The Story of the Phoenix

Another sunday, another story…

“Ta-Khai, Prince of Tartary, dreamed one night that he saw in a place where he had never been before an enchantingly beautiful young maiden who could only be a princess. He fell desperately in love with her, but before he could either move or speak, she had vanished. When he awoke he called for his ink and brushes, and drew her image on a piece of precious silk, and in one corner he wrote these lines:

The flowers of the paeony
Will they ever bloom?
A day without her
Is like a hundred years.

He then summoned his ministers, and, showing them the portrait, asked if any one could tell him the name of the beautiful maiden; but they all shook their heads and stroked their beards. They did not know who she was.

So displeased was the prince that he sent them away in disgrace to the most
remote provinces of his kingdom. All the courtiers, the generals, the officers, and every man and woman, high and low, who lived in the palace came in turn to look at the picture. But they all had to confess their ignorance.

Ta-Khai then called upon the magicians of the kingdom to find out in magic ways the name of the princess of his dreams, but their answers were so widely different that the prince condemned them all to have their noses cut off. The portrait was shown in the outer court of the palace from sunrise till sunset, and travellers from all over the world came in every day, gazed upon the beautiful face, and came out again. No-one could tell who she was.

Meanwhile the days were weighing heavily upon the shoulders of Ta-Khai, and he became very unhappy; he forgot to eat, he forgot to drink, and he even forgot which was day and which was night, what was in and what was out, what was left and what was right. He spent his time roaming over the mountains and through the woods crying aloud to the gods to end his life and his sorrow.

It was in this way, one day, that he came to the edge of a cliff. The valley below was scattered with rocks, and the thought came to his mind that he had been led to this place to put and to his misery. He was about to throw himself into the depths below when suddenly a Phoenix flew across the valley and appeared before him, saying:

“Why are you, a mighty Prince, standing here, looking so sad?”

Ta-Khai replied: “Nothing matters to me now but finding the beautiful girl for whom my heart is thirsting, but how can I find her?”

And he told the bird his story.

The Phoenix replied:

“Without the help of Supreme Heaven it is not easy to acquire wisdom, but it is a sign that Heaven has sent me to help you. I can make myself large enough to carry the largest town upon my back, or small enough to pass through the smallest keyhole, and I know all the princesses in all the palaces of the earth. They all know my song, and I am their friend. Therefore show me the picture, Ta-Khai, and I will tell you the name of the princess you saw in your dream.”

They went to the palace, and, when the portrait was shown, the bird became as large as an elephant, and exclaimed, “Sit on my back, Ta-Khai, and I will carry you to the place of your dream. There you will find Sai-Jen, the daughter of the King of China, the princess of your dream.”

At nightfall they were flying over the palace of the king just above a magnificent garden. And in the garden sat Sai-Jen, singing and playing upon the lute. The Phoenix deposited the prince outside the wall near a place where bamboos were growing and showed him how to cut twelve bamboos between the knots to make a flute with a sound sweeter than the evening breeze on the forest stream.

And as he blew gently across the pipes, they echoed the sound of the princess’s voice so harmoniously that she cried:
“I hear the distant notes of the song that I sing myself, although I can see nothing but the flowers and the trees. It is a beautiful song, and it sounds very sad, and full of longing.”

At that moment the wonderful bird, like a fire of many colours come down from heaven, landed in front of the princess, dropping at her feet the portrait. She opened her eyes in utter astonishment at the sight of her own image. And when she had read the lines inscribed in the corner, she asked, trembling:

“Tell me, Phoenix, who is he, so near, but whom I cannot see, that knows the sound of my voice and has never heard me, and can remember my face and has never seen me?”

Then the bird spoke and told her the story of Ta-Khai’s dream, adding:

“I come from him with this message; I brought him here on my wings. For many days he has longed for this hour, let him now meet the princess of his dream and heal the wound in his heart.”

Sai-Jen fell silent when Ta-Khai stood before her, so great was her love for him. The Phoenix lit up the garden sumptuously, and a breath of love was stirring the flowers under the stars.

It was in the palace of the King of China that were celebrated in the most ancient and magnificent style the nuptials of Sai-Jen and Ta-Khai, Prince of Tartary.

And this is one of the three hundred and thirty-three stories about the Phoenix as it is told in the Book of the Ten Thousand Wonders.”

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18 responses to “The Story of the Phoenix

  1. i sow that wuxia series, is call ‘Legend’ was a grea series and had in center phoenix legend. I love the story, thanks for sharing Story teller.

  2. Rather than playing 9dragons like it is better read some stories and watch some wuxia series. I think I will do this and take a break from 9dragons. Sucks big time what they did from the game. They dream only money and forgot the story line and the palyers.

  3. I wish 9dragons to be like a phoenix, rise from his ashes, but I am affraid it don’t have the power to do so. Awesome job St.

  4. A game offers a medium of story telling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world. I hope 9dragons can also tell a lot of stories.

  5. Once someone said :’To hell with facts! We need stories! ‘ I know I was writing stories when I was a child. Stories inspire me so keep it up with the stories.

  6. I will check up that wuxia series, make me wanna see it. Phoenix :
    ‘A phoenix is a mythical bird that is a fire spirit with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (Greek for sun-city). It is said that the bird’s cry is that of a beautiful song. In very few stories they are able to change into humans.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)

    Was present in all mythologies.

  7. We need stories and happy ends to survive. I love all stories. Thanks for sharing. I will wait for the next one.

  8. Keep up this good working on telling stories, I enjoy it a lot. I notice this China stories are tragic in the end. There are very few black and white stories.

  9. “If you’ve heard this story before, don’t stop me, because I’d like to hear it again.” I only wish for 9dragons to don’t end in a crappy way. I enjoyed your story.

  10. I like how Phoenix is picture on China. Phoenix and dragon together is the symbol of prosperity and pace of land.

  11. I wanted to read a long time Phoenix legend but I didn’t have time. This is a short story of the legend but is quite a good one.

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