M454
The Miao manís good scheme for marrying a sky-maiden.

Told by Yang Xiu-gong.

Introduction.

The subject of this song-story is not an animal which changed into a girl who eventually became the young manís wife, but a visitant from that other world up in the sky, who could not fly back because the man had stolen her wings.

Two kinds of bamboo baskets appear in the narrative. The first was large and conical in shape for carrying on the back. When inverted and stood on the ground it was possible for a man to crouch underneath it unseen. It was, however sufficiently loosely woven for him to prise open a small spy hole. The second was a round, shallow basket used for storing corn and often covered by another similar basket.

The story assumes, without actually saying so, that the two feathers which their mother gave them, developed into wings as the children grew up.

The tests imposed by their grandfather were intended to establish that the two lads were indeed his kin. In the second test the old man sent them into the forest, in the very path of the fire to see whether they could survive the flames.

Translation
Literal Transcription
Notes

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