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Main > Chinese folktales > Fairy tale "Yang Oerlang"

Yang Oerlang

But there was a rainworm close by who betrayed his hiding-place, and kept repeating: “There he is! There he is!”

Oerlang was about to seize him, when a messenger from the Ruler of the Heaven suddenly descended from the skies with a command: “Sky, air and earth need the sunshine. You must allow this one sun to live, so that all created beings may live. Yet, because you rescued your mother, and showed yourself to be a good son, you shall be a god, and be my bodyguard in the Highest Heaven, and shall rule over good and evil in the mortal world, and have power over devils and demons.” When Oerlang received this command he ascended to Heaven.

Then the sun-disk came out again from beneath the portulacca leaves, and out of gratitude, since the plant had saved him, he bestowed upon it the gift of a free-blooming nature, and ordained that it never need fear the sunshine. To this very day one may see on the lower side of the portulacca leaves quite delicate little white pearls. They are the sunshine that remained hanging to the leaves when the sun hid under them. But the sun pursues the rainworm, when he ventures forth out of the ground, and dries him up as a punishment for his treachery.

Since that time Yang Oerlang has been honored as a god. He has oblique, sharply marked eyebrows, and holds a double-bladed, three-pointed sword in his hand. Two servants stand beside him, with a falcon and a hound; for Yang Oerlang is a great hunter. The falcon is the falcon of the gods, and the hound is the hound of the gods. When brute creatures gain possession of magic powers or demons oppress men, he subdues them by means of the falcon and hound.

Note: Yang Oerlang is a huntsman, as is indicated by his falcon and hound. His Hound of the Heavens, literally “the divine, biting hound” recalls the hound of Indra. The myth that there were originally ten suns in the skies, of whom nine were shot down by an archer, is also placed in the period of the ruler Yau. In that story the archer is named Hou I, or I (comp.

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