Once upon a time, there was a beautiful winged horse called the “Heavenly Horse.” He could run across land, swim through water, and fly across the sky. The Jade Emperor fell in love with him and appointed him as His royal mount. Proud and spoiled, the Heavenly Horse becomes so arrogant that he scorns everyone he sees and tramples on any creatures that stand in his way.
One day, the Heavenly Horse escaped from Heaven and forced himself into the Dragon Palace, a sacred underwater temple where the Dragon King resided. “Stop right there!” shouted the Turtle God and an army of thousands of sea guards in an effort to ward him off. "How dare some crawfish and crabs disrespect the mighty Heavenly Horse?!" Completely enraged, the Horse ruthlessly killed the Turtle as a deterrent.
Hearing the sins of the Heavenly Horse, an embarrassed Jade Emperor loses His temper. He slashes off the wings of the Heavenly Horse, buries him under the heavenly Kunlun Mountain and sentences him for 300 years. The Heavenly Horse cries day and night through 200 years. Hearing the Horse's sorrow and remorse, a compassionate deity revealed a prophecy to set him free. “Wait shall thou on the Human, and he shall save thee from the misery.”
The Horse waited anxiously for the day a human ancestor would pass by. When he sees the Human, he cries out, “Save me, kind-hearted Human. I will join you on earth and be a slave to you my whole life.”
Thus the Human emancipates the Horse from the Kunlun Mountain. As recompense, the Horse serves the human race for life. He trudges long distances, farms the land industriously, and fights in war courageously. Thereafter, the Horse becomes the best friend of the human race, loyal and inseparable. When the time has come to assemble the symbolic Zodiac, the Horse, with its humble heart and good behavior, was once again appointed by the Jade Emperor. This time as a symbol to be loved and respected.
传说古时的马有双翅,叫天马。它地上会跑,水中能游,天上能飞,是一种极有威力的 动物,后来它在玉帝殿前做了一匹御马。天马因玉帝宠爱,渐渐骄横起来,时常胡作非为, 一日,天马出天宫,直奔东海要硬闯龙宫。守宫门的神龟带领虾兵蟹将一齐阻挡,天马恼羞 成怒,飞腿踢死了神龟。此事告到天宫,玉帝便下令削去天马双翅,压在昆仑山下,300 年 不许翻身。200 多年后,人类始祖——人祖,要从昆仑山经过,天宫玉马园的神仙便给天马 透了信,并告诉天马如何才能从山下出来,当人祖经过时,天马大喊道:“善良的人祖,快 来救我,我愿同您去人世间终生为您效力。”人祖听了,生出同情之心,便依天马所言,砍 去了山顶上的桃树,只听一声巨响,天马从昆仑山底一跃而出。
天马为了答谢人祖救命之恩,同人祖来到人世间,终生终世为人祖效劳。平时耕地拉车、 驮物、任劳任愿,在战时,披甲备鞍,征战沙场,同主人出生入死,屡建占功。从此,马和 人就成了形影不离的好朋友。当玉帝准备挑选十二种动物生肖时,马成了人类推选的动物之 一。玉帝也因马立功赎罪,有助于人而允许马当上了生肖。