Giauna the Beautiful
Once upon a time there was a descendant of Confucius. His father had a friend, and this friend held an official position in the South and offered the young man a place as secretary. But when the latter reached the town where he was to have been active, he found that his father’s friend had already died. Then he was much embarrassed, seeing that he did not have the means to return home again. So he was glad to take refuge in the Monastery of Puto, where he copied holy books for the abbot.
About a hundred paces west of the monastery stood a deserted house. One day there had been a great snowfall, and as young Kung accidentally passed by the door of the house, he noticed a well dressed and prepossessing youth standing there who bowed to him and begged him to approach. Now young Kung was a scholar, and could appreciate good manners. Finding that the youth and himself had much in common, he took a liking to him, and followed him into the house. It was immaculately clean; silk curtains hung before the doors, and on the walls were pictures of good old masters. On a table lay a book entitled: “Tales of the Coral Ring.” Coral Ring was the name of a cavern.
Once upon a time there lived a monk at Puto who was exceedingly learned. An aged man had led him into the cave in question, where he had seen a number of volumes on the book stands. The aged man had said: “These are the histories of the various dynasties.” In a second room were to be found the histories of all the peoples on earth. A third was guarded by two dogs. The aged man explained: “In this room are kept the secret reports of the immortals, telling the arts by means of which they gained eternal life. The two dogs are two dragons.” The monk turned the pages of the books, and found that they were all works of ancient times, such as he had never seen before. He would gladly have remained in the cave, but the old man said: “That would not do!” and a boy led him out again. The name of that cave, however, was the Coral Ring, and it was described in the volume which lay on the table.
The King of Erin and the Queen of the Lonesome Island
Category: Irish folktales
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