Kong Que Gong Zhu - The Peacock Princess

Once upon a time in Xishuangbanna there was a Dai chief named Zhao Meng Hai. His son, Zhao Shu Tun, was very handsome and brave and many young women really liked him. But, Zhao Shu Tun was waiting for someone that he really liked.

One day, Zhao Shu Tun's loyal friend, a hunter, told him that seven beautiful Peacock Princesses would fly down to Lang Xi Na Lake the next day to play. The most beautiful one would be the seventh, called Lan Wu Luo Na. "Just hide her peacock cloak," said the hunter, "and she won't be able to fly."

"Really?" Zhao Shu Tun replied. He didn't believe it; but still he went to the lake early the next morning.

At the lakeshore, Zhao Shu Tun hid himself in the bushes and, sure enough, seven peacocks soon flew from far over the horizon to the lake. After landing, they turned into seven beautiful young women and danced a beautiful peacock dance. Zhao Shu Tun immediately fell in love with the seventh princess, who was the most beautiful one. He did what the hunter told him and hid her peacock cloak. When all of Lan Wu Luo Na's sisters had flown away, Zhao Shu Tun walked out from behind the bushes. Lan Wu Luo Na was very shy but she couldn't fly away. She also fell in love with the young man and they got married.

Not long after they were married, a neighboring tribe started a war. In order to defend their land, Zhao Shu Tun led his people's army in battle. At the beginning, every day there was news about Zhao Shu Tun's army being defeated. One day, after more bad news, an evil wizard told Zhao Shu Tun's father that Lan Wu Luo Na was the one that brought disaster and misfortune to the tribe and so she must be killed. The chief was fooled and believed what the wizard said. He ordered the peacock princess to be burned the next day.

When the next day came, the chief's guards brought Lan Wu Luo Na to the center of town to be executed. Tears fell down her face. She wasn't crying for herself, but for her husband who she knew would be devastated to find her dead when he came back. At last she asked the chief:"“Can I wear my peacock cloak for the last dance?" Zhao Meng Hai agreed. Lan Wu Luo Na wore her cloak and performed a dance that filled the tribe with peace and love. Slowly, she turned into a peacock and flew away.

On the same day, news arrived that Zhao Shu Tun won the battle. Among all the people that came to celebrate his success, he couldn't find his wife. When he was told what had happened, he decided to look for her. His hunter friend gave him three magical arrows and wished him good luck.

Zhao Shu Tun walked for several days, overcoming many obstacles along the way, to reach the valley homeland of the peacocks. When he arrived, there were two elephant-like rocks blocking the way. He used the first magical arrow to shoot away the rocks.

The king of the country was Lan Wu Luo Na's father. He didn't like how his daughter was treated by Zhao Shu Tun's people and decided to give him a test. He had all his daughters cover their faces with red veils and put candles on their heads. He ordered Zhao to tell which one was his wife by shooting the candle on her head. Using the second magical arrow, he shot the candle on Lan Wu Luo Na's head. The king let Zhao Shu Tun take his daughter back to the Dai homeland.

When they returned, the evil wizard tried to run away. He turned into a vulture but Zhao Shu Tun took out the last magical arrow. The arrow of justice killed the wizard and the Dai people lived in peace and happiness once again.


Reading Fun: Folk Stories

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