46 Bazar / Chinese Mythology /

Chinese Myth: Kuafu Chasing the Sun

There was a huge mountain called Youdu (Chinese name: 幽都, Pinyin: yōu dū) on the far north of the sea. Everything on the mountain was in black, black bird, black snake, black tiger, even the giants living up there were black.

Among the many giants there was one called Kuafu (Chinese name: 夸父, Pinyin: kuā fù), he is the grandson of Houtu (The king of Youdu, Chinese name: 后土, Pinyin: hòu tǔ). Kuafu had a pair of huge ears, each of which hung with big snakes, two pythons wrapped arounds his arms, so he could get rid of boredom by petting them. Kuafu had big hairy strong legs which run very fast.

Kuafu was a lonely man, he captured and enjoyed the sounds from the sea with his huge ears on the mountain alone. He played with the python in his hand and watched the sun rises and falls. The sun was a handsome boy. He rides a white carriage day after day out of the big mulberry tree in the sea, orbits the sky from east to west and returns to the sea.

Seeing the young gorgeous sun traveled in the sky, Kuafu thought to himself, "I am the grandson of the king of Youdu. Why can't I travel freely in the sky like the sun but can only stay in this place where everything is black and tedious?".

Kuafu decided to take action. The next day when the sun was traveling again across the sky, Kuafu ran as fast as he could toward the fast moving carriage in hope of catching it up, he wanted to catch the handsome young boy who made him envious.

The young sun soon realized that he was being chased fiercely by a giant, he pacing up in no time and fled like an arrow. Kuafu was not going to let the young sun escape, he ran as fast as he could and gradually shortened the distance betwen them. As Kuafu got closer to the blazing sun, he felt hotter and hotter, he had to close his eyes as the sunlight was so bright that he could blind himself by looking at it.

Soon the sun was within reach, just at the moment Kuafu wanted to grab the sun, the giant felt irresitible thirsty, his skin burning and body liquid kept evaporating, the heat was way beyond he could bear. Kuafu put his plan on hold and ran to nearby water sources, he was so thirsty that he drank up the Yellow River and Wei River one after another, when he was about to statrt drinking from Daze Lake, he finally lost all his strength and collapsed, he never got up again.

Kuafu failed to catch the sun and died pursuing his dream. The wooden stick he had carried with him was buried in the ground and grew into peach trees many years after. Since then those peach trees have been the guardians of travellers by providing shade and juicy fruits to help the travellers to defeat heat.


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