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The Origin of Huangyangjie in Jinggangshan Mountain

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Huangyangjie was the most famous of the five posts in Jinggang Mountain. Mao Zedong mentioned it for several times in his poems, such as ¡°From Huangyangjie roars the thunder of guns; Word comes the enemy has fled into the night¡± and ¡°Once Huangyangjie is passed. No other perilous place calls for a glance¡±, which have given it great renown in home and abroad. But how Huangyangjie got its present name? Well, there is an interesting story about it.

The legend has it that once upon a time there had two villages inhabited by one hundred-odd families each, which were separated by a thick high mountain. The village on the south side of the mountain was called Huang Village because the people there shared the same surname Huang, while the other that was on the north side of the mountain was called Yang Village for the same reason. The two villages were linked by marriages and lived peacefully with each other.

It was one day in spring when the fragrance of flowers filled the air. The grandson of the clan leader of Yang Village Yang Genli went to hunt in the mountain with his hound, and when he approached the peak of the mountain he suddenly heard a cry for help. Lifting his head in the direction of the voice, he found that a girl was chased by two wolves. The wolf at the front was being in a position to jump on the girl when she cleverly took a turn, and as a result, the wolf hit itself on a Mongolian oak. At this critical moment, Genli ordered his hound to attack the wolf in the front and at the same time he fired his gun at the other wolf, which was instantly shot dead. And then he took out his knife and killed the other wolf.

A moment later the girl behind the Mogolian oak walked out with a pale face and unsteady gait, and expressed her gratitude, ¡°Oh my kind brother, you have saved my life. Please accept three kowtows on my part¡±. Then she was ready to kneel down.

Genli hurried to lift her up, saying,¡±no need to do this.¡±? Now he began to settle down his eyes on the girl and instantly was thrilled, praising her in his heart, ¡°Wow, so beautiful a girl, fair as a goddess.¡± At the same time the girl was striken by Genli, who was handsome in appearance and strong in build. Genli asked her, ¡°Where are you from? Why appear here?¡±

¡°I am the granddaughter of the clan leader of Huang Village and my name is Huang Qiying.¡± answered the girl, ¡°I am on my way to the home of my uncle.¡±

¡°It sounds so great,¡± said Genli, ¡°and I am the grandson of the clan leader of Yang Village. My name is Yang Genli.¡± Thus Genli dropped his hunting while Qiyin quitted his visit to his uncle. Sitting under the Mongolian oak shouder by shoulder, the fair pair exposed their affection for each other and secretly pledged to marry.

Since then, they met under the Mongolian oak every ten days and had lasted for two months before they decided to propose this matter to either of their families. When Qiying went back home one day, she mentioned the marriage to her father timidly, but to her great dismay, her father kept shaking his head, saying, ¡°It¡¯s a thing impossible. Your grandfather has accepted the marriage proposition of Ma¡¯ershan, the son of the local despot. He shall take you home in September 9th.¡± At the words, Qiying nearly fainted. It turned out that Ma¡¯ershan and his father were bad and evil, who committed all kinds of crimes. The father and the son were common enemy of the local people. Ma¡¯ershan was charmed by the beauty of Qiying and sent his steward as a matchmaker of the marriage, who threatened that if the proposition was refused, there would be a massacre in Huang Village. In the interests of the whole village, her grandfather had to accept the marriage.

For the following days Qiying had lost all desire for food and drink and pined away. When the day for tryst came, she went to the old place and prepared to put the thing to Genli for resolution. Quickly Genli arrived, too. His groomy look and closely-knit eyebrows sent a shiver down the spine of Qiying, who was about to ask for reasons, when the later said in a melancholy tone, ¡°My sweetie, it seems that we could not go into marriage.¡± Qiying stared at him, ¡°why?¡±

Gnashing his teeth, Genli explained, ¡°The other day, the steward of the local despot came to my home and asked my grandfather to marry me to Ma¡¯erxiu, the daughter of the despot. He threatened that if he did not accept the proposition, there would be disaster for the whole village. Since my grandfather had no other option but to surrender, the marriage was settled in September 9th.¡±

Qiying could hardly believe what she heard, exclaiming, ¡°Oh! How can it be true? Your marriage date is on September 9th as well?! ¡± ¡°What¡¯s wrong? Don¡¯t tell me¡­¡±

Qiying recounted the matter about her compelled marriage with Ma¡¯ershan.

One may wonder why the local despot decided to marry his son and daughter in the same day. It turned out that his daughter Ma¡¯erxiu was disgustingly ugly in appearance as well as cross in temper. She was like a wasp showing its poison fang to everyone and was very to the dislike of her father. The local despot arranged the two marriages in the same day in which the marriage of the daughter was to be proceeded first so that she would not cause trouble for the marriage of her brother, who after his ugly sister was sent out, would take in his beautiful bride.

Having heard the account of Qiying, Genli was filled with anger. Qiying suggested elopement, but was rejected by Genli, who said, ¡°No, we cannot do it, or we would bring disaster to the two villages. I cannot sacrifice our folk villagers in the interests of ourselves.¡± ¡°Then what we shall do?¡± ¡°I am clueless, too.¡± Qiying could not help throwing herself in the bosom of Genli, who burst into silent tears as well.

In their despair, suddenly a voice came to their ears, ¡°You can count on me.¡± Looking around, they could not see a single person. ¡°Who is it?¡± Qiying asked.

¡°I am your benefactor who shielded you and saved your life from the hungry worlf¡±, said the voice. ¡°So you are the Mongolian oak? But how could you help us?¡±

¡°Your marriages shall proceed as scheduled,¡± said the Mongolian oak, ¡°but you must manage to get out. The hatchmen of the local despot will follow you, and you just run to me. I will take care of the rest. I promise that you will be wedded in a happy marriage, and that the safety of the two villages shall be assured.¡±

"Really?"

"Just do as I instructed.¡±

In September 9th, in the thundering of fireworks and drumming of gongs, the Ma family was ready to marry out its ugly daughter and usher in a beautiful daughter-in-law. While the guests were eating and drinking, Qiying fled out from the Ma family, who soon sent hatchmen to chase her. The hatchmen, led by Ma¡¯ershan, chased Qiying to the peak of the mountain where the Mongolian tree situated, and just before they could catch Qiying, a powerful surge of fog gushed up and pushed Ma¡¯ershan and his hatchmen away. They got up and continued to chase Qiying, and were once again pushed away to the ground. They continued three times, but every time they were pushed away and badly hurt. In his anger and frustration, he found to his utter astonishment that Qiying and Genli, wearing colorful wedding dress, were conducting wedding ceremony before the Mongolian oak.

In his puzzlement, a voice came from the Mongolian tree, ¡°I am Mongolian oak god. With me as your matchmaker, you are here wedded into marriage. Since there is not your place in the earth, I send you to live in the Heaven Palace. This is will of the Heaven Emperor. Whoever dares to avenge them and slaughter Huang and Yang villages will be duly and severely punished!¡± With these words, a surge of fog raised and held Genli and Qiying in its embrace and drifted up to the Heaven. Ma¡¯ershan went home crestfallen. He could not dare to slaughter the two villages, because he feared to be punished by Heaven.

Given that the granddaughter of Huang village and the grandson of Yang village were wedded in this mountain and that Ma¡¯ershan was blocked by fog in his chase of the bride Qiying, this mountain was called Huangyangjie, meaning the bound that separates Huang village and Yang village. Later, because of the flog in the valleys often surged up and bathed the wholE-ling Mountain, creating a scene like that of the ocean, the third Chinese character of the name of the mountain, which means ¡°bound¡±, was changed to the homophonic Chinese character that means ¡°ocean¡±, thence its new name Huangyangjie, which is still in use today.

That merits mention here is that the Mongolian oak in the story still sits in the original place and is in full growth to this day. In the period of struggle in Jinggang Mountain, Zhu De often told this story to his soldiers when they took a rest under this Mongolian tree on their way of carrying grain.