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Stories about nature series: Li River, China

In the Stories about nature series we are presenting a collection of wonderful stories from around the world that revolve around nature. These stories show the importance and respect given to nature since time immemorial.

Pic by: Flickr/Primeroz

Fable: In ancient China lived an artist whose paintings were almost life-like. The artist’s fame had made him proud and conceited. One day the emperor wanted to get his portrait done so he called all great artists to come and present their finest work, so that he could choose the best. The artist was sure he would be chosen, but when he presented his masterpiece to the emperor’s chief minister, the old man laughed. The wise old man told him to travel to the Li River, perhaps he could learn a little from the greatest artist in the world.

Reduced to tears with anger and curiosity, the artist packed his bags and left to find out this mysterious master. When he asked the villagers on the banks of the river for the whereabouts of the legendary artist, they smiled and pointed down the river. The next morning he hired a boat and set out to find the illustrious painter. As the small boat moved gently along the river he was left speechless by myriad mountains being silently reflected in the water. He passed milky white waterfalls and mountains in many shades of blue. And when he saw the mists rising from the river and merging with the soft clouds surrounding the peaks, he was reduced to tears. The artist was finally humbled by the greatest artist on earth, Mother Nature.

Moral: We have a lot to learn from Nature, the most important thing being humility.

Amazing fact: The Li River originates in the Mao’er Mountains in Xing’an County in China. Along the 100-kilometer stretch of the Li River, there are beautiful mountain peaks. It is one of China’s most famous scenic areas, featured in many scroll paintings.
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A fable from the arctic circle.

Santa_Claus_Santa_Claus“Santa Claus, Santa Claus”, shouted the kids. Kids of all shapes and sizes. Kids with running noses and kids with missing teeth. Excited kids with over excited parents. A sea of shouting children had gathered outside Santa’s house and were squealing for his attention. Poor Santa Claus quivered inside his little home. Unable to bear the noise, Santa escaped through the chimney and decided to look for a new home, far far away from the city.

His needs were simple. All he wanted was some peace and quiet. He flew around the world searching for the perfect place and finally decided to settle down in the middle of a desert. Things were great for a while. There was not a soul around except for the occasional lizard and the curious vultures. A few months later, the loneliness began to get to him. So he decided to move home again. Santa flew down to the little known island in the middle of the ocean and set up a shack by the silver beaches under the swaying coconut trees. Life was great, until the passing sailors spread news about his location. Soon his house was surrounded. Tourists with their wish-lists and tribals with their souvenirs created a carnival outside his house. Sadly, Santa had to sail away again.

Christmas TreeHe reached the freezing North pole. A land of ice and snow, where few men ventured. Santa was cold and tired and his nose was frozen but he had nowhere else to go. A group of merry elves chanced upon the brooding Santa. Soon a crackling fire was burning and amidst the sharing of secrets and stories, someone took out a fiddle and began to play. The stars were twinkling as the reindeers came out to join the circle dancing. Through the night one could hear the music of the elves and the booming laughter of Santa Claus.

The next morning, Santa was getting ready to leave, but the little elves held on to his hands and pleaded with him to stay for one more day. Years have passed, but if you venture near the north pole, you may still experience the magic of Santa Claus and the elves. For this icy landscape of the arctic circle is a place that Santa now calls home.

Moral:  Wonderful friends create a wonderful life. This Christmas, take time out to connect with friends who make your life wonderful.

Amazing fact: The arctic circle is a magical land of many wonders which include the Northern lights and the nightless night in summer. In winter, the temperature can go as low as -40 degrees. And yet it is home to the Inuit people who have lived their for centuries.

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