Meet Seri—a little silk moth who lives in a Mulberry tree in China. Seri’s friend Shi-shi is the Mulberry fairy. They love to play with silk threads and bits of silk cloth.
Seri likes to whisper silk tales to Shi-shi when they’re wrapped up in lovely silks, nestled deep in the branches of the Mulberry tree.
This is Seri’s favorite story:
Silk making was a secret for two-thousand years after Si-ling discovered the craft. The only people who knew how to raise silk cocoons were the Chinese. They never shared the secret, knowing if they did they would die.
That’s because silk was a precious treasure for these people. All China’s kings and queens wore silk...they even wrapped their newborns in golden silk blankets.
There was a young Princess name Li-li whose mother always wrapped her in silk.
Her mother believed that clothes made from silk were perfect to wear in any type of weather—beautiful and lightweight, silk was warm in cool weather and cool in hot weather—so she continued to dress her in silks as she grew. Li-li wore bright colored tunics when she was old enough to choose her own.
One day Li-li’s glow caught the eye of a young Prince from Khotan. He began courting her. They fell in love. Li-li wanted to marry him, but she didn’t want to travel to his far-away land (and certainly not to a land without silk moths). She decided to marry him. Before she moved to Khotan, she hatched a plan to take some of the caterpillars with her.
Li-li found the perfect spot to hide her silk worm eggs-right in the middle of her high silky hair bun! Wearing an enormous bun was the custom of the day, so she knew no one would notice. So she tucked these precious eggs out of view and traveled to marry her Prince of Khotan.
Once she settled in to her new life, she started raising the silk worms and taught her new friends how to raise their own. Eventually they all had enough silk to swaddle their babies, just like her mother swaddled her. Soon enough, silk became popular in Li-li’s new land.