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The Four Dragons

"Look, is there not plenty of water in the sea where we live? We should scoop it up and spray it towards the sky. The water will be like rain drops and come down to save the people and their crops," said Long Dragon. "Good idea!" said the others as they clapped their hands. "But," said the Long Dragon after thinking a bit, "we will be blamed if the Jade Emperor learns of this." "I will do anything to save the people," the Yellow Dragon said resolutely. "Then let's begin. We will never regret it," said Long Dragon. The Black Dragon and the Pearl Dragon were not to be outdone. They flew to the sea, scooped up water in their mouths, and then flew back into the sky, where they sprayed the water out over the earth. The four dragons flew back and forth, making the sky dark all around. Before long the sea water became rain pouring down from the sky. "It's raining! It's raining! The crops will be saved!" the people cried and leaped with joy. On the ground the wheat stalks raised their heads and the sorghum stalks straightened up.



The god of the sea discovered these events and reported to the Jade Emperor. "How dare the four dragons bring rain without my permission!" said the Jade Emperor. The Jade Emperor was enraged, and ordered the heavenly generals and their troops to arrest the four dragons. Being far outnumbered, the four dragons could not defend themselves, and they were soon arrested and brought back to the heavenly palace. "Go and get four mountains to lay upon them so that they can never escape!" The Jade Emperor ordered the Mountain God. The Mountain God used his magic power to make four mountains fly there, whistling in the wind from afar, and pressed them down upon the four dragons. Imprisoned as they were, they never regretted their actions. Determined to do good for the people forever, they turned themselves into four rivers, which flowed past high mountains and deep valleys, crossing the land from the west to the east and finally emptying into the sea. And so China's four great rivers were formed -- the Heilongjian (Black Dragon) in the far north, the Huanghe (Yellow River) in central China, the Changjiang (Yangtze, or Long River) farther south, and the Zhujiang (Pearl) in the very far south.

       



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