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Folk Tale

Forgive Fast Chinese Folk Tale: The Willow Leaf Eyebrow                                              https://sites.google.com/site/valueslessons 

Once, long ago in China, there lived a girl named Lien. She was very self-conscious about a large scar, caused by a childhood accident, that crossed one of her eyebrows. If she happened to catch her reflection in a mirror, she quickly turned away; the scar seemed three times larger than it really was to her. And so she avoided mirrors and reflections at all costs. As she grew into a young woman, she preferred to spend more and more time alone in the garden. Yet she remained helpful and pleasant to all.
One day a rich young man named Wu Tang was visiting Lien's neighbours in the house next door. As Wu Tang was climbing in the trees searching for bird's nests, he noticed Lien in the garden over the wall, stitching embroidery and humming to herself. He was entranced by the young woman, who moved as gracefully as a willow branch and whose sweet voice charmed him. It so happened that the maiden sat with her good side facing toward him, and Wu Tang thought her the perfect vision of a wife.

He scurried down the tree. "I have found my bride!" Wu Tang declared to his parents. "Call the matchmaker at once." And so the matchmaker was summoned. After the usual discussion of gifts and negotiations, the matchmaker asked all others to leave the room. "I must have a moment alone with the young man," said she.
"Wu Tang," said the matchmaker. "As you know, the young woman is from a good family and carries herself with the grace of a princess. But there is something you may not know about her. You should know about a flaw to her beauty."
"I have seen her with my own eyes!" exclaimed Wu Tang. "I will not hear you speak of any flaw!"

And so the wedding arrangements proceeded on schedule. Soon the day of the ceremony was at hand. Never was the garden of Lien's home more lovely, decorated with fresh flowers from stonewall to treetop. Yet while Lien was standing in her bridal fineries, she felt uneasy. In the last moments before the ceremony began, she anxiously turned to her mother.
"Are you sure the matchmaker told him?"
"Yes, my child, I told you a hundred times," said her mother. "She absolutely told him about your eyebrow and it does not matter to him in the least." And the mother adjusted her daughter's veil.
Yet as Lien watched her husband-to-be laughing and talking with guests, she worried, "If he had been told, why wouldn't he try to glance at me to try to see the scar through my veil? Why does he seem so unaware of it?"

After the wedding ceremony, the two of them were alone. The new husband lifted his bride's veil, and who can blame him if he was startled when he first saw the eyebrow?
Poor Lien saw the surprise on her husband's face. She said, "Good husband, did not the matchmaker tell you of my bad eyebrow?" The young man was silent, so she went on.
"When I was a little girl," she said, "my family was travelling far away to visit friends. I was playing in their garden when a little boy threw a heavy stone. I'm sure that he did not wish to hurt me, but it hit me on the forehead, and cut a gash where you now see this scar. I am sorry that I cannot come to you, my husband, perfect in every way."
"Oh my bride," said Wu Tang at last. "What was the name of that little boy who threw the stone?"
"I do not know; he was a visitor there like myself. I have forgiven him. There is no need to think of revenge."
"Was the garden in which you were playing that of the Li family in the city of Peking?" whispered Wu.
"Oh excellent husband, how could you know that?"
"Because that boy was me," said Wu. "My parents have often told me how I once threw a stone and cut the forehead of a little girl in the gardens of the Li family. It must be destiny that I might finally make up to you for the injury I caused. And now I know exactly what I must do."


He called for the finest black ink and his thinnest writing brush, and with the brush and ink he drew a new eyebrow right through the scar. It was thin and curved, like a willow leaf, and it was so much like Lien's other perfect eyebrow that no one could tell the difference.

For all the many happy years that the two lovers lived together, every morning the husband Wu Fang painted a new willow-leaf eyebrow over the scar that he had made. And so the two of them lived their lives in perfect contentment.
Reference: http://www.storiestogrowby.com/stories/willow_leaf_china.html
Optional Colouring In: Picture of a Chinese bride and groom is found at:  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/43/81/d0/4381d06bad5ba3efaa16c6f0268953b3.jpg

Discussion Questions


1. Had Lien forgiven the boy who threw the stone at her? How do you know? (She said, 'I have forgiven him. There is no need to think of revenge. I'm sure that he did not wish to hurt me.')
2. Why did she spend so much time alone? (She thought people would reject her because of her scar.) Was that true?
3. How did Wu Tang show good values (or character)? (By not rejecting her when her saw her scar. By owning up to being the one who injured her. By painting an eyebrow over her scar each morning.)

Image found at: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/d3/0e/34/d30e3460a6e04e7b2336284a0a2841a2.jpg