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Main > Chinese folktales > Fairy tale "Sky O'Dawn"

Sky O'Dawn

Once, when a comet appeared in the heavens, Sky O’Dawn gave the Emperor the astrologer’s wand. The Emperor pointed it at the comet and the comet was quenched.

Sky O’Dawn was an excellent whistler. And whenever he whistled in full tones, long drawn out, the motes in the sunbeams danced to his music.

Once he said to a friend: “There is not a soul on earth who knows who I am with the exception of the astrologer!”

When Sky O’Dawn had died, the Emperor called the astrologer to him and asked: “Did you know Sky O’Dawn?”

He replied: “No!”

The Emperor said: “What do you know?”

The astrologer answered: “I know how to gaze on the stars.”

“Are all the stars in their places?” asked the Emperor.

“Yes, but for eighteen years I have not seen the Star of the Great Year. Now it is visible once more.”

Then the Emperor looked up towards the skies and sighed: “For eighteen years Sky O’Dawn kept me company, and I did not know that he was the Star of the Great Year!”

Note: The mother of Sky O’Dawn, (Dung Fang So) who makes so mysterious an appearance on earth, according to one tradition, is the third daughter of the Lord of the Heavens. (Comp. Note to No. 16). Dung Fang So is an incarnation of the Wood Star or Star of the Great Year (Jupiter). The King-Father of the East, one of the Five Ancients, is the representative of wood (comp. No. 15). Red chestnuts, like fire-dates, are fruits of the gods, and bestow immortality. Sky O’Dawn was an excellent whistler. Whistling is a famous means of magic among the Taoists. The Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty, was a prince who is reputed to have devoted much attention to the magic arts. He reigned from 140 to 86 B.C. The three-legged crow in the sun is the counterpart of the three-legged ram-toad in the moon. The Red River recalls the Weak River by the Castle of the Queen-Mother of the West.

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