The Ape Sun Wu Kung
Tell me your names quickly or I will strike you!”
The ten Princes of the Dead humbly gave him their names.
Sun Wu Kung said: “I, the Venerable Sun, have gained the power of eternal life! You have nothing to say to me! Quick, let me have the Book of Life!”
They did not dare defy him, and had the scribe bring in the Book. Sun Wu Kung opened it. Under the head of “Apes,” No. 1350, he read: “Sun Wu Kung, the heaven-born stone ape. His years shall be three hundred and twenty-four. Then he shall die without illness.”
Sun Wu Kung took the brush from the table and struck out the whole ape family from the Book of Life, threw the Book down and said: “Now we are even! From this day on I will suffer no impertinences from you!”
With that he cleared a way for himself out of the Nether World by means of his rod, and the ten Princes of the Dead did not venture to stay him, but only complained of him afterward to the Lord of the Heavens.
When Sun Wu Kung had left the city he slipped and fell to the ground. This caused him to wake, and he noticed he had been dreaming. He called his four baboons to him and said: “Splendid, splendid! I was dragged to Death’s castle and I caused considerable uproar there. I had them give me the Book of Life, and I struck out the mortal hour of all the apes!” And after that time the apes on the Mountain no longer died, because their names had been stricken out in the Nether World.
But the Lord of the Heavens sat in his castle, and had all his servants assembled about him. And a saint stepped forward and presented the complaint of the Dragon-King of the Eastern Sea. And another stepped forward and presented the complaint of the ten Princes of the Dead. The Lord of the Heavens glanced through the two memorials. Both told of the wild, unmannerly conduct of Sun Wu Kung. So the Lord of the Heavens ordered a god to descend to earth and take him prisoner. The Evening Star came forward, however, and said: “This ape was born of the purest powers of heaven and earth and sun and moon.