Ku ši ǰuwan-u nigen bölög A Chapter in the Story of Pain and Joy


Cassette: 003
Transcription: hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-2772
Transcription Number: Mo 40
Transcription Pages: 40 pp.
Recording: On September 24, 1986 in Tongliao, Walther Heissig recorded the tale from the recitation of the bard Bai Suo of J̌arud, a native of Küriye Banner living in ǰarud.
Transcription Note: In the spring of 2011, Čoγtu wrote down the text.
Peculiarities: -
Further Information: The text is an episode in the Ku ši ǰuwan / Kuxi zhuan. It occupies only three pages in the printed edition Ku si ǰuwan kemekü üliger, Kökeqota 1979 , ch. 21, pp. 146-149. The oral version by the bard Baisuo expands on this episode and it also contains long passages in poetry which are not found in the printed edition.
Language Archive Cologne: hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-271C


The story begins with a song which narrates how the orphan boy Yuchi Xiande lost his paternal uncle Ma Linxian in the confusion of battle and who had been left for many days. He penetrated the enemy army, leaving behind a trail of blood, and feeling weary, managed to escape from the enemy. He killed eleven famous warriors and repaid only half of the hatred of the past. Not knowing where Ma Linxian went, Xiande climbed the mountain south-east of Shaohua Mountain. He got off his horse, surveying the four directions, and all was calm. The sound of explosions could hardly be heard and the enemy army withdrew (song:pp. 1-2).

After Yuchi Xiande has lost Ma Linxian, he asks people for news of him, but since he finds nothing he removes blood clots from his horse and takes the Liaodong road. A song relates how, along the road, gnashing his teeth, the fourteen-year-old Xiande thinks bitterly of the animosity of the past and how he battled with the hateful enemy Fu Long and his army. Again and again he thinks of how Ma Linxian, in the time of his father, struggled to save his life, how he followed him to the mountains and lived there for seven years, and then, unexpectedly, they lost each other. A sorrowful Xiande crosses the mountain, wondering if Ma Linxian is alive or dead. If he is alive, he thinks, he will hear from him. If he has died in battle, one day he will recruit an army and repay Fu Long and his followers for their hatred. Xiande hides in ditches by day and wanders countless roads by night. At times his hatred hardens, at other times his heart calms down. Tired and hungry, Xiande endures suffering along the way. One day, Xiande comes to the side of a mountain. (song: pp. 3-4).

The young Xiande raises his eyes and sees a mountain of awe-inspiring majesty. He reaches the foot of the mountain, reins in his horse and observes the mountain. A song, at this point, contains praise of the mountain. Xiande sees peaks which soar into the clouds, tall plane trees which obscure the sun, rare wild beasts which play in packs on the southern slope of the mountain. There are cliffs thousands of years old and thousands of zhang high. Thousand-year-old pines stand tall. From the crevices of rocks melting water of springs falls in drops. Lotus flowers smile on the edges of ponds. Flowers compete in their colours. Fire-red peaks lightened up by the sun blaze with colours. Geese and cranes dance in the clouds. Climbing plants entwine themselves around fragrant sandal trees. Ducks and geese dive into the water (song: pp. 6-12). The young Xiande thinks that the mountain is much more beautiful than Shaohua Mountain, where he had lived, and before he can finish admiring the scenery he hears a shout.

A song relates how from above a cliff a loud shout can be heard. An army of about twenty highwaymen come holding spears and tridents in their hands (song: p. 12). Then they demand that Xiande pay for his passage with money. Xiande, who has killed eleven famous warriors, shows no fear. Laughing coldly, Xiande tells the men to come to him, and asks them for what reason they want money. These are bandits who take money from travellers who cross the mountain and now want Xiande to pay the toll. When the men come near to Xiande, the latter asks them if there is a king on the mountain. They say that there is, and Xiande orders them to go to the king of the mountain, tell him that a person of rank has arrived and that he must come to meet him. On hearing these words, some of the bandits are frightened, others are surprised, some others laugh. Then they tell Xiande that the king of the mountain is a woman whom they call “aunt”. On hearing this, Xiande is surprised that a woman became a bandit and mocks them, then he tells the bandits that they should go and tell the queen of the mountain to hand the mountain over to him. The bandits go back.

A song relates how the bandits go back to the stronghold and report this stranger’s words to the queen of the mountain . The latter becomes enraged and orders the aides to bring her weapon, saddle the horse and bring armour. A leather trunk is also brought to her and she opens it. She takes off her ordinary robe and puts on fine armour near her skin. Over that she dons armour decorated with pearls. Over it she puts on armour patterned with fish scales. Her outer armour shows designs of stars and planets. She ties around her waist a belt of crepe. She covers her head with a helmet and fastens it with straps of antelope skin under her chin (song: pp. 16-17). Clad in armour, she picks up weapon, jumps onto the horse and sets off escorted by five-hundred soldiers. Now a song describes how they rush down the mountain, with rolling drums and beating gongs, and, at this moment, it is as if rocks split open and rivers are in turmoil. Xiande is waiting for them on the side of road. What he sees is an unusual general coming with the command canopy raised at the rear, and with a black horse flying. The queen of the mountain begins to scold Xiande for crossing the mountain at will and for his harsh words. She shouts to Xiande that if he does not pay the toll, as is required, she will not let him go free (song: pp. 17-19). Xiande sees that the general is a woman with a dark-brownish face. He calls her a demon, and asks her if she is the one who rules over the mountain, exploits people, and robs money from travellers. The queen of the mountain replies with a laugh. Then she asks Xiande from which place a good for nothing like he came, ignoring the rules of conduct and going about the mountain road as he pleases. On hearing this, Xiande says that he will deal with her directly, without telling her his name. He gallops forwards holding high his lance with a long handle.

A duel ensues which is describes in song. Xiande approaches and cries “Watch out for the lance!”, and when he uses it, the queen of the mountain hits back with her long sword. Weapons clash noisily, spreading columns of fire. When Xiande strikes her with the lance, it is as if you would encounter Mount Tai. Badly beaten, the queen of the mountain is amazed to find how powerful a fighter her opponent is. She poises the horse, raises the sword and cries “Watch out for the sword!”. They go on fighting, impressed by each other’s skills. When they fight, it is as if lions are roaming about Mount Sumeru, as if huge fishes are making chaos in the river. They fight thirteen rounds, but neither emerges as victor. When after thirty rounds, Xiande becomes wilder, the queen of the mountain puts aside her weapon (song: pp. 20-22). She draws back on her horse and tells Xiande to calm down and to listen to her.

A song describes how the queen of the mountain addresses Xiande, saying that she does not yet known his name, but she would like to know it (song: pp. 23-24). Thinking that it would be improper not to tell his name when asked, Xiande agrees to this. Another song has Xiande telling the queen of the mountain that he is the son of a learned family. His father’s name was Songxun, who held the title of Lord, and his mother’s name was Yang Xiong. The members of his family were the victims of muddle-headed and cruel officials at court and were sentenced and executed. In order to save him from the extermination of his family, his paternal uncle Ma Linxian took him to the Shaohua Mountain where they lived for about ten years (song: pp. 24-25). Xiande goes on to say that the enemy Fu Long and his army surrounded Shaohua Mountain, where they stayed, and since he killed eleven famous warriors and thousands of soldiers, the army have lost courage, their souls deserted them and they ran away in disarray. Afterwards he left the mountain and wandered about aimlessly. A song narrates that on hearing Xiande’s words, the queen of the mountain sighs, dismounts, tosses aside her sword, and pays homage to him. She tells Xiande that she has heard of his fame, and that she did not imagine that she would meet him. She proposes that they become friends. Then she tells him that his family has lived on Yanshan Mountain for three generations, and that she rules over the mountain (song: pp. 26-27).

Now the queen of the mountain tells Xiande that her name is Hua Songlian, and that she is seventeen years old. She asks him if he would be willing to accept her hospitality in the stronghold. A song tells how Xiande considers this, then dismounts and says to her that, since she showed compassion for an orphan boy who has no place to live, he will accept her hospitality (song: pp. 28-29). Then Xiande goes on to tell Hua Songlian that he is going to stay on the mountain for some days, to enjoy her food and to let his horse rest. After this, he will go on his way. They head for the stronghold of Yanshan Mountain. A song describes how they come in front of the stronghold, how Hua Songlian hands horse and weapon over to her aides, and how she lets Xiande stay at the guest house. Another song relates how maids wait on Xiande and treat him as a guest of honour, and how, while he is drinking wine, a maid comes in and greets him (song: pp. 30-31). The maid tells Xiande how she was sent by Hua Songlian to ask some questions about her guest. A song follows which has the maid asking Xiande if he is married and has an infant at home, or if an agreement to marry a girl has been already made. Such questions come as a surprise to Xiande, who laughs (song: pp. 31-32). Then Xiande tells the maid that no one in the world would give a girl in marriage to the son of an official accused of a crime, to a person who lived the life of bandit, and who does not even possess a cup to drink. Xiande also adds that he is still very young, and that he has nowhere to live.

The maid goes back. After a short time, she returns to Xiande with three requests from Hua Songlian. She tells Xiande that if he agrees to hear Hua Songlian ’s requests she will transmit them to him. If he refuses to hear them she will say nothing. Xiande agrees, in consideration of the kind hospitality that Hua Songlian offered him. So the maid says to Xiande that Hua Songlian is asking him if he would agree to take charge of the mountain, to become the chief ruler of the mountain, and to marry her. A song relates how Xiande thinks to himself that when he met her at the foot of mountain he saw that she has a dark-brownish face, that she is not beautiful but not ugly either, and since she wants to devote herself to him, he will marry her. The maid informs Hua Songlian about Xiande’s decision to marry her (song: p.36). Another song tells how Hua Songlian and Xiande were destined to meet, and how preparations for the wedding are made. A felt carpet is laid down in the middle of the courtyard and joss sticks are placed in the incense burner. (song: pp. 36-38). After Hua Songlian and Xiande have paid homage to the gods, the wedding feast is held in the stronghold. Now a song describes Xiande, who remains in Huashan Mountain , and although he is happy after his marriage he does not forget the goodness of Ma Linxian and thinks about him constantly (song: pp. 39-40).
After concluding the performance of the tale, the bard Bai Suo sings a song to express his joy at having met Walther Heissig, who recorded the tale.