Monday, February 13, 2012

A story: Butterfly Lovers

Visiting butterfly center at Callaway Gardens, the first thing came to my mind was this legendary Chinese love story, "Butterfly Lovers". Every Chinese kids knows this story by heart and I decided to post this lacewing along with this story...

 Zhu Yingtai is the 9th child of a wealthy merchant and is also the only girl in the family. In ancient China, society and culture forbid women go to schools. Zhu teaches herself to read from her brothers' books and convinces her parent to let her disguise as a young man and soon she sets her journey. On her way to her boarding school in Hangzhou, she met a scholar,  Liang Shanbo. After introducing each other and get acquainted, they find themselves sharing many common interests and they decide to be brothers of an oath. For the next three years, they study together and enjoy and share what they have learned from school. Zhu finds herself fall in love with Liang as their friendship grows. But Liang is a nerd of books or we shall say, a bookworm and he has never noticed Zhu, in fact, is a woman.

(Above: Malaysian Lacewing ..Thanks to Vicki DeLoach for the ID )

One day, Zhu receives a letter from her father demanding her to return home immediately. This is a very hard decision for Zhu to be away from someone her heart felt for. However, disobeying parent is not acceptable in the old Chinese society. Liang decides to accompany Zhu for 18 miles and just wants to keep his best friend safe and sound. During their few days trip together, Zhu wants to give Liang a hint that she is actually a woman by pointing a pair of Mandarin Ducks (click link to see image ...a symbl of  happiness in love). Too bad, Liang does not get it. Zhu suggests Liang must visit her family during school break. Few months later, Liang keeps his promise and visits Zhu's residence and then he surprisingly finds out his best pal whom he has known for the past three years is indeed a woman.  Their love for each other grows profoundly and they make a vow in front a sakura tree that they will never be apart.  Liang wants to propose for a marriage but it's too late because Zhu's parent matches their daughter to a rich man in town and wedding will be soon taking place.

In great despair and heartbroken, Liang becomes ill and eventually expires without his loved one beside him.   On the wedding day, Zhu insists that she has to pay a visit to Liang's grave or she could not go on with her life. Upon arriving Liang's grave, Zhu suffers from agony... for some unknown reasons, the sky turns to gray and strong winds blows leaves off the trees. Suddenly, a loud "bang" of a gigantic thunder cracks the grave open, without a second thought, Zhu throws herself into the grave. Zhu's parent faints from losing their daughter and two butterflies emerge from the grave and fly into sky.....

Thank you for spending few minutes of your time reading this story :) If you love someone, TELL that person before it's too late. Money, fame and fortune can not buy love. Your heart will know when you find the true love. I hope you enjoy this story and my creation of this lacewing. Feel free to share this story with your friends and family. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!! -- Linda  --


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  1. Linda, It reminds me of a Native American story about two doom lovers. Reckon...all cultures have one.
    Wonderful post!

    1. Thank you Jean...Happy Valentine's Day to you :)


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