Yap, time for stories again…
“Far up in the mountains of the Province of Hunan in the central part of China, there once lived in a small village a rich gentleman who had only one child. This girl was the very joy of her father’s life.
Now Mr. Min, for that was this gentleman’s name, was famous throughout the whole district for his learning, and, as he was also the owner of much property, he spared no effort to teach Honeysuckle everything he could, and to give her everything she craved. Of course this was enough to spoil most children, but Honeysuckle was not at all like other children. As sweet as the flower from which she took her name, she listened to her father’s slightest command, and obeyed without ever waiting to be told a second time.
One day when Honeysuckle was sitting inside a shady pavilion that overlooked a tiny fish-pond, she was suddenly seized with a violent stomach-ache. Frantic with pain, she told a servant to summon her father, and then without further ado, she fell over in a faint upon the ground.
When Mr. Min reached his daughter’s side, she was still unconscious. After sending for the family physician to come as fast as he can, he got his daughter to bed, but although she recovered from her fainting fit, the extreme pain continued until the poor girl was almost dead from exhaustion.
Now, when the doctor arrived and peered at her from under his gigantic spectacles, he could not discover the cause of her trouble. Poor Honeysuckle lay in agony for three days, all the time growing weaker and weaker from loss of sleep. Every great doctor in the district had been summoned for consultation, but all to no avail.
Mr. Min sent out a proclamation in every direction, describing his daughter’s illness, and offering to bestow on her a handsome dowry and give her in marriage to whoever should be the means of bringing her back to health and happiness. He then sat at her bedside and waited, feeling that he had done all that was in his power. There were many answers to his invitation. Physicians, old and young, came from every part of the Empire to try their skill, and when they had seen poor Honeysuckle and also the huge pile of silver her father offered as a wedding gift, they all fought with might and main for her life; some having been attracted by her great beauty and excellent reputation, others by the tremendous reward.
But, alas for poor Honeysuckle! Not one of all those wise men could cure her! One day, when she was feeling a slight change for the better, she called her father, and, clasping his hand with her tiny one said, “Were it not for your love I would give up this hard fight and pass over into the dark wood. For your sake, because I am your only child, and especially because you have no son, I have struggled hard to live, but now I feel that the next attack of that dreadful pain will carry me away. And oh, I do not want to die!”
Here Honeysuckle wept as if her heart would break, and her old father wept too, for the more she suffered the more he loved her.
Just then her face began to turn pale. “It is coming! The pain is coming, father! Very soon I shall be no more. Good-bye, father! Good-bye; good-bye!” Here her voice broke and a great sob almost broke her father’s heart. He turned away from her bedside; he could not bear to see her suffer. He walked outside and sat down on a rustic bench; his head fell upon his bosom, and the great salt tears trickled down his long grey beard.
As Mr. Min sat thus overcome with grief, he was startled at hearing a low whine. Looking up he saw, to his astonishment, a large, shaggy mountain dog. The huge beast looked into the old man’s eyes with so intelligent and human an expression, with such a sad and wistful gaze, that the greybeard addressed him, saying, “Why have you come? To cure my daughter?”
The dog replied with three short barks, wagging his tail vigorously and turning toward the half-opened door that led into the room where the girl lay.
By this time, willing to try any chance whatever of reviving his daughter, Mr. Min bade the animal follow him into Honeysuckle’s apartment. Placing his forepaws upon the side of her bed, the dog looked long and steadily at the wasted form before him and held his ear intently for a moment over the maiden’s heart. Then, with a slight cough he deposited from his mouth into her outstretched hand, a tiny stone. Touching her wrist with his right paw, he motioned to her to swallow the stone.
“Yes, my dear, obey him,” counselled her father, as she turned to him inquiringly, “for good Doctor Dog has been sent to your bedside by the mountain fairies, who have heard of your illness and who wish to invite you back to life again.”
… The collection of stories is coming from books or net sources.Enjoy it!