• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Dragon Wells (A Chinese Fable)

Once upon a time, a young dragon resided in the river near Hangzhou. Despite his good nature, he was rash and inexperienced. He passed his days playing with the fish and turtles, soaring in the clouds, and relaxing in the water, enjoying a simple and contented life.

Dragon Wells

One day, as he was playing, three boats floated down the river. The foremost boat carried a high imperial official and his troops, while the other two were transporting farmers who were bound like livestock. The dragon was incensed by the sight and reacted impulsively. He emerged from the water, thrashing his tail at the leading boat, causing many soldiers to be thrown into the water. The high official clung to the railing, but the dragon pulled the boat under the waves, drowning him.

After pushing the other boats to safety and releasing the farmers, who revealed they were assigned to a building project in the capital, the dragon became enraged once again. Bidding farewell to the farmers, he flew to the capital, where he stirred up a storm and crashed into the palace's throne room, causing the emperor and his courtiers to flee, except for one man who shot an arrow into the dragon's right eye, causing him to roar in pain and fly away.

Upon returning to the river, the dragon was clueless about what to do, but a wise turtle suggested he go to a specific monk in Hangzhou for assistance. The dragon disguised himself as a stonecutter and visited the monk, pretending to be injured while cutting stone and displaying his injured eye. The monk extracted a crossbow arrow and learned of the dragon's plan to destroy the capital.

The conflicted monk offered the dragon a chance to earn his medicine, requesting that he make a well. The dragon dug deep into the earth, causing water to gush into the temple courtyard. However, the monk had placed a talisman that trapped the dragon underwater, where he remains to this day. The well was later divided into three pools: the Jade Spring, Pearl Spring, and Spring of Rain from a Clear Sky, which are said to have distinct characteristics related to the dragon's movements. The three springs remain in Hangzhou to this day.