No, a man is flying. I saw him with wings made of paper and bamboo like a dragon.
Emperor, emperor!! There has been a miracle.
The Stranger with bright papers
Who else has seen this?
Call him down.
There! Only me, greatness.
Come down, come down the Emperor wants to see you!!
In the year A.D. 400, the Emperor Yuan held his throne by the Great Wall of China, and the land was green with rain, readying itself toward the harvest, at peace, the people in his dominion neither too happy nor too sad.
The Flying Men
What have you done!?
I have flown through the sky, your greatness.
"I saw him in the air, a man flying with wings. I heard a Voice call out of the sky, and when I looked up, there he was, a dragon in the heavens with a man in its mouth, a dragon of paper and bamboo, coloured like the sun and the grass."
Yes, too beautiful.
And in the sky, laughing so high that you could hardly hear him laugh, was a man; and the man was clothed in bright papers and reeds to make wings and a beautiful yellow tail, and he was soaring all about like the largest bird in a universe of birds, like a new dragon in a land of ancient dragons.
Guards, seize this man and call the executioner.
Here is a man who has made a certain machine and yet when he is asked he has made he does not know him self.
The Emperor glanced in all directions while the flying man soared down the morning wind. He saw a farmer, early in his fields, watchihg the sky, and he noted where the farmer stood. The flying man alit with a rustle of paper and a creak of bamboo reeds. He came proudly to the Emperor, clumsy in his rig, at last bowing before the old man.
You have told me nothing at all.
Is it not beautiful excellency?
"Well for her, then," said the Emperor. "Come along." They walked back to the great house. The sun was full in the sky now, and the smell of the grass was refreshing. The Emperor, the servant, and the flier paused within the huge garden.
It is only one in the world and I am the inventor. No one knows not even my wife,
"Here is the man who has made a certain machine," said the Emperor, "and yet asks us what he has created. He does not know himself. It is only necessary that he create, without knowing why he has done so, or what this thing will do."The executioner came running with a sharp silver ax. He stood with his naked, large-muscled arms ready, his face covered with a serene white mask.