A tiresome fictionalization of the discovery of silk. Si Ling Chi--despised like Cinderella, as observant as Mme. Curie, and destined for greatness via a prophecy--suffers an unhappy childhood before she accidentally drops some cocoons (carelessly tucked in her sleeve) into the tea water and discovers how to use their soft lining. When she marries the Emperor next door she wears ""that stuff made by worms"" because ""When I wear it I feel that I have dressed myself in a lovely song, a song made from a gentle breeze blown over a flower garden."" A sorry excuse for sericulture.