Three leaders.

Narrated by Wang Da-lu.


This story comes from an old song which has been recounted in modern prose. However, the snatches of verse in which the conversations have been recorded may belong to the original.

It is likely that the three elders in the story represent three Miao clans, two of which were closely allied. Although the song does not say so specifically, inter-clan rivalry, together with pressure from the Chinese, were making life difficult for the whole community. A determined effort on the part of the third clan succeeded in recalling the two related clans from other preoccupations to join in settling outstanding questions and securing the threatened territories, to the mutual advantage of all concerned.

The couplet,

"The game returns again,
The game comes back",

which occurs several times, is not entirely clear, though possibly in the original song the lines were more specific. The meaning may be that, in the ordinary way, a hunted animal will try to circle back to its home territory, but in this case, that did not seem to be happening. The two huntsmen were travelling further and further afield. The reason was that their quarry was a tiger, and tigers range over very wide areas. The huntsmen eventually realized that the tiger was heading for the shelter of a cavern in the Na-lyu valley, so, while one pursued it, the other lay in wait and shot the tiger as it leapt across the river.

Literal Transcription

You can see the original documents for this song.

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Word97 Introduction
Word97 Translation
Word97 Transcription
Word97 Notes

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