Chinese Paper Cutting Story: The Butterfly Lovers
In ancient China, women were discouraged to go to school. Also, parents arranged the marriage, and there was no free marriage at that time. A man’s family could go to a woman’s family to make a proposal to marriage. If parents from both families made an agreement on the marriage, the man and the woman could not reject.
There was a girl, Zhu (last name) Yintai (first name), grew up in a relative rich and big family. She was learning literature and martial arts from her older brother. However, her biggest wish was going to a real school outside.
One day, Zhu dressed up as a fortune-teller, and waited her father on his way home. She stopped her father and told him that he had to release his daughter from home to outside school, so she could avoid a predetermine fate of disaster. Her father saw through Zhu’s disguise. But, he pretended that he did not recognize her, and permitted her to attend a real school in another province, whereas Zhu had to come back home after three years.
On Zhu’s way to the school, she met a man, Liang (last name) Shanbo (first name). Liang helped Zhu when she got into some trouble. Later, they found out their destination was the same school, they decided to go along with each other. During the trip of their way to the school, they found out they got along well with each other, their perceptions and opinions highly agreed with each other. They felt they had been known each other for a long time. Therefore, they became sworn brothers.
After they reported to the school together, they were arranged to the same class. They studied together, they encouraged and supported each other, and they exchanged ideas with each other. After a while, Zhu fell in love with Liang. However, Liang was a nerd, he did not catch any sign of the details that revealing Zhu was a woman.
At the same time, Zhu and Liang had a classmate, Ma (last name) Wencai (first name), who had doubt that Zhu was a woman because of her suspicious behaviour. He observed and did investigations, and he found out that Zhu was a woman. During the process of investigating Zhu, Ma fount himself had a crush on Zhu. However, he also notice that Zhu was in love with Liang, but Liang did not discover anything yet. Hence, he took the chance and wrote a letter to his parents to go to Zhu’s home to propose a marriage. But, Zhu’s parents did not accept the proposal.
Three year was written in water, Liang sent Zhu off for thousand miles. During this time, Zhu tried lots of times to indicate that she was a woman to Liang, but all failed. At last, Zhu had no other way but told Liang a lie that she had a younger sister that was very close and similar to her, and she expected that Liang could come to make a proposal to the younger sister.
Although Liang wanted to propose a marriage to Zhu’s younger sister, actually that was Zhu, he did not have economic capabilities to give the betrothal gifts. At the same time, Ma used his family power to force Zhu marry to him. When Liang finally knew that Zhu was a woman, he was happy and excited, and he already made enough income to make a proposal. Nevertheless, he got the news that Zhu was forced to marry to Ma. There was nothing he could do to change the situation, because Ma had a richer family and enjoyed a higher social status than he had.
Thereafter, Liang could not recover after this setback, he suffered from depression and became seriously ill. Before long, Liang passed away. Zhu got this news of Liang’s death on her wedding day. She left everything behind and ran all the way to Liang’s grave with all her energy, and no one could stop her. She hugged Liang’s gravestone and crying. Suddenly, there was a lightning accompanied by peals of thunder, and Liang’s grave opened a crack. Zhu was stunned for a second, then she jumped into the grave without any hesitation.
After a while, people saw two butterflies came out of the grave.