Hong Niang

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Hong Niang

Prime Minister Cui Peng died in the capital of Xi’an. His wife Madame Cui and his 20-year old daughter Cui Yingying escorted his coffin back to his hometown. With them were Yingying’s maid Hong Niang. As they heard that a gang of bandits led by Sun Feihu were tyrannizing the region, Madame Cui decided to take temporary refuge in the Pujiu Temple.

In the meantime, a young scholar named Zhang Gong arrived in the same temple. He was on his way to Xi’an for the next year’s national examination. He found his lodging in the temple and happened to live next door to Madame Cui and her daughter Cui Yingying. There he met Cui Yingying and the two fell in love with each other. But neither could they meet nor openly express their feelings because traditions would not allow them.

In the meantime, the bandit chief Sun Feihu heard of Yingying’s temporary residence in the temple and wanted her to be his wife. Desperate, Madame Cui proclaimed, “Whoever can save us, I will marry my daughter to him.” Zhang Gong asked his friend the White Horse General for help. The general, who was stationed a few dozens of miles away, came to their rescue. Madame Cui, however, would not keep her promise....

Story retold/ translated by Haiwang Yuan, ©2003
Last updated: October 25, 2003

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