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swan lake

The story used in Tchaikovsky's ballet, in which a prince encounters at the lake side a flock of swans who were actually girls that were under a evil witch's spell, is a fairly recent version. A much older version retained some details that relate to the Chinese story of Cow Boy and Weaving Girl as well as even more ancient Chinese tales:

A young man (prince was presumably a later detail arising in the later romantic fairytale era with knights rescuing damsels in distress and princes living happily after with princesses) saw a flock of 7 swans descending at the side of a lake, and turning into maidens who bathed in the water after shedding their feather dresses. He hid the dress of one girl, making it impossible to change back and fly away with the others birds. She went home with him as his wife.

The story has various different endings, e.g., the wife found where her feather dress was hidden and flew away; the husband broke the promise not to see her bathing, etc., which reflect different shamanistic ideas of different regions/eras, but these do not concern us here. For me the significant issue is the story's similarity to the weaving girl story:

The daughters of jade emperor descended to earth to bathe in the Yao pond, and the cow boy hid the clothes of the youngest, 7th princess, who, unable to return to heaven, went home with him. After they had two children, the jade emperor sent heavenly soldiers to bring her back. Seperated by the milky way, the lovers were able to meet once a year over a bridge made by descending magpies...

Also we have the Shang Dynasty legend that its founder Princess Jiandi was bathing with her sisters, and swallowed an egg left behind by a black bird, which made her pregnant. 

Lake/pond, birds, boy getting girl by hiding her clothes, lovers who were not allowed to maintain a permanent relationship, even the number 7, are shared features of two apparently unrelated stories. Coincidence? Not if you are familiar with the ancient (and in some isolated regions of China and other parts of the world, still ongoing) fertility rituals: once a year, girls of a tribe go to bathe in a sacred pond, and boys from neighbouring tribes come to find partners by taking the girls' clothes. It takes place once a year so that child births would be synchronized and breast feeding can be shared - with high mother and infant mortality, it is important that orphanes babies can be fed by other mothers who gave birth about the same time.