Li Yi Ching

New Tales from the Mogao Grottoes: The First Story of the Mogao Grottoes

It was a bright, cold day in November. Kim Shi felt really drowsy for the whole day at school and decided to sleep early. In her dream, she saw the Buddha who told Kim to go to the Mogao Grottoes. Kim and her parents were devout Buddhist. They thought that the Buddha may have a mission for Kim in the Mogao Grottoes so Kim decided to travel there. Kim told her three best friends Chang (the scared cat), Ty (the bookworm) and Li (the fighter) about the trip. They insisted that they must go with her as they were really worried that the trip might be dangerous. Kim agreed and they returned home to pack their luggage and away they went. They climbed over the mountains, over the islands and finally reached the Mogao Grottoes.

They went into the Mogao Grottoes and found stunning pictures and statues but some of them were missing somehow. The four were determined to unravel the mystery of the missing art. They split up, walked around and jot down some interesting notes. Kim found a huge rock which was blocking something. She called her friends and they gathered around the rock and used their strength to push the rock aside. They all gasped. The entrance glittered and within every inch of the room laid gold and diamonds. There were also piles of fascinating Chinese novels. Kim looked all around the room and found a book. The book said, “The guardian of the Mogao Grottoes Wang Yuanlu was deceived by the expedition teams of different countries. The treasures and art in Mogao Grottoes were once stolen by a French expedition under Paul Pelliot in 1908, then by a Japanese expedition under Otani Kozui in 1911 and by a Russian expedition under Sergei F. Oldenburg in 1914.” Kim was shocked with these facts. She kept reading the book. When she reached the last page, the book shook. A portal appeared and sucked them all in. When they opened their eyes, they were outside of the Mogao Grottoes. But everything looked newer. Ty asked, “W-Where are we?” Kim answered, “In the past!”

They stood up and looked around. Kim saw the book and picked it up. She saw the words, “Stop the thieves”. “What does that mean?” asked Li. “We must stop the people who stole the art, the paintings and the statues.” Kim answered. “Bu-But we are too young.” Chang said fearfully. “We should at least try!” Kim replied. “Yeah! Don’t be a scaredy cat, Chang,” Li shouted with confidence. Then they saw Paul Pelliot. “I have an idea!” said Kim. Then she whispered to her friends about the plan. The friends all smiled and split up.

They gathered some rocks and climbed up the trees. Kim settled herself on a branch and waited for the right moment to throw the rocks at Paul Pelliot. Then, she shouted “Attack!” All at once, they threw the rocks at Paul Pelliot. Paul Pelliot screamed and ran away. Wang Yuanlu was puzzled, thinking where the rocks came from. Kim and her friends climbed down from the trees and clapped their hands They cheered for the success of their plan. Wang Yuanlu was a bit angry and shouted at Kim and their friends for pulling such a prank. They stopped cheering and looked at him. Li tried to pounce at him but Ty grabbed her. Kim told Wang Yuanlu that Paul Pelliot was trying to scam him for the treasures and art in the Mogao Grottoes. They time travelled here to stop Paul Pelliot. It took a moment for Wang Yuanlu to understand what in the world was going on. After he realized the truth, he quickly apologized for shouting at Kim and her friends. They accepted his apology and warned Wang Yuanlu that some more people from other foreign countries will try to deceive him and steal valuable art from the Mogao Grottoes. They warned Wang Yuanlu that he should be cautious when he dealing with the foreigners in future. Suddenly, a Buddha came out of the Mogao Grottoes and thanked the four youngsters for being the guardians of the Mogao Grottoes. The Buddha said, “I would grant you a wish for your protection of the Mogao Grottoes.” Kim and her friends discussed for a while and said, “We wish that the Mogao Grottoes would be protected forever.” The Buddha smiled and said, “Your wish is my command.” In a flash, the Buddha disappeared.

Kim picked up the book and the portal appeared. They said goodbye to Wang Yuanlu and went into the portal. When they opened their eyes, they were back to the present. Kim was still holding the book. It seemed that the portal will not open anymore.

As they were leaving the caves, they saw that the once missing statues, art and paintings were now back in the Mogao Grottoes. These four youngsters played an important role in protecting the Buddhist relics in the Mogao Grottoes. They went back home and told their parents the remarkable journey they all had.

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