Dragons control the weather and were honored and respected because they changed dryness and scarcity into richness and prosperity by keeping rain falling. The Golden Emperors declared themselves as Dragons of the Golden Dynasty allowing no one to speak the word dragon, expect royalty, the earthy court dragons, and Magistrates. The Emperors were in total control.
The Emperors of the Golden Dynasty believed that their birthrights came from the Celestial Dragons. Emperors ruled for what good they achieved or did not achieve.
Alas, an Emperor and his court dishonored the Celestial Dragons.
DRAGONS SHAPE CHINA – Chinese Stories
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Two Earth Dragons called to a Fire Dragon as she flew by the Palace of the Golden Emperor. "Dragon! You, fly alone. Come and join us."
The Fire Dragon heard their call and flew into the Emperor's court landing on a golden fence to see who called her. "Sky Dragons, why are you in a cage?"
"We have a Dragon-Keeper who is most wise and keeps us in this golden pond from the Emperor."
"How can that be wise for you?"
"He has an interest in us, knows our tasted in foods and habits."
The Fire Dragon viewed them with sadness, "What could he know about you? To fly in the air is to be free. You are Sky Dragons, who bring rain?"
"We are fed spiced chicken, pork, beef, the freshest vegetables, finest rice and delicious sweet fruits. What more could a Dragon want."
"We have fresh, clean water and a water fountain to keep cool."
The Fire Dragon observed the fountain, the pond and the fence of gold. Then she noticed the golden chains with locks around a foot of each Dragon."
"You wear a chain with a lock? How is this healthy?"
"Notice the symbol of the two Dragons flying; this is our prestige for honor and respect."
"The chain holds you to the fence. You don't fly. You are fat and lazy."
A chained Dragon answered, "To fly is dreadful, searching all the time to search for foods. Stay here we are comfortable and safe."
The Fire Dragon could not believe their words. "To be chained is death. Cramped in a horrible little pond. I have the vast sky to view the world, the vast oceans to swim, the lakes and rivers to float. Your scales fad and your chest and horns small."
"Fire Dragon, you are alone."
"I have power and fly with all Dragons. Mine is a spirit that blows the clouds and rides in the winds. I give refreshments to these that deserve and starve these who are greedy. I can fly anywhere I want in whatever form I want. You, chained dragons are prisoners."
The two caged Dragon shook their heads and showed their food bowls full."
"You caged dragons are earthworms. Let me help you escape so you can be real and fly and give."
The two caged turned their backs to the Fire Dragon.
"Beware of the human Dragon Keeper; you delude yourselves. Sooner of later you will be killed, skinned, roasted, and eaten by the Emperor, who professes he controls the weather and his Court think they are the royal dragon."
With this the Fire Dragon knocked over the fountain and flew off into the sky, shouting, "I pity you, I will not share your fate."
The Fire Dragon flew by their pond often and offered the two caged dragon escape; they always refused. On one trip flying by their pond, the Fire Dragon notice skins hung over the golden fence. Nearby, tables sat for a feast. She saw a massive fire and smelled roasting.
The Emperor and his court ate the two mythical dragons causing disrespect and dishonor to all the Celestial Dragons, the Earth, Ocean, River, and Lake Dragons, who became angry. Eating a sky dragon had happened before when a dragon falls from the sky during a battle. Only now the Emperors claimed they controlled the weather and natural happening of the earth, the peoples who honored and respected the Dragons and their children could not say the word dragon or punished by guards. Now Sky Dragons cage and fatten and eaten.
Outraged the Fire Dragon told other the Dragons. Then she told the Celestial Mother of the West and Father of the East. Insult was a mild word for their reactions to the dragon bones found in a river. The Sky Dragons withheld rain from the field, rivers, and lake; drought came to all of China. The people's scared prayers to the Dragons were not heard.
Droughts came because the earthy Emperors said they were the power, they were the control, they were equals to the Dragons. The people starved. Still, the Emperors claimed they had complete control. After long droughts and many hardships, the people angered and revolted, which lasted for two hundred years. Finally, the people overthrow the Golden Emperor and his court.
In 1911, a new government in China declared all the peoples of China had the status of the Dragon; all worked hard to protect the forests, lakes, rivers, ocean, flatlands, and the mountains so that everyone prospered.
In 1948, again the Dynasty changed. Still respecting that Dragons that live within the peoples who honored and respected the Dragon since the beginning of time when Yin and Yang birth the First Dragon, P'angu.
Dragons of FolkLore, Chinese Dragons. I scanned the story from the book, the author's name I did not write down. "Lu Kuei-Meng in the 9th Century A.D. told the story, which I have enhanced and fabricated.
The Dragon Book, E.D. Edwards, publishers, William Hodge & Co., London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, 1938.
Mythical Monsters, Chinese Dragons, "Charles Gould, W.H. Allen & Co. 13 Waterloo Place, S.W., London, pp 212 -247, 1886. "Author's Absence in China" and manuscript left his hand.' Interesting, no way to check facts!
I have re-imaged, fabricated, and enhanced The Dragon Keeper for the last part of my story, Dragons Shaped China soon to be a book, Kindle, and ebook. Storytellers you may use my story. Please respect the mythology of China and give sources you find and use as all good storyteller should.
© This version of 'The Dragon Keepers' is mine. You may use the idea, premise, or plot for your stories. Please respect the use of Chinese tales, legends, and myth when using - always give credit to the resources.
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Daily in April will be posted a written story: 'How Dragons Shaped China'; the Hindu Ramayana from SITA's point of view; and from Korea, 'Taming of Tiger'; from my days of telling verbal stories at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. These tradi...