One of the earliest Chinese
oil paintings seen so far.


”In the northern ocean there is a fish, called the k’un, I do not know how many thousand li in size. This k’un changes into a bird, called the p’eng. Its back is I do not know how many thousand li in breadth. When it is moved, it flies, its wings obscuring the sky like clouds.When on a voyage, this bird prepares to start for the Southern Ocean, the Celestial Lake. And in the Records of Marvels we read that when the peng flies southwards, the water is smitten for a space of three thousand li around, while the bird itself mounts upon a great wind to a height of ninety thousand li, for a flight of six months' duration.

After the birth of the world, there were creatures but no humans. It was indeed a lonely world. The almighty goddess Nüwa wanted to add life and beauty to this world and also to cheer up herself. She came to a lake, saw herself in the water and decided to make creatures after her own image. She set about making man with clay. She shaped little figurines by hand.Breathing life into them, she set them down. As soon as they touched ground, they began to cheer and dance. These were the first group of men and women. She went about the work day and night. It was slow work. When she got tired, the number of creatures she made was still very small. She thought out an idea to speed up the work. She got a rattan, dipped it into the mud around her and flung it about. The mud drops fell and instantly turned into humans also. The world became cheerful and colorful. But alas, this did not last long because many of the humans she made aged and died, if she went on making man alone, she might not be able to compensate for the rapid death rate. She thought out another idea. Why not make them mate and bear children by themselves? Every spring, she would summon young men and women from far and near and let them chase and play with each other. It was a season of joy, courtship and marriage. In this way families were set up, children were nursed and reared, generations of man continue to live on this earth.