There are numerous Chinese folk legends that have been passed down through time regarding the moving story of King Yu taming the flood. According to tradition, when Yu the Great was trying to bring the Yellow River under control, there were three treasures: a river map, the axe that can split mountains and the sword that can divide waters. The first treasure—the river map—was given to Yu the Great by the Yellow River god, He Bo.
Before Yu the Great harnessed the Yellow River, it often caused terrible floods which brought the people much suffering, making them destitute and homeless. Because the Yellow River god, He Bo, was also at a loss about how to prevent the flooding, he asked the advice of the Jade Emperor. The Jade Emperor had him first draw a river map so that through the map the management of the Yellow River would be much easier. Following the directions of the Jade Emperor, He Bo traveled across mountains and rivers, inspecting the situation of the river and drawing the river map. But by the time He Bo had finished the map, he realized that he was advanced in years and poor in health, having no energy left anymore to harness the Yellow River. But even though he was very heart-broken, he estimated that his work was not completely a waste, for there would certainly be an able person who could harness the river one day, and at that time he could pass on the map to him. Later when Yu the Great was in charge of harnessing the Yellow River, He Bo decided to give everything he had to him. After Yu the Great received the Yellow River map, he worked tirelessly day and night following the directions of the map and finally brought a stop to the flooding disasters.