According to legend, King Mu of Zhou had eight horses that traveled thousands of miles a day and were deeply loved. He likes playing very much. He once accepted the invitation of Queen Mother Xi and participated in the yaochi grand event.
One day, King Mu of Zhou returned to Heshan from Kunshan. On his way, he heard that there was a man named Yanshi who was skillful in making animals that could run. He didn’t believe it. He immediately summoned Yanshi and asked, “I heard you can make all kinds of exquisite gadgets. Take out one and let me have a look.”
The next day, Yanshi brought a wooden dummy to visit King Mu. King Mu saw as like as two peas in his facial features, and his eyebrows and beard were just like real people.
King Mu asked Yanshi, “can all the people you carved move“
Yanshi said, “I can not only move, but also sing and dance. Just like a real person.”
King Mu said, “let them perform. I think it’s much worse than real people.”
Yanshi used the drum to direct the wooden man to start his movement. The wooden man did not open the array and attacked and defended according to the rhythm of the drum. However, he saw that the wooden man was armed with knives, guns, swords and sticks. He advanced and retreated orderly. For a while, he lined up in a long snake array, suddenly turned into an ambush on all sides, and then turned into nine palaces and eight seals array, six flowers array, seven stars array and eight gates array. The array was changeable and dazzled King Mu , very happy. He felt that it was a pity that the imperial concubine would not appreciate such a novel, so he ordered the palace maid to invite the imperial concubine to watch it.
Seeing the arrival of the concubines, Yanshi wanted to show off his skills, so he said, “the lineup just now is too fierce to show in front of the ladies. Let’s sing and dance for a change.”
Yanshi picked up the cloud board, blew the Sheng spring, and the wooden people sang loudly. The song was gentle and melodious. Sometimes it was like a hundred birds facing the Phoenix, and the warbler whispered and echoed endlessly. Sometimes it was like an ape crying at the Three Gorges, sad, sad and tearful, and sometimes it was like a dragon singing in a deep pool and a tiger roaring in a deep valley.
King Mu and his concubines were intoxicated with the sound of sweet songs.
Yanshi changed the beat of the drum slightly, and the wooden man rolled his long sleeves in the song,
He danced gracefully like a lotus in the rain, or swaying like a willow in the wind. One of the wooden men often winked at the imperial concubine, as if he were flirting, which was discovered by King Mu. He was very angry. He thought it was improper behavior and intended to flirt, so he ordered the wooden man to be beheaded.
Yanshi knew it had caused misunderstanding and hurriedly broke up the wooden man. King Mu saw that the wooden man was only made of leather, pigment, horsetail hair and wood, and couldn’t help laughing. At the end of the performance, King Mu was amazed and said, “it’s wonderful. It’s like a fairy.”
Ever changing means: describe a lot of changes.