Life was very good in the village, until one
day, warriors came. They posted scrolls with a list of
names. Faced with the threat of
war, each family in the village had to send one man to strengthen the army.
family, the man chosen to go was her father. The warriors were there to take
the men listed away to fight.
Mulanís father was a retired general. He was too old to fight, but too honorable not to go. Mulan had no
older brother to send in his place. Her younger brother was a wonderful boy,
brave and strong, but he was much too young to be selected.
If only she were
a boy, Mulan thought to herself, it would be so simple. But girls did not fight
in wars. Oh why oh why had she not been
born a boy, Mulan thought angrily to herself.
An idea grew in Mulanís mind. Could she do
it? She had to. Mulan knew her father would die if he went to war again.
That day, she bought a horse.
The next morning, Mulan stole her fatherís
armor and crept silently from home, disguised as a man. She reported for
duty to the military leader. The leader had never met her father. Besides,
he had his hands full, marching the men from all the villages to the camp.
Mulan fought for many years, some say as many
as ten years. In all that time, no one knew she was not a man. When the war
ended, Mulan was called before the emperor to receive a special award for
her incredible courage. The emperor offered Mulan a job that would make her
rich beyond her dreams. But Mulan wished to return home to her family. She
asked for a good horse instead which was immediately granted.
Her family was so happy to see her.
Her father was frail, but alive. Her brother had grown into a
wonderful young man. Without regret, Mulan gave her warriorís
clothes to her little brother, and dressed in the clothes of a
woman. She wrapped her hair in the style of the day. She added rouge
to her cheeks. When she joined her family to watch the sun set, the
warrior Mulan had transformed into a beautiful young woman.