The Ape Sun Wu Kung
His crime deserves a thousand deaths!”
But the Lord said: “He has come up from the earth below, and is not as yet used to our rules. We will forgive him.”
Then he gave orders that a charge be found for him. The marshal of the heavenly court reported: “There is no charge vacant anywhere, but an official is needed in the heavenly stables.” Thereupon the Lord made him stablemaster of the heavenly steeds. Then the servants of the Lord of the Heavens told him he should give thanks for the grace bestowed on him. Sun Wu Kung called out aloud: “Thanks to command!” took possession of his certificate of appointment, and went to the stables in order to enter upon his new office.
Sun Wu Kung attended to his duties with great zeal. The heavenly steeds grew sleek and fat, and the stables were filled with young foals. Before he knew it half a month had gone by. Then his heavenly friends prepared a banquet for him.
While they were at table Sun Wu Kung asked accidentally: “Stablemaster? What sort of a title is that?”
“Why, that is an official title,” was the reply.
“What rank has this office?”
“It has no rank at all,” was the answer.
“Ah,” said the ape, “is it so high that it outranks all other dignities?”
“No, it is not high, it is not high at all,” answered his friends. “It is not even set down in the official roster, but is quite a subordinate position. All you have to do is to attend to the steeds. If you see to it that they grow fat, you get a good mark; but if they grow thin or ill, or fall down, your punishment will be right at hand.”
Then the Ape King grew angry: “What, they treat me, the Venerable Sun, in such a shameful way!” and he started up. “On my Mountain I was a king, I was a father! What need was there for him to lure me into his heaven to feed horses? I’ll do it no longer! I’ll do it no longer!”
Hola, and he had already overturned the table, drawn the rod with the golden clamps from his ear, let it grow large and beat a way out for himself to the Southern gate of Heaven.