Story Selected by Mengxing
Chinese myths and legends hold that gods and deities live in other more beautiful and finer dimensions and realms. Those dimensions exit parallel to ours. It has been said that we may only enter when the gates open. Sometimes, the gates open inadvertently but as illustrated in this charming tale their time-spaces are different from our earth time here.
Once upon a time at the beginning of the Jin Dynasty, a man by the name of Peng Qiu journeyed to Mount Yunu to cut timber. Suddenly he became aware of an unusual fragrance. He followed the scent to the northern side of the mountain.
There, he found an enchanted palace. He was surprised to see a palace of such splendor in the mountains.
The palace looked infinitely wide and luminous.
Peng Qiu snuck through the entrance passed five Crassula trees. He saw four fairies playing an ancient Chinese chess game in a large room. The four fairies were of unearthly beauty.
Surprised by Peng Qiu’s presence, they all stood up and one asked him: “How did you get here Mr. Peng?”
Peng Qiu replied, “I followed the perfume and found this palace.” The four fairies sat down and returned quite undisturbed to their chess game. The youngest fairy went upstairs and started playing instrumental music that had an exquisite melody.
Peng Qiu went to stand under a Crassula tree near the Palace. He was so hungry, he drank the dew that dripped from the leaves.
Out of the blue, the youngest fairy riding on the back of a crane flew down to where he was standing near the palace entrance. The fairy reprimanded the four fairies saying, “Why are you keeping this mortal here?”
“Lady Queen Mother ordered has ordered me to search the palace and banish the mortal ”
Peng Qiu became fearful and exited the gates. He looked back, only to see that the palace and the fairies had vanished.
Upon his return home, he found that decades had passed even though he thought he had spent only a short time in the palace.
Come to think of it could it be that Peng Qui was really an immortal who originally came down from that heavenly realm? Because how on earth or (in heaven) could the fairies have known his name?
This tale makes one wonder if the wonderful worlds in our dreams and some of the ones written about in the classics are in reality ou very own true homes.
Source: “Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang” by Duan Chengshi in Tang Dynasty