Friday, March 25, 2011

羿射九日 Yi Shoots the Nine Suns

Have you ever imagined the sun as somebody's child and would become naughty some time? In the western culture, the sun is always the most powerful god that rules the world. However, it is quite coincidental that "sun" in English is pronounced the same as "son". In fact,  the ten suns in ancient China are ten golden birds, as are seen in the picture on the left.
The ending of this story is both happy and sad. Yet, the story of Yi continues into a more popular one.

古时候,天上有十个太阳。
gu3shi2hou4,  tian1shang4  you3 shi2ge4  tai4yang.

每天早上,太阳妈妈带着她的孩子们来到东边的一个山谷,mei3tian1  zao3shang4, tai4yang ma1ma  dai4zhe  ta1de hai2zimen  lai2dao4  dong1bian1de  yi2ge4  shan1gu3,

山谷里有一个大湖,
shan1gu3li3  you3  yi2ge4  da4hu2.

妈妈给太阳们在湖水里洗澡。
ma1ma  gei3  tai4yangmen  zai4 hu2shui3li3  xi3zao3.

洗完一个太阳,就把他放在湖边一棵巨大的桑树的树枝上。xi3wan2  yi2ge4  tai4yang, jiu4 ba3ta1  fang4zai4  hu2bian1  yi4ke1 ju4da4de sang1shu4de  shu4zhi1shang4.

这棵树的名字叫扶桑。
zhe4ke1shu4de  ming2zi4  jiao4  fu2sang1.

太阳们轮流从扶桑树上飞到天上,
tai4yangmen  lun2liu2 cong2 fu2sang1shu4shang4  fei1dao4  tian1shang4,

坐着马车从东走到西。
zuo4zhe  ma3che1  cong2dong1  zou3dao4xi1.

其余的九个太阳没有事做,
qi2yu2de  jiu3ge4  tai4yang  mei2you3 shi4  zuo4,

就等着那个太阳回家。
jiu4  deng3zhe  na4ge4 tai4yang  hui2jia1.

每天都这样,太阳们不高兴了。
mei3tian1  dou1  zhe4yang4,  tai4yang2men bu4  gao1xing4le.

有一天,淘气的太阳们一起来到了天上。
you3yi4tian1, tao2qi4de  tai4yangmen yi1qi3 lai2dao4le tian1shang4.

这下糟糕了,天上有了十个太阳,
zhe4xia4  zao1gao1le,  tian1shang4  you3le  shi2ge  tai4yang.

地上的植物都被晒死了,
di4shang4de  zhi2wu4  dou1bei4  shai4si3le.

动物和人也热得受不了。
dong4wu4  he2 ren2 ye3 re4de  shou4bu4liao3.

太阳爸爸俊赶紧叫孩子们回家,
tai4yang ba4ba Jun4  gan3jin3 jiao4  hai2zimen hui2jia1,

可是,太阳们都不听爸爸的话,
ke3shi4,  tai4yangmen  dou1 bu4ting1  ba4bade hua4,

不肯回家。俊就叫来有名的射手弈。
bu4ken3  hui2jia1. Jun4 jiu4  jiao4lai2  you3ming2de she4shou3  Yi4,

俊给弈一个大弓和十支箭,
Jun4 gei3 Yi4  yi2ge4  da4gong1  he2  shi2zhi1jian4.

对他说,“你去吓唬一下他们,
dui4 ta1 shuo1," ni3 qu4 xia4hu  yi2xia4 ta1men,

叫他们赶紧回家。”
jiao4 ta1men gan3jin3  hui2jia1.”

弈来到地上,看见地上到处是晒死的树草和动物,
Yi4 lai2dao4 di4shang4, kan4jian4 di4shang4  dao4chu4 shi4  shai4si3de  shu4  cao3 he2 dong4wu4.

人们哭着请弈帮助他们,
ren2men  ku1zhe  qing3 Yi4 bang1zhu4  ta1men.

弈非常生气,马上就拿起弓箭,
Yi4 fei1chang2  sheng1qi4,  ma3shang4 jiu4  na2qi3  gong1jian4,

砰!”一个太阳被射下来了。
"Peng1!" yi2ge4  tai4yang bei4  she4xia4lai2le.

天气好像凉快了一些,人们欢呼起来。
tian1qi4  hao3xiang4  liang2kuai4le  yi4xie1, ren2men huan1hu1  qi3lai2.

“砰!”又一个太阳被射下来了。
"Peng1!" you4  yi2ge4  tai4yang  bei4 she4 xia4lai2le.

“砰砰!砰砰!”一个又一个太阳掉了下来。
"Peng1peng1! Peng1peng1!"yi2ge4 you4 yi2ge4 tai4yang diao4le xia4lai2.

突然, 有人叫了起来,“别射了,别射了!”
tu1ran2,  you3ren2  jiao4le qi3lai2,  "bie2she4le, bie2she4le!"

弈发现天上只有一个太阳了。
Yi fa1xian4 tian1shang4  zhi2you3  yi2ge4 tai4yangle.

俊看见弈把他的九个孩子都射死了,
Jun4 kan4jian4 Yi4 ba3 ta1de jiu3ge hai2zi dou1 she4si3le,

非常生气,就把弈变成了人,
fei1chang2  sheng1qi4, jiu4 ba3 Yi4 bian4cheng2le ren2.

不许他再回到天上。
bu4xu3 ta1  zai4 hui2dao4 tian1shang4.


Translation:

In ancient times, there were ten suns in the sky. Every morning, the mother of the suns led her children to a valley in the East. There was a big lake in the valley, the mom gave the suns a bath in the lake.  When she was done with one sun, she would put him in the branches of a giant mulberry tree by the lake. The name of the tree was Fu Sang. The suns took turns to fly to the sky from the tree Fu Sang, then rode a horse cart to go from the east to the west. The rest nine suns had nothing to do but wait for the other sun to come back home.
Every day it was like this. The suns were not happy. One day, the naughty suns came to the sky together. This was awful.  There were ten suns in the sky. The plants on the ground were all burned dead. Animals and people also could not bear the heat. The suns' father Jun hurriedly called the children home. But the suns would not obey their father's order, and would not go home. So Jun summoned the famous archer Yi. Jun gave Yi a big bow and ten arrows. He said to him, "Go.  Just frighten them. Ask them to come home fast."
Yi came to the ground. Everywhere, he saw the trees, grass and animals that were burned dead. In tears, people asked Yi to help them. Yi was very angry. He held up the bow and arrow right away. "Boom!" One sun was shot down.  It seemed a little cooler. The people cheered. "Boom!" Another sun was shot down. "Boom! Boom!Boom! Boom!" One after another, the suns were shot down. Suddenly, somebody cried out, "Don't shoot anymore! Don't shoot anymore!" Yi found that there was only one sun in the sky.
Jun saw that Yi shot his nine children dead. He was very angry. He turned Yi into a man, and didn't allow him to return to the sky.

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