The emperor of China is saddened by the passing of his father.
Outside of the forbidden city, there lives a young peasant boy named Hu Wan that lives with his grandfather.
Hu Wan works hard in his grandfather's garden. They make cricket cages out of gourds as a hobby.
One day a bad storm came through. Hu Wan and his grandfather had to go out in the rain the tend to the gourds before they flooded with water. Grandfather then became ill.
Grandfather got better and told Hu Wan that it was time to break the clay mold on his gourd. It revealed a shape that resembles a sleeping dragon that Hu Wan then carved into a cricket cage. While in town a royal guard came with a summons to the village to bring gifts to the mourning emperor.
Hu Wan brought his cricket cage to the palace. His gift was not luxurious, but the emperor loved the sound the cricket made in the cage. The palace guard even sought out Hu Wan to make more for the emperor.