Hou Yi Shot Down Nine Suns--Hou Yi She Ri

Allen Yang

According to Chinese Mythologies, in the eastern sea, there was a huge, magic tree named Fu Sang who was over ten thousand feet tall and spread its leaves out over two thousand li (Li is equal to half of kilometer). On it lived the ten sons of the heavenly Emperor. Everyday one of them turned into three-legged crow (In East Asian mythologies the three-legged crow is thought to represent the sun.) and flew up to the sky, illuminating the earth.

But one day the ten brothers were involved into a heated argument about who was the best son of their father. To show their individual power, they all flew up to the sky and thus cause the earth to scorch. Having failed to order his sons to stop ruining the earth, the Jade Emperor summoned Hou Yi, the god of archery, to discipline his naughty sons.

When Hou Yi landed on the Earth, seeing all the dead creatures, he was filled with sadness. He called out to the suns and ordered them to stop their foolishness, but they only leaped around the Grand Archer, mocking his seriousness.

Hou Yi was angry and threatened to shoot them down, but the suns laughed even harder, as they thought that Hou Yi, a heavenly court servant, could do nothing to them.

At first, being afraid of the possible punishment for killing the sons of Heavenly Emperor, Hou Yi hesitated, but soon he made up his mind to rescue the Earth. Grabbing one magic arrow out of his quiver and aimed carefully. zing! The arrow flew straight into the heart of the most boastful sun. Quickly, that sun dropped down from the sky, burning up in a ball of fire. The earth immediately felt cooler. Then the Grand Archer stalked the remaining suns.

Having witnessed Hou Yi’s powers, the other suns became frightened, and they scattered across the country, trHou Ying to hide. However, one by one, the Grand Archer tracked them down. Each time he killed one of the suns, the earth cooled further.

Hou Yi kept shooting until there was only sun left in the sky. Hou Yi warned the last sun to be obedient or dutiful and then went back to the Heavenly kingdom.

From then on, the last sun flew across the sky in solitude every day, bringing light and warmth to the Earth for all eternity.

The Heavenly Emperor was very angry and he forbid Hou Yi to go bake to heaven. Hou Yi became a normal person and people loved him. He became the king and ruled the land he had saved.