Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Fourth Question

Charlotte's nursery class has been talking about Chinese New Year.  They made dragons with glue and glitter and Friday she came home with a lucky penny folded in a red envelope.

Rosalind C. Wang
illustrated by Ju-Hong Chen 1991 

Here's a fun Chinese tale about a young man named Yee-Lee who works hard to support himself and his mother but they are always poor. He decides to visit the Wise Man of Kun-lun mountain and get his advice. On his journey to the mountain he meets others who have questions of their own for the wise man. A mother wants to know why her beautiful daughter is mute, an old man wants to know why his orange tree doesn't bear fruit, and a dragon wants to know why he can't rise to heaven.

When Yee-Lee meets the wise man he is told he can only ask three questions. Sacrificing his own question, he gets the answers for the others. And in the end, a reward and happy ending for himself.

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