A String of Chinese Peach Stones

The Legend of the “Fire Goddess.”

“At the end of the Ming dynasty great havoc was caused at the potteries by the insurgents, and all the kilns were destroyed. Nor as time grew quieter were there any found who could build fresh ones after the old pattern. An old man and his daughter drew out a design for a kiln which was to be twenty feet high. It did not answer, however. Several alterations failed to improve it, the pottery was either broken or unevenly burned. The maiden then suggested that the door should be made her own height, with two breast-high indentations for watching the fire, and other apertures for ventilation underneath. This was done, and perfection was nearly attained.

” On the second trial, she went on top to see if she could discover the reason of the remaining defects, was overpowered by the charcoal fumes, and fell in. The kiln then answered perfectly, and that form has been adopted ever since. The maiden was deified, and her temple called by the name of the Fire Goddess.”

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