A Story From: China
Read Time: ["3 to 5mins"]
For Ages: 5 to 7yrs.

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MulanThe Story of Mulan ~ A Chinese Tale in English 

Many years ago China was in the middle of a big war.  The Emperor said that each Chinese family must give one man to fight in the army. Mulan heard this news when she was outside washing clothes.

 She ran inside the house.  “Father, did you hear the news?” she said.

“I did,’ said her old father sadly.  “I saw a poster in town.  Well, I must go pack now.”  And he walked away very slowly.  

“But Father!” said Mulan, “You have not been well.  If you go, I fear you will not come back.  Why, in your old age, should you have to keep up with all those young men?”


“Father, did you hear the news?” she said.


“Ah,” said her father with a sigh.  “We have no choice but to do as our Emperor commands.  Your brother is a child.  Surely he cannot go.”

“Of course,” said Mulan.  “But wait!  There may be another way.”

Mulan went to the next room.  With one stroke of a sword, she cut off her hair. And then she put on her father’s robes.

Standing before her father, Mulan said, “I am your son now.”

“No, my dear!” said her father. “You cannot do this!”


Standing before her father, Mulan said, “I am your son now.”


“I must, and I will,“ said Mulan.  “For years, you trained me in Kung Fu.  You taught me how to use a sword.”  Mulan swung the sword back and forth with might.

“Only so you could defend yourself,” said her father.  “I never meant you to go to war!  And if you are found out to be a woman after all, you will die!”

“No one will find out, Father,” said Mulan.  She picked up the sword and climbed on a horse.  Off she went to join the Emperor’s army.


“If you are found out to be a woman after all, you will die!”


Year after year, Mulan served in the army.  She fought so bravely that she was put in charge of more soldiers.  She became in charge of more and more soldiers.  At last, Mulan was given the job to be the General.  

Not long after that, a terrible fever swept through the army.  Many soldiers became ill.  And so was Mulan. 

When the doctor came out of Mulan’s tent, he knew the truth about their General.

“The General is a woman?” yelled the soldiers.  “How can this be?”  Some called out, “She tricked us!” and “We will not fight for a woman!” and “Punish her!”  Others called out, in voices just as loud, “With Mulan, we win every battle!” and “Let our General be!”

Just then, a soldier ran up.  “An attack!” he called.  “A surprise attack!”

Mulan heard this news from inside her tent.  Quickly, she dressed and went outside.  She was not well yet, but she stood tall.  She told the soldiers where they must go to hide and attack the enemy.  But they must move fast!  The soldiers, even those who did not like that their General was a woman, could tell that Mulan knew what she was talking about.  

It worked!  The battle was won and China was saved!  You can be sure that after that battle, no one cared that Mulan was a woman.


She stood tall and ordered the soldiers where they must go to attack the enemy.


The Emperor was glad.  He gave Mulan many fine gifts.  “Stay with me in the palace,” he said. “Be my adviser.”  

Mulan bowed deeply.  “Thank you,” she said.  “But what I wish most of all is to return home to my family.”

“At least take your gifts,” said the Emperor.

So Mulan returned to her family with six fine horses behind her, and took with her six fine swords. Everyone cheered that she was safe, and that the one who had saved China was their very own Mulan!



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This story is the tale of Hua Mulan, a legendary woman warrior from the Northern and Southern dynasties period (420–589) of Chinese history, originally described in the Ballad of Mulan. Our adaptation is a blend of the Ballad mentioned above and the Disney movie "Mulan" where a young Mulan joins the army in disguise as a boy and is later found out.