Mulan: The Tale of Hua Mulan

Bedtime Stories For Kids | MulanThe Story of MulanA Chinese Tale in English for Kids

Illustrated By: Suzie Chang





Listen to Mulan while you read along! 

Years ago China was in the middle of a great war and the Chinese Emperor decreed that one man from each family must leave his family to join the army. Mulan, a teenage girl who lived in a faraway village, was outside washing clothes when she heard the news.

Running into the house where her father was carving a piece of wood, she cried out with alarm, “Father! Did you hear what the Emperor has commanded?” 


“Yes," said her old father, putting down his carving.  "Well, I may as well go pack up.”  He stood up and walked very slowly to his room.  

“Wait!” said Mulan, “Father, you have not been well.  If I may say so, why at your age must you keep up with all those young men?”

“What choice is there?” said her father.  “Your brother is too young to go to war.”

“Of course,” said Mulan, “but I have an idea." She poured her father a cup of tea and handed it to him.  "Father, please sit a minute.  I'll be right back.”

"Very well, dear," said the father.


Mulan went into her room and with her sword, cut off her long, black hair. She put on her father’s robe.  Going back to her father, she said, “Look at me!  Now I am your son.  I will go in your place.  I can do my part for China as well as anyone else!”

“What, no!” cried the old man in horror. “You're my daughter - you cannot go to war.  I will not allow this!”

“Father, listen please," said Mulan.  “For years, you trained me in Kung Fu.  You showed me how to use a sword.”  She swung the sword back and forth with might.

“That was so you could protect yourself,” said the father.  “If you join the army and they find out you are a woman, you know as well as I that it would cost you your life.”

“No one will find out!” said Mulan.  She picked up her sword and kissed him goodbye.


"I love you, Father," said the daughter.  "Take care of yourself.  Tell my brother I said goodbye." She climbed on one of the family's horses.  And off she went to join the Emperor’s army.

In the army, Mulan proved to be a brave soldier.  Others noticed her quick instincts, and she was promoted to assistant to the general.  A fine assistant she proved to be, whose advice on when and where to strike was exactly right every time.  


Her battles went so well that she was put in charge of even more soldiers.  Her battles kept on going well.  After a few years Mulan was given the top job - she would be General of the entire army.  

Then some unexpected troubles.  A very bad fever swept through the army.  Many soldiers were sick and Mulan became sick, too, the General of the army.   When the doctor came out of Mulan's tent, he knew the truth.

“The General is a WOMAN?” yelled the soldiers.  


“How can this be?”  Someone else called out, “She tricked us!” and “We will not fight for a woman!” They said, “Punish her!  Make her pay!  She must die!” 

But others called out, in voices just as loud, “What do we care?  With Mulan, we win every battle!”  They said: “Stay away from our General!”

Just then, a soldier ran up.  “Everyone!" he called.  "It's a surprise attack!  The enemy will be here in a few minutes!”   

Mulan heard this from inside her tent.  She quickly got dressed and went outside.  She was not yet strong enough to stand tall for long, but her presence commanded respect. 

She told the soldiers where they must hide so they could attack when the enemy came.  But they must get there 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.  It was such a big victory that the enemy surrendered.  The war was over and China was saved!  You can be sure that after that last battle, no one cared anymore if Mulan was a woman or not.

The Emperor was so glad that Mulan had ended the long war, he said, “Mulan, stay with me in the palace,” he said. “Someone as smart as you would be a fine royal adviser.”  Mulan

Mulan bowed deeply.  “You are too kind, Sire,” she said.  “I would gladly accept.  But if you please, what I yearn for most of all is first to return home to my family.”

“Then take these fine gifts,” said the Emperor. "So everyone at your home village will know how much the Emperor of China thinks of you.  And when you are ready, come to the palace."

Mulan returned to her village with six fine horses and six fine swords. Everyone cheered her safe return.  The hero of China was their very own Mulan!




Discussion Questions: 

Question 1: What skills do you think it takes to be a good battle commander like Mulan?

Question 2: At the end of the story, why did Mulan choose to go home, instead of being the advisor to the Emperor?

Posted in Asia, Bedtime Stories, China, Chinese New Year, Holidays, STORIES FOR KIDS, World Tales.


  1. 1. Skills it takes for mulan is bravery good fighting Skill And Sword Skill

    2. At the end i think mulan chose to go home because she wanted to check on her family and and father to see if they was good.

  2. The story was trying to tell us that she was wanted the best for her family and for that she is brave and courageous .

  3. The story of Mulan is trying to show us that bravery and courage leads to success. In addition, it shows us that family is the most important part of life.

  4. 1. To be a good battle commander like Mulan you need to let your people know where they stand with you at all times. Every day, every week and every month, provide feedback. Talk about what went right, what went wrong and what you would have done differently. You must lead with integrity, self-awareness, and with influence.

    2. Mulan went home because the trauma of war was severely affecting her mental health. She wanted a night of sleep at home as her severe post traumatic stress disorder was holding her back.

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