Skip to main content

Ma Liang and his Magic Paintbrush

Once upon a time, in China, there lived a poor boy called Ma Liang. He had to work hard every day, gathering firewood, washing pots, scrubbing floors, etc. He loved to draw, but he was too poor to buy a paintbrush.

"I can draw on the ground with stick!" he said to himself, "But I could paint picture for poor people if I have a paintbrush."

Suddenly an old man appeared. He held out a paint brush, and gave it to Ma Liang. "Now you can paint pictures for poo people," he said.

The old man disappeared, leaving the paintbrush in Ma Liang's hand. Ma Liang started to paint immediately. He painted a butterfly, but the butterfly came to life and flew away! this was a magic paintbrush!

Soon everyone in the village heard about Ma Liang's paintbrush. Poor people began to ask him to paint things they needed.

"I am so hungry! Please paint me some rice." One poor man asked.

Ma Liang painted rice for him.

"Please paint me some fishes." asked another.

"Here you go. Be careful, it's very slippery!"

"I am cold! Please paint me a coat." asked another, he was shaking in the freezing wind.

"Here, this will keep you warm." Ma Liang painted him the warmest coat.

Soon the story of the boy with the magic paintbrush spread across China to the royal palace. Even the emperor knew about Ma Liang.

The emperor was a very greedy man. He said to Ma Liang: "Draw me a tree covered with gold coins!"

Ma Liang refused said: "No, I only paint for poor people!"

The emperor was furious! "Lock him up!" The emperor ordered his guards to threw Ma Liang into prison.

Ma Liang was hungry, cold, and lonely in the prison. Suddenly the old man who gave Ma Liang the magic paint brush appeared. He said, "Ma Liang, did you forget your paintbrush? It can save your life too!"

This reminded Ma Liang. He started to draw. He painted an Island, on the island, there were a lot of trees covered gold coins. And then he draw a huge sail boat mooring at the port waiting for sail.

The next morning, when the emperor came to the prison, and saw the Island.  He immediately order to sail to the Island with all his ministers and grandees.

When the emperor was on board, and ordered Ma Liang to draw winds to send the sail. Ma Liang started to draw, but he drew hurricane instead wind, and thick black clouds and heavy rains, too. The typhoon blew the boat far away in the sea, and the emperor's ship wrecked in thunderstorm, and they never came back.

Ma Liang waked back to his village, and he told everyone what happened. The he went on painting things for poor people. All villagers lived happily ever after.


Popular posts from this blog

The wonderful pear-tree

Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry." "Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The o

The Legend of The Three-Life Stone

The Buddhist believe metempsychosis, or the migration of the souls of animated beings, people's relationships are predestined through three states of life: the past, present, and future life. Legend has it that there's a road called Yellow Spring Road, which leads to Fogotten River. Over the river there's a bridge called Helpless Bridge (Naihe Bridge), at one end of the bridge sits a crimson stone called Three-life Stone. When two people die, they take this route to reincarnation. if they carve their name on the Three-life Stone together while they pass the stone, they are to be predestined to be together in their future life. Although before their rebirth they will be given a MengPo Soup to drink and thereby their memory of past life are obliterated. In reality, San-Sheng Shi (三生石), or Three-Life Stone is located beside Flying Mountain near the West Lake, Hangzhou. On the stone, there is seal with three Chinese characters that say "The Three-life Stone," and a de

The Fox and The Tiger

ONE day a fox encountered a tiger. The tiger showed his fangs and waved his claws and wanted to eat him up. But the fox said: 'Good sir, you must not think that you alone are the king of beasts. Your courage is no match for mine. Let us go together and you keep behind me. If the humans are not afraid of me when they see me, then you may eat me up.' The tiger agreed and so the fox led him to a big high-way. As soon as the travellers saw the tiger in the distance they were seized with fear and ran away. Then the said: 'You see? I was walking in front; they saw me before they could See you.' Then the tiger put his tail between his legs and ran away. The tiger had seen that the humans were afraid of the fox but he had not realized that the fox had merely borrowed his own terrible appearance. [This story was translated by Ewald Osers from German, published by George Bell & Sons, in the book 'Chinese Folktales'.  Osers noted that this story was