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Chang'e

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Chang'e is a Chinese etheric being that made an appearance in a Matt's flashback in Chapter 34: Faraway Morning and 3 Short Tales. She has what appears to be a pet white rabbit with a red ribbon.

Background

She and her rabbit arrived at Gunnerkrigg Court as visitors. She was there to give a presentation about the fingerprint shaped mark on the moon to the court's astronomers. At some point, the rabbit ran off and as she chased it, she bumped into Matt. After their collision causes her to drop the notes and lose track of the rabbit, she forces Matt to help her find it.

As hours pass with no sign of the Rabbit, Chang'e tells him about her research and the two of them bond. Eventually, they find the Rabbit and Matt quickly captures it for her. They then arrive at her conference and Chang'e gives Matt a kiss on the cheek in thanks. After Matt asks if he could see her again the next day, she sadly replies that she can't. Matt thinks that she might have stolen his mp3 player.

Trivia

Moon rabbit goddess

A sketch of Chang'e listening to Matt's MP3 player on the moon. Art by Tom Siddell.

  • Chang'e is most likely based upon the Chinese goddess of the Moon of the same name. In Chinese legends, she is a girl that lives on the moon with her rabbit friend.
    • There is also a Japanese legend concerning a girl from the moon that lived on earth for many years before finally returning home. In the fable, the young girl lived on earth for a decade or so, turning down many suitors saying that she will have to return home, much like how she told Matt that she wouldn't be able to see him the following day. She also had a pet rabbit, much like the girl in Chinese lore.
  • Her rabbit friend is most likely meant to represent the Moon Rabbit, a being present in the folklore of several cultures. The rabbit featured here was probably influenced by the version found in east asian cultures, where it is often seen pounding in a mortar and pestle.

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