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river

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my belated year of the dragon pic :P

for once i have a story for my picture...

in chinese mythology, dragons are associated with water, rivers and seas.
this picture was inspired by an old chinese myth i read when i was a kid. it was kinda like a kipling "how did_____ get its ______". in this case, it was how did china get its rivers.

a long time ago, china had no rivers, so the people had to depend on the rain to water the crops. however, one year, the jade emperor neglected to send down the rain, since he was having such a good time up in heaven.

there were four dragon princes living in the sea at that time, and they had a pretty care-free life, frolicking among the waves. however, things got so bad on land that the cries and wails of the people were heard even under the waves and the princes ventured to take a look.

the land was so parched the crops had died and famine was rampant across the lands. taking pity on the humans, the four dragons flew up to heaven to plead with the jade emperor to send down the rain. their pleas fell on deaf ears, however, and the dragons were sent back down to the ocean.

one of the princes grew angry and suggested that they take the water from the sea and spray it down on to the land. (i guess salt water just made things worse, lol) the dragons tried this for a couple of days, but it just wasn't enough.

finally, the princes decided to sacrifice themselves for the people. going on to the land, they turned themselves into rivers. hence the four great rivers of china were created: Heilongjiang (black dragon river) in the north, the yellow river and the yangtze (changjiang) in the central region and the pearl river in the south.
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