Great Aunt Lizzie tells the story of Elliot and the Adventure of the Chinese Moon Fan. A trader in China has trouble selling her moon fans until she makes a new friend.
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Here they come, like two intrepid explorers.
Charlotte and Elliot.
I'm their Great-Aunt Lizzie, you see.
And I wonder which one is coming to see me today.
Ah, so it's Elliot's turn.
Here he comes. Racing to hear another tale from an epic adventure.
TAP! TAP! TAP!
And what wonderful adventures they were.
So long ago and so far away.
I collected a few souvenirs along the way.
But my most precious possession of all is my extraordinary
collection of teacups.
You've still got your coat on, Elliot.
Come on, no time to count the clouds! We've got stories to tell.
Now, let's have a lovely cup of tea.
But first we need...
But which one?
The Chinese Moon Fan.
What a choice, Elliot. I do love that story.
This will be just perfect to drink now.
-So... Are you ready?
Then let me tell you the story of Great Aunt Lizzie
And The Adventure Of The Chinese Moon Fan.
Oh, yes, of course.
Let me tell you the story of Elliot
And The Adventure Of The Chinese Moon Fan.
It all started long, long ago in the magnificent empire of China
with its towering Himalayan mountains,
lush, scented fields, and thick green forests.
Between the mountaintops, among the rice fields, little towns
drew traders from the countryside in hope of selling their wares.
It was on the road to one such town,
with the scented jasmine blowing softly on the breeze,
that Elliot came across Mrs Bao making silk fans outside her home.
There we go now.
Best be off.
A young man approached. He'd travelled far and was thirsty.
-Excuse me. May I trouble you for a drink of water?
-Thank you. Your moon fans are beautiful.
But nobody wants them these days.
They want fancy feathery things to flap as they strut
around the city like a lot of the Emperor's pampered friends.
Oh, my. Master, I apologise.
I didn't know it was you.
Please, there is no need.
But I insulted the Emperor's friend -
his favourite artist drinks from my cup.
-Those people are fools, if you ask me.
-Such an honour.
Madam, the honour is all mine.
If ever I can repay you for your kindness, I will.
Now, I must be on my way.
Thank you for the water.
Yan Jiang Jing by my house.
What an honour!
Oh... I'm late. Best be off.
More haste less speed.
Elliot wondered if he could help.
-Oh, it's all go today.
If it's water you want, just help yourself.
I really need to go. I'm late.
-Maybe I could help you.
That's just wonderful.
Everything takes so long these days.
What are you late for?
Well, selling these fans. Oh!
It's market day today
and my granddaughter is waiting for me at the city gates.
I could take them for you.
It really is my lucky day.
First, great Yan Jiang Jing comes to visit my house.
And then you appear and help me out of a muddle.
It's just down the road at the bottom of the hill.
But my old bones make it feel like 100 miles.
I'll be as quick as I can.
Elliot set off and before long he came to a bridge
where the old lady's granddaughter had run into a spot of trouble
with a town guard.
I'm not supposed to let people hang around the bridge.
But my grandmother will be here soon with moon fans.
We need to come in to sell them.
Here they are.
That's great. Thanks.
There. See? I told you I had moon fans to sell.
Yes, you did.
You also said they were good quality.
-These are rubbish.
-No, they're not!
They're beautiful. And they're...
What would the Emperor think if I let you in to sell dull,
boring fans like these?
Maybe we could brighten them up with a small splash of ink.
That's a nice idea, but we don't have any ink.
Now, Elliot thought getting ink would be easy peasy lemon squeezy.
But of course it was never going to be as easy as that.
You need the ink makers.
Aren't they in the city?
I'm afraid not.
See the smoke in the hills?
You'll find them there.
How had Elliot ended up in this pickle?
He'd helped Ms Bao pick up the moon fans she'd dropped...
That's just wonderful.
-He delivered them to Mrs Bao's granddaughter...
He'd suggested painting the fans to make them brighter,
but they didn't have anything to paint with.
And he thought getting the ink would be a doddle.
He couldn't allow Mrs Bao's fans to be left unsold, could he?
There was nothing else for it
but to set off up the mountain to the ink makers in the woods.
So, off went Elliot in his old, battered boots.
He scrambled up the misty mountain paths until...
..when we was almost out of breath...
..the path ran out!
There was only one way to get to the other side.
Elliot took a deep breath.
Safely across, Elliot set off once more.
And suddenly amongst the clouds was a clump of gnarled,
But there was no time to stop and admire the view.
Elliot had to get that ink!
But when he got there the clearing was deserted.
The ink makers are all gone. If that's who you're looking for.
It was Yan Jiang Jing
The young man who'd quenched his thirst at Mrs Bao's house.
-They're always on the move.
I promised my friend that I'd get some ink for her grandma.
Kind old lady? The fan maker?
We tried to sell them in town, but the guard wouldn't let us in.
-He said they were too plain.
All good things begin with kindness.
I think I can do better than give you ink.
The young poet was happy to help.
His brush pen, dipped in a small pool of ink,
swam across the face of the moon fans.
Chinese script covering them all in what felt like a moment.
For your friend.
It is a beautiful old poem about the mountains
and a bridge that waits for someone to cross it.
Do you think they will be fancy enough for the guards?
He worries a lot about what the Emperor will think.
Give the old lady this.
It's my gift for her.
When the guard sees it he'll let her in.
It was the most beautiful fan Elliot had ever seen.
Is that a picture of the poem?
Elliot packed the precious fan with the others in his bag.
-Thank you. Bye.
Back went Elliot in his old, battered boots.
Over the open fields and down the mountainside.
And back to the town where the grumpy soldier
still stood guard by the bridge.
You should be ashamed, treating my grandmother like that.
We have rules. And her fan's not good enough.
There. They must be good enough now.
Your friend has decorated them.
Black and white? Not very fancy.
Yan Jiang Jing wrote poetry on my grandmother's fans?
Yan Jiang Jing?!
The Emperor's favourite?
He painted these?
And he gave me this to give to you as a present to repay your kindness.
The painted fan shone in the evening sunlight.
Mrs Bao beamed
and the grumpy guard's mouth fell open in astonishment.
It can't be.
He spoke to you and painted all the moon fans?
The famous poem about the mountains and the bridge that no-one crossed.
So, does this mean Mrs Bao
and her granddaughter can cross into the town
-to sell their fans?
In fact, you must come in.
People will be queueing around this city to buy your fans.
Well, that's marvellous.
But it's getting a bit late.
I think I'll go for my supper.
We shall sell moon fans in the morning.
Any time, Mrs Bao.
Any time at all.
Shall we go and have something to eat?
And that was that. The whole kit and caboodle.
Elliot and the adventure of the Chinese moon fan.
-That guard was so grumpy.
-Yes, he was.
But he still told you what you wanted to know.
If it wasn't for him
you'd never have gone to the top of the mountain.
-It was worth it to find Yan Jiang Jing.
-Yes, it was.
He'd always liked to write his poems on moon fans.
And eventually they became so popular that everybody wanted one.
Those bright feathered fans became yesterday's waft.
Mrs Bao and her granddaughter must have been happy about that.
I'm sure they were.
Well, I'll be blowed! Is that the time already?
Come on. Your mum will be here in a minute.
Now, how did that get there?
Home time now, Elliot.
-Thanks, Great-Auntie Lizzie.
Great Aunt Lizzie tells the story of Elliot and the Adventure of the Chinese Moon Fan. A trader in imperial China has trouble selling her moon fans until she befriends the emperor's favourite artist. Elliot goes on an epic quest for fresh calligraphy ink.