Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The man in the red gown

Many, many years ago, the mountain people in the Ali Mountains of Taiwan were ruled by a government officer named Wu Fung. Wu Fung was a kind and honest man. He tried to change some of the cruel customs followed by the mountain people.
Every year, at the end of autumn, the mountain people celebrated the Harvest Festival. During the festival, a man’s head would be cut off and offered to the God of the Harvest. The mountain people believed that if this was not done the God of the Harvest would be angry and they would not have sufficient grain the next year.
“This is cruel custom,” Wu Fung told them.
“We have done it for as long as we can remember,” they replied. “You don’t understand our custom. You’re not one of us.
Wu Fung tried his best to explain to them that everyone should live in peace. “it’s wrong to take life,” he said.
He told them that it was the last time he could allow them to cut off a man’s head for the festival.
“When you see a man dressed in a red gown coming,” he said, “you must kill him and cut off his head.
The next morning, the mountain people were waiting. They saw an old man walking along the road towards their village. He was wearing a red gown. They aimed at him with their bows and arrows and shot him trough the heart. They quickly cut off his head. But they were surprised to see that is was Wu Fung.
They were very sad because they knew that Wu Fung was a good man. From that time, the cruel custom was stopped. Wu Fung had given his own life to make them understand that what he had told them was right.
Even today, Wu Fung is still remembered by the mountain people.

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