climbed over nine mountains, and crossed six rivers and three deserts. At last, he arrived at the mountain where the Queen Mother lived. The mountain was very high and steep, and surrounded by a river. To get to the mountain, Houyi had to cross the river. Houyi took out a rope and tied it to an arrow. He put the arrow in his bow, and shot it toward the mountain. Then Houyi grabbed the rope tightly while he shot the arrow, and he was flying through the air. The arrow and Houyi with it flew over the river, and landed onto the mountain.

As a reward for killing all of the evil monsters, the Queen Mother gave him two magic tablets that had the power to give eternal life. The Queen Mother told him, "These two tablets are for you and Chang'e. You and your wife should eat them on August 15th when the moon is full. However, the one who eats the two tablets alone will die." Houyi thought about what the Queen Mother told him as he returned home with the tablets.

When Houyi arrived back home after a long journey, Chang'e felt very relieved, and cried in his arms. "Do not cry," Houyi said, "See what I brought you," as he took out the tablets. "Put them in the safe place, and we will eat them on August 15th when the moon is full, and then we will never die." Houyi was happy. Chang'e also smiled. But then he warned Chang'e, "Do not eat both of them when I am out; otherwise, you will die! And how can I live without you?"

The long-awaited August 15th finally came. In the morning when Houyi left home, Chang'e reminded her husband to come home early. When evening came, she cooked delicious food, and put on some make-up, and then waited for Houyi. Chang'e waited until the full moon hung in the middle of the sky, but Houyi did not return.

Chang'e was utterly heartbroken. She thought, "How could he forget such an important day?" Then, she stopped crying, and ate two tablets, because she did not want to live anymore. However, instead of dying, Chang'e's body became light as a feather, and she began to float up. When Chang'e realized that she was flying, she shouted loudly, "Houyi, I don't want to leave you!" And she flew out of the house and up into the sky.

Houyi arrived home with a big, dead tiger over his shoulder. He found the cold food on the table, but he cannot find his beloved wife. Then he heard Chang'e's voice from the sky, and rushed out of the house. He could just see Chang'e disappearing up into the sky. "Chang'e!" Houyi shouted desperately, but he would never see his wife again. Houyi was so upset that he fainted.

And Chang'e kept looking back to the Earth, and cried as she floated up and up. Finally, Chang'e arrived at the Moon Palace on the moon. The Palace was deserted and cold, and there was nothing there except for a tall laurel tree and the rabbit. She was all alone.

A year passed, it was August 15th again. And Chang'e stood at the door of the Moon Palace looking down at the small house far away on the Earth where she and Houyi had lived in the human world. With tears in her eyes, Chang'e saw a table with all kinds of foods and desserts on it. At the courtyard, Houyi was sitting at the table, and he was crying.

And now on the 15th of August every year, the moon is very bright and gentle, just like Chang'e's eyes as she watches her husband so far away.

  • 「最後、終於」- At Last

    These ghost eyes at last disappeared but only after Houyi had shot eighty-one arrows at them.

  • 「除了、只是」- Except For

    The Palace was deserted and cold, and there was nothing there except for a tall laurel tree and the rabbit. She was all alone.




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