The Great Wall©

There is a story that comes from ancient China. In those days, many of the cities and villages had big walls around them to keep enemies out and to protect the people. However, the walls around a little village called Yulin were not very strong.

One day, word came that a big army led by an emperor named Shih Ti was trying to capture all of the villages and cities and make all of China his empire. The people of Yulin knew that their weak wall would not keep out the emperor’s great army.

Besides, if they fought in the village, everything would be destroyed. So the people decided that the soldiers of Yulin would join the soldiers of other nearby villages and fight the emperor’s army out in the countryside.

One of these soldiers was a boy named Ming Lee. He was very much in love with a girl named Lin Su Wong. When Lin Su Wong heard that Ming Lee was leaving to fight the emperor, she was very sad. She worried that she might never see him again. But she had an idea. Her father owned several white doves that were used to carry messages to far-off places. She asked her father for one of the birds and gave it to Ming Lee, so that they could send messages to each other.

Ming Lee went away. A great battle was fought, and soon the white dove brought sad news. With each message from Ming Lee, the little army of villagers was retreating and was being pushed farther and farther away from Yulin. Ming Lee then sent word that he could no longer send messages. Lin Su Wong was brokenhearted.

Finally, the war was over. Emperor Shih Ti took over all of China. He then
decided that none of the soldiers he had chased out could ever come back. He ordered
that a huge, high wall be built from one end of China to the other. There were no
machines in those days, so the wall had to be built by hand. All the people in China had to help, even if they didn’t want to. Lin Su Wong was very sad, not because she was forced to work so hard, but because the wall she was helping to build would keep Ming Lee away from her forever.

Several years passed. What became known as the Great Wall was finally finished. It was as wide as five elephants and as high as a two-story house. Soldiers of the emperor’s army were stationed on top to stand guard. Lin Su Wong now knew that Ming Lee could never come back to her.

However, one day the white dove landed on her window with a message from Ming Lee. It said, “My dear Lin Su Wong, nothing can keep me away from you, not even the Great Wall. Send the dove back to me and come to the wall at midnight.”

Lin Su Wong was very happy, but puzzled. What did this mean? Was Ming Lee going to try to climb over the Great Wall? How could he do it? What about the guards?

That evening at midnight, Lin Su Wong waited in the dark shadows of a tree near the wall. She looked at the top, hoping to see Ming Lee. There were two soldiers in the tower, but they were half asleep. Suddenly, she heard a loud flutter in the air. Flying overhead were one thousand pigeons led by the white dove. Under the pigeons was Ming Lee, hanging onto two thousand strings, flying high over the Great Wall straight to Lin Su Wong’s house. The white dove had brought back the biggest and best message of all: Ming Lee and his love for Lin Su Wong.

Loving words may sound true,
But love is measured by what you do.