Tang Jiwu plucked glass eyes from a clay ghost at a temple. His cousin fell ill, accusing him. Family prayed, returned eyes, and ghost left. Tang Jiwu's integrity and courage noted.
When fellow countryman Tang Jiwu, who was only a few years old at the time, was brought to a temple to play by a cousin. Tang Jiwu had always been open-minded and fearless since he was a child. He saw the clay ghosts in the temple, with a pair of glassy eyes that were big and bright. He liked them very much, so he secretly used his fingers to pluck them off and put them in his pocket to take home. Just as they arrived home, the cousin suddenly fell seriously ill. At first, he didn’t say a word, but after a while, he suddenly sat up and said loudly, “Why did you pluck my eyes out!” He made a loud fuss. No one in the family knew what was going on until Tang Jiwu confessed his wrongdoing in the temple. So the whole family prayed, saying, “The child is ignorant and has accidentally harmed your eyes because of his love for playing. We will return them to you immediately.” The clay ghost then said loudly, “If that’s the case, I won’t cause any trouble. I’ll leave now.” After saying that, the cousin collapsed to the ground, unconscious. After a while, he finally woke up and asked about what he had said earlier, but he had no recollection. The family hurriedly returned to the temple and put the glass eyes back into the clay ghost’s eye sockets.
The chronicler of strange tales said: “The fact that the clay ghost actually entered the hall and demanded its glass eyes shows how extraordinary it was! However, when Tang Jiwu plucked its eyes, why did it vent its anger on Tang Jiwu’s cousin? This is because Tang Jiwu held a prestigious position and had a straightforward nature! Look at his later ability to speak candidly and dare to give advice, as well as his moral integrity in resigning from office and retiring to the southern mountains. Even the gods feared him, let alone ghosts!”