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Laibao’s Quest For A Bride 來寶求親 Homemade Chinese Fairy Tale Puppet Show

Photographed by Renuka Sharma.

The children and I performed a homemade Chinese Fairy Tale Puppet Show for Nunu and her friend Jadyn’s 8th birthday celebration on November 5, 2012.

We chose this lesser-known traditional Chinese Folk Fairy Tale “Laibao’s Quest For A Bride 來寶求親 / 来宝求亲”, because it is refreshingly heart-warming and inspiring. It made me weep the first time I read this story. I compiled this yummy soul food as a gift for you and your children. Perhaps you will be inspired to make your own homemade puppet shows! If you do, share them with me. You know I love crafting, fairy tales and a great story! – Love,  Jzin, CastleofCostaMesa.Com

please kindly do not click on these posters below yet (it will take you nowhere), since I have not finished working on the links…

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I am in the midst of putting this page together. Many of the  links are not completed. Please “Like” CastleofCostaMesa on Facebook (top left sidebar) and I will keep you in the loop for when it is ready. Thank You! – Jzin. November 20, 2012.

The Impulse For Doing This Puppet Show

I wanted to create an environment where my child could stay inspired and dedicated in practicing her craft of music. I felt that if she could see concrete, immediate, practical/tangible value for her music, it will make all her daily piano practice meaningful. I also understood that if she could give back her hard earned skills to her own immediate community, she will identify profoundly with this craft for the long term. Therefore, we decided to perform puppet shows with inspiring stories on my little pianist’s birthdays, accompanied by her piano pieces. Click here to read more on my philosophy on motivating a young pianist.

November 1, 2012. Thursday. A snapshot of Nunu practicing a Czerny etude, nicknamed by her as “The Golden Water” (Etude No.56, Op. 599) for Scene 13 (Catching the Golden Rooster) of the upcoming homemade puppet show, “Laibao’s Quest for A Bride”:

At the end of her 8th birthday party, I asked her what she liked best about her party. She answered “I like everything, but best of all is putting up the puppet show for my friends!” We are so grateful that she gets to share the beauty and hard work of music with her little community of loved ones.

Click below to view our homemade puppet theaters in the past:

  1. Nunu’s 6th birthday: Apple Cake by Nienke Van Hichtum
  2. Nunu’s 7th birthday: Snow White and Rose Red by The Brothers Grimm.
  3. Nunu’s 8th birthday: Laibao’s Quest For A Bride. Traditional Chinese Folk Fairy Tale.

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The Story

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
– Albert Einstein

Laibao’s Quest For A Bride 來寶求親 is a lesser-known traditional Chinese Folk Fairy Tale. It is heart-warming and inspiring. It made me weep the first time I read it. This is yummy comfort food for your soul!

Click here to read the original story (book excerpt) in traditional Chinese 中文繁體, with pictures.

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Scenes

The puppet show began with birthday girl Nunu playing her longest piano piece, a sweet and dreamy Russian waltz.

The other birthday girl Jadyn, with the help of her little brother Deege and Anichka held banners to beckon our audience to take a seat.

Photographed by Renuka Sharma.

 Applause for the pianist.

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Scene 1: Springtime On the Hill

As the audience were seated. We started the puppet show by unveiling Scene 1 to Nunu’s performance of “La Styrienne” by Friedrich Burgmüller.

“In the Village of Peach Trees, there lived a girl named Peach Blossom. She had long, black braids and sweet rosy cheeks. Her beauty surpassed the blossoming peach trees in springtime…”

My lovely assistant Anichka helping me with Peach Blossom.

“Peach Blossom was a capable girl with a personality as sweet and soft as a spring meadow. All the young men in the village wanted to marry her.”

The young Laibao was no exception. However, Laibao had no father and no mother. He did not own land or property. He carved a living with his own two hands. Laibao grew crops in the fields and hunted in the mountains. Although he loved Peach Blossom, he kept it inside his heart, for Laibao was afraid to tell anyone about it.

That year when the peach trees were in bloom, Laibao’s thought, “If I only keep my longing within my heart, my dream shall never come true.”

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Scene 2: The Grand Mansion

… Therefore, the young man picked up his courage and went to ask Peach Blossom’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

“Sir, I have come to ask for Peach Blossom’s hand in marriage” he said.

Peach Blossom’s father took a look at him, his heart said “This poor fellow is not good enough for my precious daughter!”

…and so, he teased the young man, “You can marry my daughter, if you first bring me these three unusual treasures: The first treasure is The Pearl That Glows in the Night 夜明珠. The second treasure is The frog with Three Legs 三脚青蛙. The last treasure is The Golden Rooster That Stands on One Leg 独脚金鸡. Now be off!”

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Scene 3: Laibao’s Ramshackle Little Cottage

With a heavy heart, Laibao trudged home. “Where in the world am I going to find a pearl that glows in the night, a  frog with three legs and a golden rooster with one leg?”

That night, Laibao tossed and turned in his bed.

In his sleep, the orphan Laibao’s mother appeared to him in a dream. She said, “Son, remember this which I have told you before, if you have a problem that you cannot solve, seek out The Goddess Xi Wangmu (Western Queen Mother) who resides in the Kunlun Mountains in the West, she grants wishes to those with a good heart. Perhaps the Goddess will be able to help you find the three unusual treasures.”

Photographed by Renuka Sharma

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Scene 4: The Journey West

The very next day, Laibao was full of hope. He packed his traveling necessities, donned his finest traveling robe, and set off to the West, towards the Kunlun Mountains, to seek the Goddess Xi Wang Mu who grant wishes.

Laibao sets off to the West.

Musical accompaniment by Anichka, age 7.

Photographed by Renuka Sharma

My assistant Nunu moving Laibao on his journey west.

Photographed by Renuka Sharma

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Scene 5: The Rice Warehouse

Along his journey, Laibao walked through forests and towns, eventually, Laibao chanced upon an old farmer carrying a heavy sack of rice on his back, outside of a warehouse for storing rice.

“Good day, kindly old farmer!” he greeted. “Where are you off to, young man?” asked the old farmer.

“I am on my way West to the Kunlun Mountains, to ask The Goddess Xi Wangmu to solve a problem.” replied Laibao.

“Oh, goody!” the farmer said, “I beg you to please help ask Xi Wangmu a question on my behalf!”

“Please ask Xi Wangmu why is it that I have a warehouse full of rice here, but over one night, all of the rice disappeared? Not one single grain of rice is left behind.” The Old Farmer sighed sadly.

Laibao promised the Old Farmer that he will ask Xi Wangmu that question, then he set off and continued his journey westward.

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Scene 6: Continuing The Journey West

Laibao walked and walked, he journeyed through wilderness and deserted hillsides…

Photographed by Renuka Sharma

Anichka continued playing “Etude, moderato quasi andantino” by Alexander Fyodorovich Goedicke.

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Scene 7: Nightfall at the Old Grandmother’s hut

As the night approached, Laibao found himself by on a hill by an Old Grandmother’s humble and tiny cottage.

Click here to view the crafting process for this scene.

Seeing that night was soon to fall, the Old Grandmother invited Laibao to share her dinner and spend the night at her home.

“Come in for some hot dumpling soup,” she offered, “it is organic, locally-grown, raw, vegan, non-GMO and compatible with the GAPS diet.” The Old lady assured. Hence, our young traveler spent the night with the Old Grandmother.

Come and peek inside: The Old Grandmother’s cottage may be tiny, but it was warm and full of love.

“Where were you heading to this time of day, young man?” she asked, her smiling face full of kind wrinkles.

“I am going to the Kunlun mountains, to ask Xi Wangmu to solve a problem.” Laibao replied.

Hearing that, the Old Grandmother requested that Laibao ask Xi Wangmu to solve a problem on her behalf.

“Every day I carry water from the river to my cottage. I fill this water jar to the brink with water. However, by the next morning, my jar is dry. There is not one single drop of water left in it. Please, young man, will you ask Xi Wangmu why is my jar empty in the morning? There is not one crack in it.”

Laibao said “Kind Old Grandmother, let your heart be at ease. I promise to ask Xi Wangmu your question.”

Night fell heavy and thick for those who are weary. Soon, our tired new friends fell fast asleep in the tiny cottage.

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Scene 8: Continuing The Westward Journey

The next morning, Laibao continued his journey west.

Photographed by Renuka Sharma

Laibao walked for a long time, until he came to the fold of many majestic mountains. There, his path was stopped by a raging river.

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Scene 9: Mountains and Gorge. Encounter at the Raging River

Laibao stared at the big waves in the river, each wave was bigger then the next. (Don’t be scared, it was actually Nunu and I shaking the big Starry Sky silk scape (from Sarah’s Silks) to Anichka’s final measures of the same Goedicke etude.

“Just as Laibao was fretting over how to cross the gaping river, suddenly there was a gigantic splash as the water parted. Up from its depth rose a large, red beast of a Chinese dragon, made up of plastic picnic cups!” – Jzin

Please “Like” my CastleofCostaMesa facebook page and I will let you know when I post the tutorial on how to make your own plastic cup Chinese Dragon marionette!

Pending tutorial: Make your own pet Chinese Dragon!

“Hello there, you tasty looking little fellow. Where are you heading to?” The dragon asked.

Laibao was frightened, he shivered as he looked at the fearsome beast, “I have a question to ask Xi Wangmu.”

The dragon was very happy and wagged his tail, “That is great! You will help me ask Xi Wangmu a question! Tell the Goddess this: I, the great big dragon, have been obediently living in this river for five hundred years! I have never harm anyone, yet why can’t I turn into a magical spirit and live in the heavens?”

Laibao agreed to ask Xi Wangmu the question on the dragon’s behalf. The dragon turned around and offered, “Hop on my butt (sic), I will take you across this raging river.” (Really, there is a cup on the dragon’s rear end that Laibao can travel in!)

Photographed by Renuka Sharma.

This way, the dragon transported Laibao safely across the raging river. (They had to first fly over the heads of a bunch of children).

Photographed by Renuka Sharma.

“The soul is healed by being with children.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Scene 10: The Heavenly Court of Xi Wangmu 西王母

The dragon left Laibao safely on the other bank and Laibao continued walking up the snowy mountain. Eventually he saw a small, glittering lake of amazing beauty. Then, Laibao realized he has arrived at the Yao Lake 瑶池 that he had heard before in the legends of Kunlun Mountains 昆仑山!

Next to Yao Lake was a magnificent pagoda of 12 stories 白玉楼. It was made of white jade! Heavenly music wafted in the air. Laibao followed the music and found himself in the heavenly court of Xi Wangmu 西王母 (The Western Queen Mother).

Laibao fell on his knees…

Photographed by Renuka Sharma.

In the midst of pretty fairies, sat a beautiful Goddess. That was Xi Wangmu 西王母, or, The Western Queen Mother.

Xi Wangmu gazed at Laibao kindly and spoke, “My dear child, I have been expecting you. I know you have some questions for me. However, I can only answer 3 of your questions.”

Laibao calculated in his heart: “If I add up my own question with the questions of all the other people, I have more than 3 questions to ask!”

What would YOU do? Which questions will you ask?

Photograph by Renuka Sharma.

Laibao thought of the sad Old Farmer who worked so hard every day to carry bags of rice, and the kind Old Grandmother, plus the Big Dragon who carried him across the river. Laibao did not want to disappoint them. Thus, he spoke of their problems and set his very own problem aside.

After listening to Laibao’s 3 questions on behalf of the Old Grandmother, Old Farmer and Big Dragon, The Queen mother goddess gently smiled and replied:

“The Farmer’s warehouse hides a little fellow who loves to eat rice. If you catch that fellow, he will no longer have a problem.”

“Inside the Old Grandmother’s tub of water lived a little critter who loves to drink water.  If you take that little one away, her problem will be solved.”

“…regarding the big dragon: Even though he is tame he has a greedy heart and refuses to give up his favorite toy, this is why the gates of heaven are closed to him. If he would part with his favorite toy, he will be able to rise up into the heavens as a live as a magical dragon.”

“You have asked your 3 questions. You may go now.” declared Xi Wangmu solemnly.

Photographed by Renuka Sharma

Laibao thanked Xi Wangmu and departed down the mountain.

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Scene 11: Edge of Heaven. Solving The Dragon’s Problem.

Well then, what about Laibao’s own wish? All he ever wanted was to marry his beloved Peach Blossom. And he did make that big journey to the Kunlun mountains to fulfill his wish.

Just as Laibao was crying his heart out for the lost chance in asking Xi Wangmu for to successfully marrying his beloved Peach Blossom…

… the raging water parted, and the large dragon swam up to the heartbroken youth.

Anichka manuevering the dragon.

When The Dragon heard the message from Laibao, he realized that his greed was what kept him in the deep dark river all these years. The Dragon nodded and took Laibao safely across the raging river.

Once on the other side of the river bank, The Dragon opened his blood red mouth and spat out a glowing pearl. He said to Laibao, “Take this, it is for you, I have been hiding this treasure for hundreds of years but now I do not need it anymore. Thank you my little friend.”

 It was the Pearl That Glows In The Night 夜明珠!!!

Hey, p.s. foundation studies pals…remember the chain stitched balls we had to make from dirty sheep’s wool? There it is!

Just as The Pearl left the body of The Dragon, his body became light as smoke and he drifted up into the heavens!Photographed by Renuka Sharma.

Laibao was surprised and overjoyed! He continued his journey, hugging The large Pearl gratefully.

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Scene 12: Solving the Old Grandmother’s Problem

Laibao came to the deserted hillside where The Old Grandmother lived. After telling her the words of Xi Wangmu, Laibao helped dig inside her big water tub. Ah! His ladle came in handy!

Inside the tub, they found a little creature that croaks. It was The Frog with Three Legs 三脚青蛙!

“May I have this three-legged frog?”Laibao asked The Old Grandmother.

“It makes a funny pet, but certainly!” And that was how Laibao procured his SECOND treasure!

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Scene 13: Solving the Old Farmer’s Problem

Meanwhile, our friend The Old Farmer was weeping and lamenting his lost rice. “How is my family going to survive winter this year?”

Our hero Laibao, eager to tell his friend The Old Farmer the good news, ran, faster than he could and reached The Old Farmer, he said breathlessly “Dear old man! Xi Wangmu said, you have a little fellow who loves to eat rice and it lives inside of your rice warehouse! If you catch that rice-eating fellow, your problem will be solved!”

Lo and behold! It’s the Golden Rooster who stands on one leg 独脚金鸡!

Golden Rooster Who Stood on One Leg 獨腳金雞

Nunu performed Czerny etude nicknamed by her as “The Golden Water” (Etude No. 56, Opus 599) for the following slapstick comedy sequence…

Photographed by Linda Timmons

“I got you, you greedy, pestilent rooster!” shouted the Old Farmer. “Ow!” Laibao cried out in shock, his sun umbrella was good for many more things beside sheltering him from the sweltering sun!

“I got him!” Laibao exclaimed.

“Please sir, may I keep this rooster?” before Laibao could finish asking the question, the Old Farmer shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! I never want to see this rooster again!”

The Old Rice Farmer was so happy to be rid of the rooster, long after Laibao had left, he was still dancing a little grateful jig.Thank you Alena for handstitching this sack of organic brown rice!

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Scene 14: The Mansion In Celebration (Finale)

Now that Laibao had all three treasures, his heart bursting with excitement, he ran faster than he could to Peach Blossom’s father’s mansion.

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When Peach Blossom’s father saw that Laibao indeed brought home the Three Unusual Treasures, he came running downstairs to greet and kissed each of the treasures.

He invited Laibao to come upstairs to his grand mansion. Over a lavish dinner, the rich man made Laibao tell him the story of how he came to be in possession of these rare treasures.

When Peach Blossom’s father heard the whole story, he was touched. He declared, “Laibao, you are a brave, hard-working and thoughtful young man, I am  very happy for you to marry my daughter.” (Hooray!!! As I wipe my own tears! – Jzin)

Therefore, Laibao and Peach Blossom were married. They spent their whole lives together blissfully.

THE END.

Now, do you like the story? Leave a comment below!

November 5, 2012. Nunu and The Dragon.

Laibao’s Quest for a Bride 來寶求親

The below list is a work in progress. Please pardon me, they are not completed yet.

  • Click here to see the puppet show. Clicking on each character below will take you to the background, inspiration and crafting process of each character.
  1. Laibao 來寶 : Our honest, simple and thoughtful hero. He wanted with all his heart to marry the lovely Peach Blossom.
  2. Peach Blossom 桃花姑娘 Prettier than all the peach trees that blossomed in springtime.
  3. Peach Blossom’s Father 桃花姑娘的爸爸 who was reluctant to let his darling daughter marry the poor orphaned Laibao.
  4. The Old Farmer 老農夫 The tired farmer’s warehouse full of rice disappeared completely in one night.
  5. The kindhearted Old Grandmother 好心的老婆婆 The kindhearted Old Grandmother 好心的老婆婆 whose vat of water from the river mysteriously dried up through the night.
  6. The big Dragon 大龍 He wanted to ascend and live in the heavens but his time had not yet come.
  7. Xi Wangmu, The Western Queen Mother 西王母 The Goddess grants only 3 wishes to those who travel the long journey to seek her.
  8. The Western Queen Mother’s retinue of fairy girls 仙女.
  9. The Pearl that Glows in the Night 夜明珠. Laibao needed to find and bring this treasure to Peach Blossom’s father in order to marry Peach Blossom.
  10. The One-Legged Golden Rooster 獨腳金雞 the mysterious beast that Laibao needs to catch in order to marry Peach Blossom.
  11. The Three-Legged Frog 三脚青蛙 another rare creature that Laibao needed to procure in order to marry Peach Blossom.

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Live Piano Music Performed by Nunu (8 years old) and Anichka (7 years old)

1)      “Little Waltz” by Anatoly Liadov. Prelude of “Laibao’s Quest for A Bride” Chinese Fairy Tale Puppet Show. Performed by Nunu, age 8 today

2)      “La Styrienne” by Friedrich Burgmüller. Scene: Peach Blossom on swing in Peach Bower. Performed by Nunu”, age 8 today

3)      “Etude No. 44, Opus 599” (nick named “The Chickie Etude” by Nunu) by Carl Czerny. Scene: Laibao putting on his best suit and packs his things to journey West to the Kunlun Mountains.

4)       “Etude, Moderato quasi andantino” by Alexander Fyodorovich Goedicke. In parts for Laibao’s journey. Final measures in the dragon scene. Performed by Anichka, age 7.

5)      “Etude No. 56, Opus 599” (named the “Golden Water” by Nunu) by Carl Czerny. Scene: Catching the One-Legged Golden Rooster. Performed by Nunu, age 8 today.

6)      “Waltz” by Alexander Fyodorovich Goedicke. Scene: Finale curtain call at the Grand Mansion. Performed by Anichka, age 7

A special thank you to Mr. Pavel, our piano teacher!

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My recent handmade doll: Sleeping Beauty

My Sleeping Beauty handmade doll. Completed in late October 2012 as a gift for my daughter’s 8 year old friend’s birthday.

Check out my handmade Fairy Tale Dolls

Click on the image below to view my handmade Dolls page

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Check out my handmade dolls for Waldorf Seasons Nature Table

All Seasons

Support Our Local Waldorf Community

This page below will bring you to a field of squares. Clicking on a square will bring you to the website of a member of our Southern California Waldorf community. Thank you for supporting our friends! You can also place a free ad here.

Upcoming Giveaway!

I am giving away a handmade doll in Fall 2012. Please leave a comment below and suggest the doll(s) you will like to see on my giveaways. – Jzin

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Emily #

    First of all: happy birthday to your daughter Nunu :-)

    And… Wow!!!!! I am speechless. All the love and care that have gone into this birthday puppet show. I am truly inspired. Our daughter’s only two-and-a-half right now, but I can hardly imagine putting together something this elaborate five years down the road (I’m a fairly new reader of yours — found your blog while searching for ideas for teaching Chinese to our kiddo — I see you began this puppet show tradition a few years ago, and I love it!). I especially love that you’re teaching traditional Chinese characters, because I’m having a difficult time finding non-simplified resources here in the U.S.

    I love all your dolls; I have a soft spot for the Chinese folk tale characters, especially the Old Grandmother, LaiBao, Old Farmer, and Peach Blossom.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 23, 2012
  2. jzinius #

    Dear Emily,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. It means a lot to me to read your letter. Crafting is a healing process and in the recent years has become an internal need and very healthy exercise for me and I enjoy it tremendously. Your letter helps me justify to some extend that urgent need to create.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones! 謝謝您!感恩節快樂!- Jzin

    November 23, 2012
  3. Oh my , I enjoyed it a lot. You did an amazing job and all the kids seem to enjoy the moment :)

    January 22, 2013
  4. unique2wh0 #

    This is so beautiful..All of it..the puppets, the story, and the children. You know I heard on the news the other day something about a Waldorf school here in Colorado…I thought no could it be the same as the one the lovely person who makes beautiful felted dolls talks of?? I wish my grandson could learn in a school like this. So beautiful. I love peeking around your place here. Thanks for sharing it. De’Anna~

    June 1, 2013
  5. Spectacular! You can see the magic shining out through the eyes of the children.

    November 14, 2014
  6. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW I LOVE THESE!!!

    November 19, 2014
    • jzinius #

      Thank you so much, it makes me so happy!!! Blessings to you and your little ones! – Jzin

      November 19, 2014

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