January 28th. Chinese New Year. 2017 – Happy Year of the Fire Rooster!
To be completely honest, I’ve been waiting for an excuse to retell this little story for a while now, & Chinese New Year, is probably the best one I’ll get.
I apologise in advance for any mistelling in this version, but this is a traditional Chinese allegorical story akin to Aesop’s Fables, that’s been retold for millennia, particularly to children around the virtues of perseverance and rewards. As with all verbal story traditions there are many many variants of the tale too.
The (very) abbreviated story is that near the top of the Yellow River in China is a particularly foreboding waterfall, known as “The Dragon’s Gate”. (There is a whole other “prequel” story as to how it came to be there, involving the Yellow Emperor, his grandson, a flood of biblical proportions & a Golden Dragon, which I won’t go into here, but it’s a good story in it’s own right, so Google it sometime).
This story, however, says that at the top of this waterfall, is a Gate, guarded by a Golden Dragon, and that any fish that can successfully make it’s way up the waterfall & over the gate, is transformed into a beautiful and powerful Dragon. Every year in the spring Koi swim up stream, getting stronger up against the current until finally they come to the waterfall. Some turn away, discouraged by the rapids, others try and fail, but those with the most determination and perseverance, manage to make it to the top and are indeed transformed into Dragons.
I hope that the Year of the Fire Rooster is the year that we all pass through our own personal Dragon’s Gate’s and transform into Dragons!
(A more detailed telling of the story can be found here)