Chinese Short Story 001 – 叶公好龙 (YeGong Loved the Dragon)

The period for this story is 770BC~476BC.

There was a guy, YeGong, he loved the Dragon so much. So, he used the Dragon’s pictures,  sculptures, patterns, etc to decorate his home. He wore the Dragon’s clothes every day and he told everyone he loved the Dragon. One day, the Dragon heard about YeGong. The Dragon thought, “Wow, I have a fan now. I should meet him, since he loves me so much.” However, when the dragon went to YeGong’s home, YeGong was so scared he ran from the Dragon.

Tip for Chinese dragons:

If you know anything about Chinese dragons, you know they are different from the Western dragons. Chinese dragons are kind and friendly. However, they also have a defect: they are egomaniacs. They have no interest in women, but they have an interest in almost all kinds of female animals, such as buffalo, tortoise, fish, etc. People call the monsters of half dragon blood sub-dragons. Sub-dragons are not as powerful as the real dragons, and they also have their own characteristics. This means not all of them are as kind as dragons, such as Jiao (蛟). Jiaos are a cross between dragons and snakes. The Western dragons could possibly be a cross between dragons and bats.

There are two special dragons. One is The Dragon. You can say he is The King of Dragons, and is different from normal dragons. The Dragon has five legs (normal dragons just have four). The Dragon can control his body to become bigger or smaller, and he can use magic to turn into anything he wants. He is the most powerful dragon and all of the other dragons are constrained by his rule.

The second one is the Blue Dragon. He is the Eastern Security for China. (There are three more Securities for the other three directions.) Also the Blue Dragon is the most powerful Security.

Dragons were the signs for Chinese royalty. After 221BC, only the royalty could use dragons’ pattern. The dragon on the emperors’ clothes have five legs. The other royalty members just could use the dragons with four legs. However, the government officers could use the sub-dragons patterns.


About 正弋

A Chinese in Kansas State University. A male feminist.

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