Paint Brush Princess
Traditional Chinese Folktale
by Anna Luan Li Ning from China
is the story of a beautiful moon princess, but it
is also a story about bamboo, a plant which was
once believed to be sacred.
upon a time, there was a young man called Ma Liang.
He was poor and kind and helped a rich man to tend
cattle. He liked drawing and drew pictures
everywhere. One night, he dreamed that an old man
gave him a magic paintbrush and asked him to use it
to help poor people. When he woke up, he found the
magic paintbrush in his desk.
the young man drew a sea, the bad man was
angry and said,"I do not want this. I want
a golden mountain." Then the young man
drew a golden mountain that was far away
from the sea.
that day on, he used the paintbrush whenever people
needed help. When he saw that people had no water
to use in the fields, he drew a river and the river
came to life. People could bring water from the
river to the field and save a lot of time and
he saw it was difficult for people to till lands,
he drew a cow and the cow came to life. People
could use the cow to till lands very easily.
when he saw the peoples' troubles, he would use his
magic paintbrush to help. Then many people knew
about the magic paintbrush.
a few days later, the rich man whom Ma Liang helped
heard that the magic paint brush could turn
everything to life. He was a bad man so he had an
idea to steal the paint brush from the young man.
He knew that he could make a lot of money by
turning things to life and keeping them, so he sent
some people to the Ma Liang's home and took him to
the prison. He got the magic paintbrush and felt
he invited a lot of his friends to come to his home
and showed them the magic paintbrush. He drew a lot
of pictures, but they could not become real. He was
very angry and asked some people to get Ma Liang.
Ma Liang came, he said to him, "If you draw some
pictures for me and turn them to life, I will set
you free." The young man knew that he was a bad man
in the village. Of course he did not want to help
him. He had an idea. He said to the bad man, "I can
help you, but you should obey your words."
bad man felt very happy and said, "I want a golden
mountain. I will go there to gather gold." The
young man drew a sea first. The bad man was angry
and said," Why did you draw a sea? I do not want
this. I want a golden mountain. Draw it quickly."
the young man drew a golden mountain which was far
away from the sea. The bad man saw that and felt
very happy. He said, "Draw a big ship quickly. I
want to go there to gather gold." The young man
smiled quietly and drew a big ship. The bad man
jumped into the ship first and a lot of his family
and friends jumped in too. When the ship sailed to
the middle of the sea, the young man drew a large
wave and it destroyed the ship. So the bad man and
his friends died.
that, the young man lived with his family happily
and kept on helping the poor people. So the magic
paintbrush was known by everyone.
©1997-2008 - Sandy and Thomas Peters -