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Dragon Wells (A Chinese Fable)

A long time ago, a young dragon lived in the river near Hangzhou. He had a good heart, but he was impulsive and naive. He spent his days playing with the fish and the turtles, flying in the clouds or relaxing in the water. He lived a simple and happy life.

Then one day, three boats came down the river. The leading boat had a high imperial official and his soldiers. The other two boats had farmers being tied up like livestock. 

Dragon Wells

The dragon was enraged. He rose out of the waters and whipped his tail on the leading boat, throwing many of the soldiers overboard. The high official clung to a railing. The dragon pulled the boat under the waves, and he drowned.

The dragon pushed the other boats to safety, and released the farmers. The farmers explained that they were assigned to do a building project in the capital. The dragon became enraged again. After saying his farewells to the farmers, he flew into the sky.

The dragon rode the wind to the capital and created a storm. The dragon crashed into the throne room of the palace, where the emperor was discussing the business project with his architects. 

Everyone ran for their lives, all except for one. This man fired his crossbow at the dragon. The arrow struck the dragon’s right eye.

The dragon roared in pain and flew away. He returned to the river, where he sank to the bottom. None of his friends knew what to do, but a wise turtle told him to go to Hangzhou and see a certain monk to help him. 

The dragon then transformed himself into a stonecutter. He went to the monk’s temple and found who he was looking for. He pretended that he was injured while cutting stone, and showed the monk his injured eye. 

The monk pulled out what had been in his eye, and saw that it was a crossbow arrow. He became angry and asked for the truth. 

The dragon confessed and told him his story. He said he was going to destroy the capital.

The monk became very conflicted. The troubled monk asked the dragon to do some work and earn the medicine. The dragon agreed, and the monk led him to the courtyard.

“Powerful dragon,” said the monk “Make me a well!”

The dragon went to work. He dug deep down the earth, and the water started gushing out to the temple courtyard. The dragon tried to come back up to the surface, but little did he know that the monk placed a talisman that trapped the dragon under the water.

To this day, the dragon is said to be still under the water. The well is now divided into three pools: the Jade Spring, the Pearl Spring, and the Spring of Rain from a Clear Sky. 

The water from the Jade Spring is the clear water released from underground that the water released.

The Pearl Spring has bubbles that come from the surface because of the dragon breathing.

The Spring of Rain From A Clear Sky has mist that comes from when the dragon moves its tail.

The three springs are still in Hangzhou.