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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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This film has been made with the monks of Dhangkar Monastery in Spiti, India. No mosquitoes were killed in the making of this film. Film by: Nitin Das, Music: Avinash Baghel, Special thanks: Sunil Chauhan.

Director’s note: The world is warming and the climate is changing, whether we like it or not. And it’s going to impact each one of us in some way or the other. The next time a heat wave hits you or a mosquito bites, think about it.

But change is inevitable and humans have the gift of shaping their own future to a certain extent. The question is, are you willing to take on the responsibility? History has shown that it is common people like you and me that come up with ideas to create a better planet. Just like a small flame that can ignite an entire forest, small actions can have a big impact in transforming our world.


Help us use this film, not just to raise awareness about climate change but also to send life saving mosquito nets to ACT a non-profit working in malaria infested regions of north-east India.

Please subscribe to our site for fables and films from amazing places. Also share this link with a few friends. Spread a little awareness. The world needs it.


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A desert love story
Many moons ago a desert fell in love with the sea. She followed him for miles along the coast enchanting the sea with her ever changing dunes. The sea was stricken with her beauty and wanted to explore more.
But nature had set boundaries that neither could cross. If the sea ever decided to cross over, he would kill the desert. The desire to join brought many storms but the love for each other kept them apart. The suffering made the desert cry turning her tears into diamonds. Finally seeing the plight of the two lovers, the wind took pity on them and gave the sea a unique gift. Deep in the night, when the world was asleep, the sea would get wings and travel across into the desert in the form of a gentle fog. But when the Sun came up high in the sky, the fog would have to disappear. Centuries have passed but the sea and desert are still together and the cycle of fog has been remarkably regular.
Moral: True love always finds a way to meet.

Fact: The Namib is the oldest desert in the world. Approximately 55 million years old. The magical fog makes it possible for many wonderful plants, animals and insects to live in the desert, making it even more beautiful. The Namib-Naukluft National Park, that extends over a large part of the Namib Desert, is the largest game reserve in Africa and one of the largest of the world. While most of the park is hardly accessible, several well-known visitor attractions are found in the desert. The prominent attraction is the famous Sossusvlei area, where high orange sand dunes surround vivid white salt pans, creating a fascinating landscape.
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Picture by The Library of Congress

The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking Basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland.

The legend:
Finn McCool an Irish Giant lived on an Antrim headland and one day when going about his daily business a Scottish Giant named Fingal began to shout insults and hurl abuse from across the channel. In anger Finn lifted a clod of earth and threw it at the giant as a challenge, the earth landed in the sea.
Fingal retaliated with a rock thrown back at Finn and shouted that Finn was lucky that he wasn’t a strong swimmer or he would have made sure he could never fight again. Finn was enraged and began lifting huge clumps of earth from the shore, throwing them so as to make a pathway so he could face the Scottish giant and prove to him who the stronger fighter was.

However by the time he finished making the crossing he had not slept for a week and decided to rest for a while to refresh himself. Fingal however was impatient and decided to cross over himself and start the fight. Finn’s wife noticed him approaching and devised a cunning plan to fool him. She covered Finn up with a baby’s blanket and disguised his resting spot as a cot. When Fingal had crossed over and came to face his adversary, she told the giant that Finn was away but showed him his son sleeping in the cradle. The Scottish giant became apprehensive, for if the son was so huge, what size would the father be?

In his haste to escape Fingal sped back along the causeway Finn had built, tearing it up as he went. He is said to have fled to a cave on Staffa which is to this day named ‘Fingal’s Cave’.

Story researched and contributed by: Chitra Roy
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Fingal's Cave Photo by Marco Franchino

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