Wong Matthias

The Revenge of the Mogao Grottoes

In the Dunhuang district of Gansu province in West Central China, there were caves called Mogoa Grottoes which were dug and sculpted by monks many years ago. These held many beautiful statues, sculptures, books and paintings. But after 1,000 years, people have forgotten about this place because travelers found a new route and things started to change, and monks no longer went there anymore.

In 1834, a group of 1,000 treasure robbers discovered this place from a secret map and they planned to steal the treasures from the Mogoa Grottoes. One chilly winter night, these robbers arrived to the Mogoa Caves, filled with greed and determined to steal all the treasures. A dazzling golden Buddha statue stood there and they decided to steal it too. Suddenly a monk leader named Wu Fung and 99 monks showed up in front of the robbers and said, “You are going to regret this!” It turned out the Mogoa Caves were not forgotten at all because Wu Fung and his followers secretly lived there for a long time for the sake of protecting this sacred place.

Wu Fung led his monks to stop the robbers, but they faced countless enemies. Many of the monks were injured or fought to death. But they did not surrender and kept fighting until Wu Fung was the last person standing. Unfortunately, his right arm and left leg were shot by the enemy’s gun, he bled so badly and fell unconscious. The robbers were thrilled thinking they have claimed victory. They grabbed the treasures and were about to leave.

When the battlefield became hopeless, a hundred golden monkeys, which also lived there with the monks to safeguard the place, suddenly showed up in front of the robbers. The monkeys were furious with what happened and they fought fiercely with bamboos in hand to beat the robbers. But again, the monkeys could not resist the strong bullets. "Die animals!” shouted the violent robbers. The monkeys were either shot to death or seriously injured. The sacred place was in defeat once again. “It seems that it’s not that difficult to conquer this place. It turns out only halfwits live here,” said the robbers.

Filled with pride, the robbers stood as the ground began to shake rapidly until a scroll with amazing Chinese characters flew out of a robber’s sack. The scroll text glowed, the characters from the paintings and the statues all came to life. A healing potion flew out of a painting and splashed on Wu Fung, immediately bringing him back to consciousness. Then the statues, the painted characters, together with Wu Fung all fought against the robbers. At last, the big golden Buddha came to life and it used its gigantic hands to grab and smashed all of the robbers, and threw them far away.

Finally, the Mogao Caves stood in peace again all because of the story on that mysterious night that spread among other robbers from country to country.

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