Hey guys, welcome to Off the Great Wall. I'm Dan.
嗨大家，歡迎來到 Off The Great Wall。我是 Dan。
And I'm Yi.
We told you guys about the legend of Chang'e, the Lady of the Moon before. And a lot of you guys asked us about her companion, the Jade Rabbit, and how it came to be. So, here it is.
A long time ago in ancient China, there was a god called Wu Gang. Wu Gang's job in the heavens was to create divine medicine. And the most common of which was the pill of immortality, which all immortals have to take every thousand years to remain immortal. During a trip to Earth, Wu Gang gave a few pills of immortality to humans. Because of this, the Jade Emperor was furious, and punished Wu Gang by making him cut down a massive tree. There was a twist though. The tree was a magical laurel tree, and whatever Wu Gang cut from the tree, it would just grow right back. Thus Wu Gang was condemned to cut this tree for all of eternity.
The Jade Emperor needed someone else to man Wu Gang's post as divine medicine maker. He wanted to find someone who was trustworthy, responsible, and extremely honest. The Jade Emperor thought that humans are too smart and easily corrupted. So he decided to choose an animal for the job, and sent three divine beings down to Earth to take on the task of finding such an animal.
These three divine beings decided to conduct the search in a forest. They transformed themselves into three old men and sat in the middle of the forest and begged in a loud voice. "Please, help us. We are lost and have not eaten anything for three days. We are too weak to move, so please bring us some food." Many animals heard their cries and rushed to see what was happening.
Three animals, in particular—the fox, the monkey, and the rabbit—were most sympathetic, and went into the forest to search for food for the men. The fox found some cassava, the monkey found some fruits, only the rabbit did not find any food even though it searched throughout the forest. When the rabbit came back to the old men and saw them eating the fruits and cassava, it felt very bad that it did not find them any food. So, the rabbit jumped into the fire to sacrifice itself, so the old men could eat it.
Oh my God! So the rabbit committed suicide?
Oh my God! It's so selfless of it.
This is definitely not a children's selflessness. No, it's not.
So anyways, the three divine beings were so touched by the rabbit's selflessness that they decided to bring it back to heaven. The Jade Emperor heard about the rabbit's actions and was convinced that he had found his next divine medicine maker. The rabbit worked very hard to learn how to create divine medicine, and soon mastered the skills, making the emperor so happy that he decided to make the rabbit fur snow white with a dazzling heavenly glow. The rabbit fur was so white and smooth, just like precious jade, which is why other divine beings started to call the rabbit the Jade Rabbit.
I thought jade was supposed to be green.
No. But there is such thing as bai-yu, which is white jade as well.
You know. Never...never...never seen white jade.
Well, it exists.
One day, the Queen Mother of the West King looking for the Jade Rabbit and asked for a few extra pills of immortality. The Jade Rabbit told the Queen Mother that each immortal can only receive one pill every thousand years, and the Jade Emperor forbad any additional pill be given. The Queen Mother was very upset and said, "What are you afraid of? You think that I will give these pills to mortals?" The Jade Rabbit did not dare to refuse the Queen Mother and gave her the extra pills. A short time later, the Jade Rabbit heard that the Queen Mother gave the pills to Houyi, who was a mortal, and was afraid that trouble will soon befallen.
One day, enraged Jade Emperor came to the Jade Rabbit. As the heaven shocked, the Jade Rabbit fell on its knees and confessed that it gave the extra pills to the Queen Mother of the West out of fear, and would therefore accept any punishment the emperor deemed. The Jade Emperor saw that the Jade Rabbit admitted its mistake, so he asked the rabbit to determine a fitting punishment for itself.
The Jade Rabbit thought about this and knew that it was responsible for Chang'e, now living in the lonely Moon Palace. So the Jade Rabbit told the emperor that the punishment should be that the Jade Rabbit will also go live in the Moon Palace with Chang'e and be lonely forever, and also continue to make medicine. The Jade Emperor thought this was a great idea. And this way, no divine beings can have access to the Jade Rabbit and the pill of immortality.
So, how did the Jade Rabbit think that it was responsible for Chang'e living on the moon? Explain.
Well, if you remember, Houyi was the guy who received the immortality pill from the Queen Mother of the West, right? And see, Houyi's wife is Chang'e, and Houyi, who received the pill did not actually get to eat it. His wife did. And then, she, you know, flew off onto the moon and lived in the Moon Palace so she's now lonely. And of course, I don't think that the rabbit is responsible, but it really blames itself. So now, it's like the faithful companion of Chang'e.
I see. And we see them together all the time now.
One plus one does equal two.
Chinese legends are very much like the Greek legends, if you guys have ever, you know, read the Iliad. It's like, "Wow, this relationship with this, you know, it's really complicated and everyone's related to everybody."
Right. So, you know, if you want to check out the story about Houyi and Chang'e, you can check out the video we already made, and it'll explain the details in there.
- 「從事、進行」- Take On
So he decided to choose an animal for the job, and sent three divine beings down to Earth to take on the task of finding such an animal.
- 「特別、尤其」- In Particular
Three animals, in particular —the fox, the monkey, and the rabbit—were most sympathetic, and went into the forest to search for food for the men.
- 「跪下」- Fall On One's Knees
As the heaven shocked, the Jade Rabbit fell on its knees and confessed that it gave the extra pills to the Queen Mother of the West out of fear, and would therefore accept any punishment the emperor deemed.
- 「時常」- All The Time
I see. And we see them together all the time now.
- 「看看」- Check Out
So, you know, if you want to check out the story about Houyi and Chang'e, you can check out the video we already made, and it'll explain the details in there