LEGEND OF BAOZHANG VALLEY

Pujiang

There is a temple situated on Baozhang Mountain, east of Pujiang Xinhua Mountain, known as the Baozhang Temple.

Behind the temple is a mountain hill that resembles an “Emperor’s Umbrella” (in Chinese called “Huangluo Gaisan”, which translates to yellow dragon umbrella cover – an ancient umbrella cover used as the emperor’s shelter on his travels).

There is a famous legend associated with the above mountain.

Once upon a time, there was a small village located at the foot of Baozhang Mountain. The inhabitants of the village was a closely knit community. Amongst them lived a married couple, with two black dogs. The husband was a farmer.

The couple unfortunately had no luck in bearing a child for years. One night the farmer’s wife dreamt of a dragon flying to their house and landing on their roof. Having inspected no trail of a dragon on their roof and realising it was only a dream, the couple paid no serious attention to this dream.

A couple of days later, their dogs started taking turns climbing up the roof and stood by, no matter rain or shine. Soon after, the farmer’s wife found out that she was pregnant.

The couple was puzzled why their dogs were climbing up their roof everyday and were frustrated since the dogs refused to listen and stay off the roof no matter what the couple did.

The farmer, frustrated by the dogs, killed one of the dogs on the ground as a lesson to the other dog on the roof. Despite this, the dog on the roof remained persistent and stayed on the roof for couple of weeks before succumbing to death from hunger and fell off the roof.

On the same day, a fortune teller passing through the village and by the farmer’s house, paid the couple a visit and spoke to them, “Your house is filled with the omen of luck, although suppressed by an evil force….…”. After talking to the couple and learning of what had happened during the last few weeks, the fortune teller explained to the farmer, “Your wife is pregnant with an emperor son – the son of heaven – and the two black dogs were here to protect your family. They climbed up to the roof to protect your wife’s pregnancy and your child’s identity. Now that the dogs are dead, the incumbent emperor has become aware of your wife’s pregnancy and to secure his throne, he will despatch his soldiers to kill the two of you.”

The farmer, panicked and desperate, begged for a solution to escape. Unknown to the couple, the fortune teller is actually a deity and come to their rescue. He gave the farmer a handful of sand and a chopstick, and explained carefully, “When you are running away from the soldiers, throw a handful of sand behind you and the chopstick in front of you. The sand will turn into a mountain and the chopstick will open up a road path for you. The soldiers will not be able to pursue you further.” He then disappeared into the thin air.

On that night itself, as predicted by the deity, soldiers invaded the village and the couple knew it must be the soldiers searching for them, and thus they escaped from the house. The soldiers saw them and gave chase to them. Just when the soldiers were gaining on them, the farmer, reminded of the deity’s words, threw the chopstick behind him and a handful of sand in front of him. Immediately, a mountain blocked the couple’s way ahead whilst a wide road path extended behind him. They were hunted down by the soldiers without much effort, and they and the unborn child killed at the site.

Subsequently, the mountain hill behind the Baozhang Temple took the shape of the Emperor’s Umbrella (Huangluo Gaisan) and it is said that it was probably formed as a memorial for the unborn son of the heaven……