The Chinese text below was taken from "Taiwanese Place Name Stories" 台灣地名故事, published by Windmill Ltd. 三暉圖書發行有限公司 in 2012. The Chinese text was written by 張青史, and the English was written/translated by me.
帝王福地 -- 屏東鯉魚山傳奇
The Emperor's Promised Land: The Legend of Pingtung's Liyu Mountain
位於屏東縣萬丹鄉的鯉魚山, 因形狀像鯉魚而得名. 據說, 鯉魚山正巧位在一個鯉魚穴上, 穴中住著一對千年鯉魚精. 康熙61年7月11日, 鯉魚山第一次發生泥火山爆發, 附近的居民都非常高興. Liyu (Carp) Mountain is in Pingtung County, Wandan Township. It gets its name from its shape, which resembles a carp. According to legend, it was located atop a cave inhabited by two carp spirits, both a thousand years old. The first eruption there occurred during the 11th day of the 7th month of the 61st year of Emperor Kangxi's reign, and this eruption made the people living in that area very happy. (1)
王老爹說 : "這是鯉魚精開始作法了 , 鯉魚精是吉祥的動物 , 一定會帶給我們幸運的 ." Elder Wang said: "This is carp spirits coming into existence. Carp spirits are auspicious beings. This is sure to bring us good luck."
曾大叔進一步的補充說 : "鯉魚精出現 , 表示我們萬丹這個地方 , 將來會產生 "真命天子" , 鯉魚山就是那位 "真命天子" 的皇帝殿 . 鯉魚精讓泥火山噴出泥漿 , 目的是在做造山運動 , 要使鯉魚山能像大武山那般高俊雄偉 , 如此 , 皇帝殿就可以穩如泰山 . Uncle Zeng added: "The appearance of carp spirits means that Wandan will one day give birth to the "Rightful King," and that Liyu Mountain will be the Rightful King's Palace. The carp spirits cause mud to spout from the ground, with the intention of making Liyu Mountain as tall as Dawu Mountain. In this way the Rightful King's Palace will be as secure as if it was located on Mount Tai." (2)
由於王老爹和曾大叔都是村裡德高望重的長者 , 因此 , 村民也都認同他們的看法 , 全心全意的督促年輕學子努力讀書 , 充實知識 , 以便將來能成為真命天子 . Because Elder Wang and Uncle Zeng were both highly respected in the village, the villagers all agreed with their assessment. They urged the children in the village to study hard, and to become wise so that in the future one of them could become the "Rightful King."
果然, 過了幾年, 在雍正元年6月26日, 泥火山第二次爆發, 當時鯉魚山的赤山巖一帶, 紅光滿天, 地面衝開二孔, 黑色泥漿不斷的冒出來. 村民前往觀察, 發現是那兩隻鯉魚經再度施展法術, 噴出泥漿. 他們更加確定 "皇帝殿" 快蓋好了, 而他們出頭天的日子也已經不遠 . Sure enough, several years later, during the 26th day of the 6th month of Emperor Yong Jeng's reign, the mud volcano erupted a second time. At the same time, the rocks around Liyu Mountain glowed red, casting their radiance into the sky. Two holes appeared in the earth, and black mud continually spurted from them. The villagers moved closer to inspect the holes, and came to the conclusion that the spurting mud was just the carp spirits again, working their magic. They became even more convinced that the "Rightful King's Palace" was nearing completion, and that their day of glory would soon arrive.
這時候 , 正好有一位乞丐經過 , 看到兩隻鯉魚經在互相加油 , 呼喚 , 使得泥漿不斷的湧出 , 發出 "轟隆 ! 轟隆 !" 的巨大聲響 . 乞丐不明就裡 , 認為是兩隻鯉魚經在作怪 , 心裡既生氣又害怕 , 就把手上的拐杖往泥漿中擲去 , 無巧不巧 , 竟然擊斃了雄的鯉魚精 . 從此以後 , 鯉魚穴就被破壞了 , "皇帝殿" 沒能建造完成 , "真命天子" 自然也就無法順利產生 . 雄鯉魚精死後 , 雌鯉魚精非常傷心 , 就離開萬丹 , 遁走南海. As this was happening a beggar was passing by. He saw the two carp spirits stirring up the mud, and heard them calling out with a great "Hong! Hong!" The beggar was unfamiliar with the area, and thought that the two carp spirits were up to no good. He felt angry and scared, and he threw his crutch into the mud, which - wonder of wonders - killed the male carp spirit within. In this way the cave of the carp spirits was destroyed, and the "Rightful King's Palace" was never completed. Of course after this point the "Rightful King" would also never come to be. After the male carp spirit was killed, the female carp spirit grew very sad, and left Wandan for the South China Sea.
村民們知道後 , 非常憤怒 , 將乞丐打了一頓 , 趕出村去 , 還立下一個規矩 : 從此不准任何一個乞丐進入村裡乞討 . After the villagers learned of this they were very angry, and they beat the beggar half to death. From that time they made it a rule that no beggars could enter the village to beg for alms.
光緒28年9月 , 鯉魚山的泥火山再度爆發 , 連續好幾天噴出泥漿 . 村民傳說是雌鯉魚精回來了 , 因為思念雄鯉魚精 , 因此難過的噴出泥漿 . During the 9th month of the 28th year of the Emperor Guangxu's reign the mud volcano erupted yet again, and continued to do so for several days. According to the villagers, this event signified the female carp spirit's return. The bubbling mud was caused by her longing for the male carp spirit.
此後 , 每當雌鯉魚精思念牠的伴侶時 , 就會再度噴出泥漿 . 但是因為傷心過度 , 噴出的泥漿已經大不如前了 . From this time onward the mud would bubble up every time the female carp spirit missed her mate. But because her pain has lessened with time, the mud does not bubble up as strongly as it once did.
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1. There are other Liyu Mountains in Taitung County, Hualien County (next to Liyu Lake), Taipei City and Fujian Province, China. One gets the feeling that naming things after carp was once very popular.
2. Dawu Mountain is the best known (and most historic) mountain in Pingtung County. Mount Tai is located in Shantung Province, China. There are many legends surrounding Mount Tai involving gods and monsters. The villagers in Wandan, having settled in Wandan during Kangxi's reign, would have had more recent memories of the Mainland, and would have also been more apt to compare places in Taiwan to places in China.