Monday, October 10, 2016
Sam Xu - Environmental Fairy Tale (Houyi and the Ten Suns)
The original Chinese tale of the ten suns tells of a deity, Di Jun, who had ten suns as children. The suns would take turns riding across the sky each day. One day, the suns grew tired of this and all ten of them rose to play in the sky together. Their combined heat made life on Earth unbearable, burning the land, drying crops, and killing people. Nine of the suns had to be shot down by the archer Houyi, and the remaining sun is the one we still see in the sky today. In my retelling, I'm focusing on the problem of drought that would be caused by this overheating of the planet. Crops are dead, and Houyi is forced to look for water along dry riverbeds, without strength to shoot down the suns.