"The Beginning of Wisdom" (Season 1, Episode 7)

[Contributed by Chris Hadgis (chrish@mincom.com)]

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The pilgrims enter a region which is in a drought. When Pigsy and Monkey argue about what to do, Tripitaka starts taking advice from Pigsy.

The local monster, a water spirit, is with-holding rain because the village has no more boys to sacrifice. In desperation, some of the villagers try and kidnap Tripitaka so he can be sacrificed, but Monkey saves him. The village headman tells the pilgrims about the monster. He has a daughter who offers herself as a sacrifice.

Pigsy tries to break the drought by calling down buckets of rain, but he is knocked out by a rain of buckets. Monkey trys next. Clouds gather, but it starts to rain upwards. When the clouds are dispersed. Monkey's cloud shrinks. He has to nurse it back to health.

An angry crowd has a vision that the headman's daughter is really a boy, and demand she be sacrificed. Pigsy turns himself into the girl and goes instead. After Pigsy is sacrificed and it still hasn't rained, Monkey takes the horse and goes looking for the monster.

After battling the water spirit, including a fight under water, the monster surrenders. He has a bald patch and a necklace of human skulls. He claims he is killing human children because humans took his child away. Monkey deduces that this spirit is really Sandy's father.

Monkey brings Sandy back to the water spirit where father and son are reconciled. The children are brought back, as is Pigsy's trotter. After putting the trotter in the water spirit's mouth and pulling it out again, Pigsy is returned as well. The water spirit promises no more droughts.

As the pilgrims continue their journey, Pigsy is happy for Monkey to be the leader again.


NOTES:

* Look for Monkey nursing his cloud - especially the look of horror when a piece breaks off!

* Look for Monkey fighting under water - his boots have turned into flippers!

* Monkey rides "several leagues" to the Bottomless Sea to confront the monster. When the children are released, do they run the several leagues back to the village?

* Sandy is 547 years old, and has a 7-mole birth-mark.

* Alliteration - "it's no use sending an angry ape after a perished pig".



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