Born about 3,468 B.C.
His mother was made pregnant by a rainbow and a white elephant — so we don’t quite know what to look for. It would seem that three nymphs came to do some washing in a river and suddenly a garment bore an image of a lotus in full fruit.
This was so realistic that the nymph concerned just had to taste it. (You may think the lotus is not a particularly edible plant, but who knows what nymphs regard as a delicacy?).
There was, as so often in these cases, an immediate pregnancy — followed by a very rapid birth. A boy was born, complete with rainbow radiance and super aspirations. He went on to do very great things and may even have founded the historical Chinese Empire.
In this version, the elephant does not get a mention — but Chinese elephants are very shy creatures. Just a whisper of ‘David Attenborough’ and they are off over the rainbow where it is impossible to track them.