Long, long ago in the province of Tango there lived on the shore of Japan in the little fishing village of Mizu-no-ye a young fisherman named Urashima Taro.
Long, long ago in Japan there lived an old man and his wife. The old man was a good, kind-hearted, hard-working old fellow, but his wife was a regular cross-patch, who spoiled the happiness of her home by her scolding tongue.
Long, long ago there lived, in Japan a brave warrior known to all as Tawara Toda, or "My Lord Bag of Rice."
Lu-san went to bed without any supper, but her little heart was hungry for something more than food.
Old Wang lived in a village near Nanking. He cared for nothing in the world but to eat good food and plenty of it.
Once upon a time many, many years ago, there lived in China two friends named Ki-wu and Pao-shu.
Yes, my boy, whatever happens, be sure to save that tablet. It is the only thing we have left worth keeping."
Once a ship loaded with pleasure-seekers was sailing from North China to Shanghai. High winds and stormy weather had delayed her, and she was still one week from port when a great plague broke out on board.
Once upon a time in China there lived a certain king who had three daughters. The fairest and best of these was Kwan-yin, the youngest.
Just outside the walls of a Chinese city there lived a young woodcutter named T'ang and his old mother, a woman of seventy.
Hu-lin was a little slave girl. She had been sold by her father when she was scarcely more than a baby, and had lived for five years with a number of other children in a wretched houseboat. Her cruel master treated her very badly.
Aparty of visitors had been seeing the sights at Hsi Ling. They had just passed down the Holy Way between the huge stone animals when Bamboo, a little boy of twelve, son of a keeper, rushed out from his father's house to see the mandarins go by.
Long, long before your great-grandfather was born there lived in the village of Everlasting Happiness two men called Li and Sing. Now, these two men were close friends, living together in the same house.
In the very beginning of all things, when the gods were creating the world, at last the time came to separate the earth from the heavens. This was hard work, and if it had not been for the coolness and skill of a young goddess all would have failed.
Far up in the mountains of the Province of Hunan in the central part of China, there once lived in a small village a rich gentleman who had only one child. This girl, like the daughter of Kwan-yu in the story of the Great Bell, was the very joy of her father's life.
The mighty Yung-lo sat on the great throne surrounded by a hundred attendants. He was sad, for he could think of no wonderful thing to do for his country. He flirted his silken fan nervously and snapped his long finger-nails in the impatience of despair.
THE GOLDEN BEETLE OR WHY THE DOG HATES THE CAT
"What we shall eat tomorrow, I haven't the slightest idea!" said Widow Wang to her eldest son, as he started out one morning in search of work.