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Legend of The White Snake Lady
By Sandie Angel
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
FACTS AND FINDINGS:
This legend of the White Snake Lady has been written and re-written by many through the centuries. The story of the White Snake Lady in China was said to have originated from the Tang Dynasty, of about 618 AD. It was about a magical White Snake that turned itself into a lady in white, and then fell in love with a human. However, the love story was tragic, even though it had a happy ending. The love affair has many twists and turns. As this legendary story travelled down in history, many other parts of the story have been added into the original version. In the Song Dynasty (960AD) it is said that the scenes of the West Lake and the Thunder Pagoda were added to the story, thus forming the mid part of the story. The end of the story was not completed until the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD). And finally, during the Ching Dynasty (1644 AD), the entire legendary story of the White Snake Lady was rewritten, and characters within the story were beautified to form a love story and were often seen in plays and operas.
The following story is a version that is widely used for this legendary White Snake Lady, but I have written this with my own words, with special features of the story added in here and there. This story of a legend is written for the purposes of entertainment by myself to meet the Valentine’s Day Special of the authorsden’s readers. Hope you all have a great time this Valentine’s Day! Enjoy the story...
The Legend of The White Snake Lady
Written by Sandie May Angel
Once upon a time, on the mountain of Er-Mei in China, two snakes were born. One of them was White, and the other – her sister – was green. However, these were not the ordinary snakes, for these two snakes possessed special magical power that was of spiritual value, since both snakes were spirits.
It was said that a spell had been put onto these two sister-snakes. The spell promised that if and when either one of the snakes discovered true love from humans, they would have the power to transform themselves into humans and lead human lives. However, they would have to treasure their human bodies, for if they weren’t careful, they would lose their magic powers and be transformed back into their snake forms.
One day, as the two sister-snakes were swimming in the water around the mountains in the West Lake of the Hang-Zou City, White Snake caught sight of a man named Hsu Shiang, who was an herbalist and was there to collect natural herbs to make medicine for the sick people in his village. White Snake fell madly fell in love with Hsu Shiang’s appearance, and she wished that she could be a human too and become his friend. She swam by Hsu Shiang, and Hsu Shiang caught sight of the White Snake and was mesmerized by its beauty, and he thought “What a beautiful white snake this is!”
By night fall, Hsu Shiang left to go home, and White Snake, together with her sister, Green Snake, swam up the lake to follow him home.
When Hsu Shiang arrived home, he kept thinking about the white snake he saw that afternoon. He could not shake the beautiful white snake from his mind.
In order to meet her love, White Snake, and Green Snake both swam ashore. Suddenly...As soon as they both swam ashore, they could feel their bodies began to change. Their snake skins became detached from their bodies and they both transformed into the bodies of humans. White Snake wore a beautiful silky white dress, and Green Snake wore a beautiful silky green dress. They were both now transformed into beautiful young ladies. Both sisters were overjoyed.
They went into Hsu Shiang’s home, and Hsu Shiang was captured by the beauties of these two young ladies, especially the one with the silky white dress. Later he found out that her name was Lady White; and soon Hsu Shiang found himself madly in love with this lady with the white dress. They got married soon after much courtship.
Hsu Shiang was a herbalist. He ran a herbal medicine store. Lady White helped her husband fill prescriptions for the patients, and because of their kindness, many credits were extended to the sick and poor; and some even got treatments for free. The Heavenly Mother of the land, Kwan Yin, took note of their kindness.
One day, a strange man, Fo Hei, who was a wicked monk, came into their store. He took one look at Lady White, and was surprised to see through her human frame and found that she was actually a snake in disguise. He informed Hsu Shiang of his finding.
Hsu Shiang did not believe the monk in the beginning; but as time passed by he also noticed some strangeness with his wife, Lady White.
It was said that during the Dragon Boat Festival, the Chinese families like to traditionally decorate with calamus and Chinese mugwort around the house, and drink wine to drive away evil spirits. This festival is especially dangerous to Lady White and Lady Green, as they both belong to the spirits world.
That year, Lady White Snake happened to be pregnant, so her magical powers had weakened. She was requested by Hsu Shiang to drink the wine as well. It was said that after Lady White would swallow the wine, the magical power within her body would be broken. Under Hsu Shiang’s influence, Lady White drank the wine, and transformed back into a white snake right in front of her husband’s eyes. Horrified and upset at his wife's sudden transformation, Hsu Shiang had fainted and became unconscious. He was about to die from fear.
A fairy appeared and told White Snake that in order to save Hsu Shiang’s life she would have to travel to the Kunlun Mountain to steal the resurrection plant, but because of White Snake’s pregnancy, she was too weak to travel, and thus she had failed her mission and was unsuccessful in stealing the resurrection plant.
White Snake was devastated as she was so much in love with Hsu Shiang. She began to cry. The Heavenly Mother, Kwan Yin, heard her sorrows, and came to earth to help White Snake. Because of the great love of White Snake for her husband, the Heavenly Mother, Kwan Yin had rewarded Hsu Shiang’s restoration of his life, and to White Snake, she restored a human body. White Snake had become Lady White once again.
Unfortunately, when Hsu Shiang came back to life, he did not feel the same way about Lady White anymore. He had forgotten how good she was in helping him and his herbal business to prosper. He had also forgotten her kindness to a lot of poor people. He now viewed his wife as a snake in disguise, and also as someone who was associated with the devils.
One day, Hsu Shiang left his wife to go to the Golden Mountain Temple to look for Fo Hei, the wicked monk whose intention was to separate the couple.
Fo Hei convinced Hsu Shiang that Lady White was evil, and should be captured and be put away for good. He also tried to convince Hsu Shiang that he should forget his wife and his unborn child, and that he should become a monk as well.
Lady White was devastated when she learned that her husband, whom she had helped to save his life, had left her to visit Fo Hei in the Golden Mountain Temple. She enlisted the help of an undersea troop of creatures to go to the Golden Mountain Temple to fight Fo Hei. They had caused a flood to the Temple land. Lady White begged her husband to come home, but Hsu Shiang had made up his mind to become a monk and refused to go home with Lady White.
The wicked monk, Fo Hei, had enlisted the help of his temple army to fight Lady White and Lady Green, and their troop of undersea creatures. Being pregnant with Hsu Shiang’s baby, Lady White did not have enough powers to face the battle to fight Fo Hei and his troop of temple soldiers. Lady White was heartbroken and left the Golden Temple without Hsu Shiang.
Lady Green could not fight alone, so she had given up the battle as well to go home with Lady White. They both awaited the arrival of the newborn baby.
Some time had passed, and Lady White gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Both sisters were very happy and excited. News of the newborn baby boy had reached her husband, Hsu Shiang, and this had made him very happy as well.
He wanted to go back to Lady White to continue his good life as a husband and a father. The wicked monk, Fo Hei, had cunningly given Hsu Shiang a magical hat to take along to meet Lady White. Little did Hsu Shiang know that the hat contained a wicked spell.
When Hsu Shiang met with Lady White, and took off his hat. The hat immediately flew toward Lady White and sent her imprisonment into the Thunder Pagoda, and there, Lady White stayed for many years as a prisoner.
Many years have passed and Lady White’s son grew to become a strong young man. He then took revenge on the wicked monk, Fo Hei, and broke into the Thunder Pagoda and rescued his long imprisoned mother.
When Lady White came out from imprisonment, the Heavenly Mother, Kwan Yin, appeared from heaven to bless her. She granted Lady White, and Lady Green each a human body that would stay with them for the rest of their natural lives.
Lady White was happy to be reunited with her husband and her son; and from then on the family lived happily after.
Copyright © Sandie May Angel
February 10, 2007