Myths and Legends of China

Page: 166

The natives subsist for the most part on fish, which they Page 389obtain by wading in the water, and taking the fish with their hands instead of with hooks or nets.

The arms of the Long-legged People are of a normal length, the legs are developed to a length corresponding to that of the arms of the Long-armed People.

The country of the latter borders on that of the Long-legs. The habits and food of the two are similar. The difference in their physical structure makes them of mutual assistance, those with the long arms being able to take the shellfish of the shallow waters, while those with the long legs take the surface fish from the deeper localities; thus the two gather a harvest otherwise unobtainable.

The One-eyed People and Others

A little to the east of the Country of the Long-legs are to be found the One-eyed People. They have but one eye, rather larger than the ordinary human eye, placed in the centre of the forehead, directly above the nose. Other clans or families have but one arm and one leg, some having a right arm and left leg, others a left arm and right leg, while still others have both on the same side, and go in pairs, like shoes. Another species not only has but one arm and one leg, but is of such fashion as to have but one eye, one nostril, and beard on but one side of the face, there being as it were rights and lefts, the two in reality being one, for it is in this way that they pair. The Long-eared People resemble Chinese in all except their ears. They live in the far West among mountains and in caves. Their pendant, flabby ears extend to the ground, and would impede their feet in walking if they did not support them on their hands. They are sensitive to the faintest sound. Still another people in this region are distinguished by having six toes on each foot. Page 390

The Feathered People, etc.

The Feathered People are very tall, and are covered with fluffy down. They have wings in place of arms, and can fly short distances. On the points of the wings are claws, which serve as hands. Their noses are like beaks. Gentle and timid, they do not leave their own country. They have good voices, and like to sing ballads. If one wishes to visit this people he must go far to the south-east and then inquire. There is also the Land of the People with Three Faces, who live in the centre of the Great Waste and never die; the Land of the Three-heads, east of the K’un-lun Mountains; the Three-body Country, the inhabitants of which have one head with three bodies, three arms and but two legs; and yet another where the people have square heads, broad shoulders, and three legs, and the stones on the land are all gold and jade.

The People of the Punctured Bodies