Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • In the celestial court of the Jade Emperor lived seven princesses.

  • Each had their chosen place in court,

  • but the youngest princess had a special skill.

  • She could pluck clouds from the sky and spin them into the softest robes.

  • Her work was so precise,

  • not even the most expert eye could find a seam.

  • But her craft was the same day after day, and she longed for new inspiration.

  • Finally, the Queen Mother granted the weaver permission to visit Earth.

  • The other princesses would accompany her

  • to protect their sister from earthly dangers.

  • Dressed in special robes that allowed them to fly between Heaven and Earth,

  • the sisters soared down from the sky.

  • The weaver was in awe of the rolling hills and rivers,

  • and the sisters decided to swim in one of the glittering streams.

  • As the weaver floated, she dreamt about staying forever.

  • Meanwhile, a lone cowherd approached the riverbank.

  • He came here often to sweep his parent's grave

  • and speak with his only companion

  • a stoic bull who listened patiently to the cowherd's sorrows.

  • But upon seeing the weaver's beauty, the cowherd forgot his routine.

  • While he longed to introduce himself, his lonely lifestyle had made him timid.

  • Thankfully, the bull saw his friend's plight and offered some advice.

  • He told the cowherd of the swimmer's celestial origins

  • and of her dream to stay on Earth;

  • but also that she could only remain if she lost her ticket back to Heaven.

  • As the cowherd approached, the princesses flew away in fear

  • leaving their dreaming sister behind.

  • While keeping her magic robes hidden,

  • the cowherd offered his own garment as a substitute.

  • And after gaining her trust, the pair began exploring the countryside.

  • She was struck by his caring nature,

  • and he learned to see the world's wonder through her eyes.

  • Before long, the two had fallen deeply in love.

  • The weaver and the cowherd built a prosperous life.

  • Their farm flourished, and the weaver taught her skills to local villagers.

  • As time marched on, the pair was blessed with two healthy children,

  • but their bull was growing old.

  • Before he died, the bull implored the family to keep his hide

  • and use its magic at their time of need.

  • While the husband grieved for his friend,

  • the weaver's mind turned to her other family.

  • Dusting off her magical robe, she decided to pay a visit to the heavens.

  • But when the weaver swept into her old home,

  • no one seemed surprised to see her.

  • With a start, she realized that barely any time had passed

  • for a year on Earth was merely a day in Heaven.

  • When her family learned of her new life, they were enraged.

  • How dare she waste her love on a human?

  • The weaver tried to escape back to Earth,

  • but the Queen Mother plucked a golden hairpin from her head

  • and tore through the sky.

  • A great gulf opened, forming a river of stars between Heaven and Earth.

  • Below, the cowherd trembled, but he also remembered the bull's final words.

  • Hastily placing each child in a basket,

  • he draped the bull's pelt over his back and hurtled upwards.

  • Above the clouds, each lover attempted to wade through the surging stars.

  • But no matter how hard they struggled,

  • the gulf between them only grew wider.

  • Day after day, the Queen Mother watched without pity.

  • Years passed, and the weaver and the cowherd had no one,

  • except the passing magpies to cheer them on.

  • Finally, their love moved the Queen Mother's heart.

  • While she couldn't forgive her granddaughter entirely,

  • the Queen Mother would allow the weaver to meet her earthly family once a year.

  • And so, in late summer, the magpies form a bridge across the Milky Way,

  • reuniting the weaver and the cowherd.

  • At this time of year, millions of people in East and Southeast Asian countries

  • tell similar tales of these star-crossed lovers,

  • celebrating their annual reunion.

In the celestial court of the Jade Emperor lived seven princesses.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it

B2 US TED-Ed weaver bull queen heaven earth

The myth of the original star-crossed lovers - Shannon Zhao

  • 14 1
    たらこ posted on 2022/03/09
Video vocabulary