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The Old Master’s Teapot


High up in the mountains of China, there lived a great and wise sage of the martial arts. Master Mue was a reclusive hermit who preferred to live alone. He had two students under his care. Their names were Trang and Mung. Master Mue was an avid collector of all sorts of teapots. He had brown teapots, purple teapots, wooden teapots, brass teapots, metal teapots, and teapots from all over the country.

There was even a special chamber where he kept the rarest, and most expensive of his collection.

One day while his students were cleaning their master’s teapot room, cheeky Mung noticed a very beautiful white ceramic teapot sitting on a special table. He immediately picked it up.

“Oi! Mung! What do you think you are doing?” Trang cried in alarm.

“Don’t worry, Trang, I just want to take a look,” said Mung curiously.

“I don’t think we should do that. Master Mue might get angry.”

“Hah! Trang! Always the good boy. You should live a little. I’m sure you want to take a look too,” Mung replied with a cheeky grin.

Without warning, Mung threw the teapot at Trang. Luckily, Trang’s martial arts training kicked in and he managed to catch the teapot just in time.

All seven of them were housed in their own individual dome. They were never allowed to touch each other. They could just the see the others from inside their own dome. Outside the domes, curious visitors stared at the alien creatures.

“Are you crazy, Mung!?” he shouted angrily.

“Relax, I just wanted to test your reflexes, that’s all!” Mung replied, rolling backwards with laughter.

Unfortunately for him, he did not notice that behind him was another wooden stand on top of which sat a precious piece from their Master’s collection. Mung knocked the stand over, and the teapot along with it. There was a loud crash as the jade coloured teapot shattered into many pieces.

The two boys looked in dismay at the broken teapot.

“This is your fault!” Trang said, shooting Mung an angry stare.

“No need to panic. I’m sure Mr Po the teapot seller from the village will be able to fix this. If not, we can always get a replacement,” Mung replied.

Luckily for them, Master Mue was away for a few months so there was plenty of time.

Mr Po inspected the pot with a glum look on his face. “I’m sorry but I can neither fix it nor sell you a spare teapot. You see, this teapot is very rare. It is called the Heavenly Jade Teapot, and there are only three in existence. Perhaps now, only two,” Mr Po said looking at the broken pieces.

“Where can we find the other two?” Mung hastily interrupted.

“Well, one is owned by the emperor himself. The second one is said to be hidden in a land far away. Unfortunately, it is guarded by a huge dragon. So, in my expert opinion, it would be better for you to just tell your master the truth and get it over with.”

Trang nodded in agreement, turning to Mung who violently shook his head. “Never. We won’t tell master or he will throw us both out. I suggest we go on a quest!” Mung said, thumping his chest.

Mr Po shrugged. “Okay. Can’t say I didn’t warn you. Here is the map that will lead you to the pot.”

And so, both Mung and Trang embarked on a perilous journey to fight the dreaded dragon and claim the teapot for themselves.

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sage – a profoundly wise person; a person famed for wisdom.
kick in – to start, to happen
jade – a precious stone usually green or white
dismay – disappointment, sadness
dreaded – greatly feared
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