Marriage of the Rat’s Daughter

A long time a go, in China, there lived a nice family in lovely large house. It was a normal, quiet family, so the father was rather surprised one night when he heard strange sounds coming from one of the unused rooms. Investigating the source of the racket, he beheld a most peculiar spectacle: In the middle of the room, a wedding was in progress. There were the bride and the groom, the bride’s and the groom’s parents, the guests, all dressed in traditional wedding finery and every single one of them – a rat.

For three consecutive nights he watched in amazement as the rats went through all the rituals of a Chinese wedding. He did not dare tell his family, fearing that they would think him mad.

Luckily, a priest came by . This priest looked at the house and immediately told the father that the house had an evil spirit in it, but that it could be gotten rid of. Greatly relieved the father invited the priest into the house where the priest immediately called forth several evil spirits and destroyed them. As he left he instructed the father to leave out some food and drink in the evening as a sign of gratitude to the household deity. But the Father had never heard of a household deity who would require food and drink, so he ignored the priest’s instructions.

The next day, the house was overrun by rats. There were so many rats, in fact, that the family had to move out. Then the father realized what must have occurred. The priest had himself been an evil spirit sent by the rats to supply them with a wedding banquet. Having nothing to feast on, the rats were infuriated and infested the house.

Fortunately, a real priest heard of the trouble and with extremely potent magic was able to drive the rats away. But to this day, in China, to stay on the rats’ good side, people celebrate “Marriage of the Rat’s Daughter” by leaving out food and drink and going to bed early, so that the rodents may have their celebration.

adopted from : Rat by Kwok Man-ho


home | lab | sciTalk | world | gallery | cabinet | library | reading file | ethics | interviews | buttons | poster | sitemap | FAQ | links | BLOG | contact