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Chinese Zodiac Story - Rat

Why the Rat comes first?

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    As is known to all, the rat is one of the nasty species because it is dirty and tricky, provoking widespread indignation and discontent. But why does the rat rank top in Chinese Zodiac? This is indeed inconceivable. Is there really a "story"?

    A long, long time ago, Nu Wa returned to the Heavenly Palace after creating human beings. Under the instruction of the Emperor of Heaven, she was ordered to repair the hole in the sky at all costs. Nu Wa tempered a colorful stone to repair the hole and she used the four legs of the earth turtle to hold up the sky, however leading to the earthquake, land collapse, flooding and more sea area; the mortal world faced an unprecedented disaster.

    In order to prevent the human extinction from flood, the Emperor of Heaven ordered the Water God to prevent flood. The disaster was alleviated with the great efforts of the Water God, but it wasn't completely quelled due to the shortage of manpower! At this moment, the Water God thought of all the animals living on the land, but they had already fled into the mountains. How to find them? The Water God was too busy to leave his work, so he arranged his assistant Yu to find the animals.

    Yu was burning with anxiety: ''all the animals have fled into the mountains; where can I find them?'' When he was hesitant, he found a rat fleeing in panic and he was pleased.

    The rat was the only animal he could find at present. Although it was disgusting, it was the only animal which could provide help, so Yu caught the rat quickly.

    After communication, the rat found the human was not malicious and it accepted the task of looking for other animals. Together with its companions and relying on its congenital advantage, the rat found the animals hidden in the mountains and persuaded the tiger, the king of the animals, to take the animals out of the mountains and control the water with human beings. Then, humans and animals cooperated together and controlled the flood under the guidance of the Water God.

    To commemorate the deed, the Emperor of Heaven conferred 12 Chinese Zodiac Gods and all the animals participated in the water control had the opportunity; the first 12 animals arriving at the altar would be the Zodiac Gods, of course, including the rat.

    On the night before the event, the rat hid under the ox horn because it knew that the ox was the most diligent and enduring animal; as long as the rat became the God, it would stand proudly in the animals! As expected, the diligent and honest ox came first to the altar; at this moment, the rat hidden under the horn jumped off onto the altar and became the top of all zodiac signs.

    The human beings were unhappy about the result because they thought the rat was harmful despite its merits; besides, it played tricks.

    However, the Emperor of Heaven was resolute for the result and the fact couldn't be changed because playing tricks was also a kind of wisdom! In this way, the rat became the top of all zodiac signs.

    Stories of Other Zodiac Animals: