Where had the sun gone? The only person who seemed to know was a
180-year-old man living in the nearby mountains. Liu Chun went to see
the old man.
“Deep at the bottom of the East Sea lives a King of Evil who commands
thousands of ghosts, demons, and other evil creatures. These creatures
can do their evil deeds only in the dark, so they all hate the sun. I
think the sun must have been stolen by the King of Evil,” the old man
Liu Chun was saddened by what he had heard. When he came home he said
to his wife, “Hui Niang, people will soon die from starvation without
the sun. I must find it.” Hui Niang thought for a moment and said, “If
you think you must go, then go. Don't worry about me and the house.
I'll take care of everything. If you can find the sun, it will save us
Hui Niang cut a lock of her hair and mixed it with strands of hemp to
make a pair of sandals, and she sewed a heavy cotton-padded jacket for
Liu Chun. On the day of Liu Chun's departure, as she saw him off at the
door, a ray of golden light suddenly flashed in the distance. A bird of
many colors called Golden Phoenix landed on Liu Chun's shoulder. Liu
Chun was happy and said to the bird, “Golden Phoenix, will you go with
me to find the sun?” Golden Phoenix looked at him and nodded. Liu Chun
held his wife's hands and said, “Hui Niang, unless I find the sun, I'll
not come home. Should I die on the way, I'll become a bright star and
guide those who follow me to seek the sun.”
Every day, Hui Niang climbed to the top of Precious Stone Mountain to
watch for the sunrise. But she was always disappointed. One day she saw
a bright star rise from earth to heaven. A short while later, Golden
Phoenix alighted by Hui Niang's side and bowed her head. Hui Niang knew
that her husband had died and, grief-stricken, she fainted.
When she awoke, she found herself the mother of a newborn son.
The infant grew in the wind. When the first breeze touched him, he
spoke; when the second came, he walked; and with the third touch of the
wind, he became a giant. Hui Niang was happily surprised and named the
child Bao Chu. She took her son home, but thinking of her husband she
could not help but weep. “Mother, why are you crying?” the boy asked.
Hui Niang told him the tragedy of his father.
“Mother, please let me go to finish my father's work.”
Hui Niang was torn between love for her son and devotion to the
memory of her husband. After a long silence, she gave her consent to
let her son go. Pointing at the bright star, she told Bao Chu, “That
star is the reincarnation of your father. It will guide you in the
right direction. Golden Phoenix was your father's companion. Take her