In a far far away land there was beautiful water fall. The water fell from a very high mountain through a gate which was guarded by dragons and hence got its name ‘the dragon’s gate’. It was believed that a carp which could pass the dragons and cross the gate would turn into a dragon. It is easier said than done because there were not only the frightening dragons but many other dangers. The carp could be swept away by the swift waters or get caught by the eagles, hawks, owls or even by fishermen. But it did not deter some of the carp who wanted to become dragons.
This is the story of one such carp which was living in a pond near the waterfall. This carp lived with his parents and grandfather and was always very playful and loved to hear stories from his grandfather. One such evening his grandfather called him and told “today I am going to tell you the about the dragons and the dragon gate”. He continued “the pond we live in leads to a stream in which there are many small waterfalls. If you swim upstream and climb these small waterfalls, you will come to a waterfall called the Dragon’s Gate. If a carp ever succeeds in climbing the waterfalls, that fish would become a dragon. But it is not so easy because you could be swept away by the rushing current or caught by birds/foxes etc. But one who meets their fear and overcome these challenges shall turn into a dragon”.
Our little carp after hearing the story decides to go to the dragon gate. He goes into the stream and over the small waterfalls and reaches the bottom of the Dragon’s Gate waterfall. Oh what a beautiful sight!! He noticed many carp trying to climb the waterfall but they either were swept away or caught by the birds. He sat and thought and now makes a plan. He leaped to a small ledge near the bottom of the falls and began to make his way from ledge to ledge always keeping close to the rocks and rushing water, out of reach of the soaring birds. After a long time, he reached the top where he met the dragon which was guarding the gate. Now he had to get past the dragon. The dragon would not allow him to go saying that he was a little fish.
The little carp waited patiently and suddenly asked the dragon “I do not think you are a dragon because you cannot fly”. The dragon said “of course I can fly”. The carp said “I do not believe you. Please show me and I shall then decide for myself”. This made the dragon very angry and he flaps his huge wings and starts flying, soaring up in the sky.
The smart little carp quickly darted through the unguarded dragon’s gate and waited. He began to feel himself growing and his fish scales changing to dragon scales and became bigger and bigger till he became a huge dragon. In the meantime the dragon came back and realised how he had been tricked. He praised the little carp turned huge dragon and said “I am happy to have you as a dragon because you have the courage and dedication and cleverness to be a dragon”. Our carp dragon smiled. It rained that day and when the sun came out there was a double rainbow that day.
This is Chinese folklore inspiring children “With courage, love, and perseverance all things are possible!”
This story was narrated by one of the storytellers and retold here my way.