These stories comes from the Xibo or Sibe people. The Xibo is one of 56 ethnic groups recognised in China. They live in Xinjiang, Jilin and Liaoning province. Most of them live in the Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County in Northern Xinjiang.
The wicked stepmother
There was a man whose wife died suddenly, leaving him a seven year old daughter.
The man worked far from home so he could not look after his girl. Soon he married a widow who has an eight year old girl. The stepmother favoured her own but would abuse her stepchild.
The seven year old became more beautiful by the day but her older stepsister became more ugly. Out of jealousy, the stepmother pushed the beautiful girl into a well and filled it with earth.
When the father returned, the wicked stepmother told him that the girl died of disease and so was hastily buried.
The grieving father discovered that a willow sapling grew out of the well and rapidly became a full grown tree. On the tree, there was a beautiful bird that could sing ninety-nine heart wrenching tunes.
The man kept that beautiful bird in a cage but the wicked stepmother poisoned it, burnt it to ashes in the oven and then threw threw the ashes away.
The next day, a neighbour found a shiny emerald in the ashes which transformed into a beautiful young lady.
The young lady prepared some dishes and then invited the man and his wicked wife to dinner. At dinner, she told them a story.
The man realised that the stepmother murdered his beautiful daughter and reported them to the magistrate.
Falishan and the rose fairy
Kind hearted and hardworking Falishan saved a white snake. The snake’s grandparents gifted Falishan with a zhamuli flower (China rose Rosa chinensis).
The rose transformed into an exceptionally beautiful lady. She married Falishan and the two lived blissfully.
A commander wanted to seize the girl as his bride but he fell into a ravine and froze to death in the snow.
The swift repays a kind act
An injured swift flew into an old lady’s home in the Western neighbourhood. The kind lady treated the bird’s injury then set the bird free when it recovered.
Come spring, the swift gave the old lady a pumpkin which she planted into her garden. When autumn came, the plant grew a giant pumpkin filled with gold and silver. The lady’s life got better by the day.
In the Eastern neighbourhood there lived a rich lady. She was filled with jealousy so she caught a swift, broke its leg and then set it free.
Next spring, a swift gave this mean woman a pumpkin which she planted as well. A giant python burst out of a pumpkin in autumn and proceeded to swallow her.