___ ___ Fire
How the peace of the world was restored:
god Fu-hsi’s gift to humanity of the eight powerful symbols, for long years men lived their lives in a world at
peace. Then, suddenly, there spread from Heaven to earth a conflict which threatened to put an end to all creation. This was
the battle between the Spirit of Water, Kung-Kung, and the Spirit of Fire, Chu-jung. Down to earth came the turbulent, willful
Kung-Kung to whip up huge waves on river and lake and lead his scaly hordes against his arch-enemy, Fire. Chu.jung fought
back with tongues of flame and scorching breath and halted the rebel Water in his path. Kung-Kung armies dispersed and he,
their leader, turned and fled. But his flight brought with it a peril greater yet. For, dashing blindly off to the west, Kung-Kung
struck his head against the mountain Puchou-shan, which was none other than the pillar that in the western corner held up
made good his escape, but he left the world in disastrous state. Great holes appeared in the sky, whilst the earth tilted
up in the west. In that region deep cracks and fissures appeared which are still to be seen to this day. All the rivers and
lakes spilled out their waters, which ran off and still run eastwards: off to the south-east, where the earth has slipped
down low, ran the waters together to form a vast ocean there. Meanwhile, out of the shaken mountain forests fire still raged
forth, and wild beasts of every kind left their lairs to maraud through the world of helpless, terrified men.
was left to the goddess Nu-kau to bring back order to the world, to quell the fire and flood and tame the wandering beasts.
She it was also who selected from the beds of rivers stones of the most perfect coloring. These she heated until they could
be molded, then with these stones, block by block, she patched the holes in the sky. Lastly, she killed a giant turtle and
cut off its powerful legs to make pillars between which the sky is firmly held over the earth, never again to fall.
the peace of the world was restored. But the mountains still rise in the west, and it is to there that the sun, moon, stars
still run down the tilted sky; whilst to the east, the waters of the earth still gather into the restless ocean.