the legend

The Love of high-born Koong-se and lowly Chang is one guarded by the Willows that magically drape the magnificent Pagoda's terraces with purest blossom for their secret meetings.

 

But they are discovered, and after banishing Chang her father the powerful High Mandarin betrothes Koong-se to a mighty Warlord.

On the night of the betrothal banquet Chang bravely returns and amid the pomp of the Warlord’s arrival slips through in disguise as a guest and steals Koong-se away across the bridge over the river.

The Lovers flee by small boat to a far province and a new life together. But in time news of them reaches the Mandarin who travels with the Warlord to bring his daughter back. Chang will not step aside, but is no match for the Warlord and is mortally wounded.

 

Trying to deflect a final swordthrust Koong-se too takes a fatal strike, and lies there with her Love. But it is a release, and as the Villagers tend to their bodies with respect and great affection the Lovers' souls rise as fabulous lovebirds to soar through all the skies and all the heavens, inseparable for all of eternity.