The Yellow Dragon

Once upon a time there was a boy who lived on a farm with his father Yin. The boy was called Woe. Woe was a quiet boy, who liked to think a lot about everything. One day, Woe was sitting by the river. In the reflection of the water the boy saw a man dressed in a yellow cloak, riding a white horse. The man had four servants with him, one of whom was holding a parasol over the man to protect him from the sun. Woe got startled when the man suddenly was standing before him. “Son of Yin,” spoke the yellow horseman. “May we rest at your house for a while?”

Woe got up and bowed. “Noble lord, I would be pleased to invite you into my home.” The boy’s father, Yin, who worked on the land, saw his son coming from a distance with the yellow horseman and followed by the four servants. He greeted his guests and prepared a delicious dinner. They were all seated at the table and were making pleasant conversation. Woe didn’t speak a word. He was listening closely to the conversation and was observing the strange visitors.

After dinner, the stranger got up and said, “Farmer Yin, I want to thank you for your hospitality.” Woe walked the visitors outside. He noticed that the servant was holding the parasol upside down when passing through the garden gate. The yellow horseman parted ways by saying, “The day after tomorrow i will return.” The boy answered: “You are always very welcome, noble lord.”

“How did this stranger know my name when I have never met him before?,” thought Yin to himself. Woe was thinking the same. “Father, I noticed that the feet of the stranger and his servants were not touching the ground. Neither were the hoofs of the horses. Also, the horses didn’t have hair, but scales.”

“I also saw,” the boy continued, “that the strangers disappeared in the clouds above the mountains.” The farmer said, “I don’t know what to make of this. Let’s ask grandmother for she is very wise.”

Grandmother listened carefully to Yin and Woe. She started speaking, “The horse is a dragonhorse. The noble man is the yellow dragon, the spirit of storms. His servants are the four winds. It means a great storm is coming!”

Above the mountains dark clouds were already forming. Like ink, the clouds were spreading over the country. In the morning a violent storm erupted. The storm was so fierce, no one had ever experienced anything like it. The river rose up and covered the whole country with water. But the farm and land of Yin remained dry. Woe bravely spoke to himself, “I think the upside down parasol and the promise of the yellow dragon to return again means something. We don’t have to fear, nothing will happen to us.”

That night the storm calmed down and the next morning the sun was shining. Woe went outside and sat in front of the garden gate to wait for the yellow dragon’s return. “I promised to return, but I am only here to give you something,” spoke the yellow dragon. He took a scale from his horse and gave it to Woe. The yellow dragon then disappeared in a flash, along with his horse and servants. When Woe went to show his grandmother what he got, she said, “Put it away in a safe place, it will bring you luck. The emperor shall even ask you for it.”

The emperor heard that the storm had ruined many houses, except for the one house that was totally unharmed. Yin and Woe were invited to the palace. They told the emperor the whole story and showed the box in which they kept the scale. When they opened the box, the scale shone a bright light which lit up the whole palace and garden. “This is extraordinary,” said the emperor. “I think the yellow dragon gave you magical powers. I want to invite you to work for me as a magician.”

And indeed, Woe was creating amazing miracles. He healed sick people and brought the emperor great luck. The emperor was so happy with Woe that he built him a beautiful house. Of course, also Yin and the grandmother were allowed to live there.

It goes to show, always be kind and hospitable to strangers.