Animal Transformation: Mysterious Spells and Enchanted Transformations in Folklore

Explore the intriguing world of folklore, where mysterious spells turn donkeys into women and sheep into children, revealing the power of enchantment and transformation.

Enchanting and mysterious spells have various techniques. Some involve deceiving people into consuming delicious food, causing them to become confused and follow the trickster, known as “daxuba” in the folk parlance. In the Jiangnan region, it is called “chexu.” Innocent children are often the victims of such spells. There are also spells that transform people into livestock, known as “zaoxu.” Such spells are rare in the northern regions but prevalent south of the Yellow River.

In a Yangzhou inn, there was a man who had five donkeys. He temporarily tied them up in the stable and said, “I’ll be back in a little while,” instructing, “Don’t give them food or water.” Then he left. Due to the scorching sun, the donkeys became restless and started kicking and biting. The innkeeper moved them to a cooler place. When the donkeys saw water, they hurried over and drank heartily. Rolling on the ground, these donkeys transformed into women. The innkeeper was astonished and inquired about what had happened, but the women couldn’t speak and had stiff tongues. So, the innkeeper hid the women inside the house.

Before long, the owner of the donkeys arrived and drove five sheep into the courtyard, asking in surprise where the donkeys had gone. The innkeeper pulled him into the house, served tea and food, and assured him, “Guest, please eat something first; I will bring the donkeys shortly.” The innkeeper left the room, gave water to all five sheep, and one by one, they all turned into children. He secretly reported to the local authorities, and the officials dispatched constables to capture the owner of the donkeys, who was subsequently punished and beaten to death with a rod.




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