We Are All One: In The Folktale Retold By Laurence Yep

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We Are All One

From as primitive a time as 1.7 billion years ago- the twenty-first century B.C.- humans inhabited the regions around the Yellow River and the Yangtze River in central China. As the time advanced, the Chinese population, culture, and beliefs evolved into a society. Then, in 1949- merely sixty-nine years ago- the country of China was officially established. However, the culture developed by the Chinese people had long been created; the beliefs of their culture had been established within their lives, well before China had even been founded. Some of China’s beliefs can be found not only within their religion, language, and arts, but also in their stories and folk tales. For example, one folk tale retold by Laurence Yep, titled
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While journeying through the forest, the peddler falls into a slumber under an old tree, where he had a vivid, interesting dream; the man dreamt that the queen blessed him with the encouragement to continue looking for an herb to cure the diseased rich man. After waking, the peddler continued looking in the forest. As it grew dark, the old peddler discovered a ruined temple that he made his shelter for the night. While drifting to sleep, the peddler heard a voice tell him the directions in which to find the object that would cure the man’s disease. Looking for the source of the voice, the peddler discovered that it originated from a centipede, which was magical. Once the first sunlight reached the temple, the old peddler set off, guided by the magical centipede’s directions from the previous night. After obtaining the object that was said to cure the disease, the peddler journeyed to the rich man and prepared the healing drink for him. With a shadow of doubt, the rich man abided by this old, poor man’s instructions, but with great results: The rich man’s disease with his eyes had been cured! As his payment, the old peddler received double the reward from the rich man, and he was able to return home to his wife- well-paid, and quite

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