Fairy Su: The Tale of Virgin Birthn and a Son’s Supernatural Legacy

Explore the heartwarming and mysterious tale of Su Xian, a woman whose unwavering love for her son led to a supernatural legacy of flourishing peach trees and colorful clouds in Chinese folklore.

When Gaoming Tugong served as the magistrate of Chenzhou, there was a woman surnamed Su washing clothes by the river. There was a large stone in the river, and Su crouched on top of it. There was a strand of water grass, emerald green and silky, very lovely, floating and swaying on the water’s surface, circling the stone three times. Su looked at it and felt her heart pound. Not long after, she became pregnant, and her belly gradually swelled. Her mother quietly asked her what was going on, and Su truthfully told her. Her mother was puzzled. Several months later, Su unexpectedly gave birth to a son. She initially thought about abandoning the child in a small alley, but she couldn’t bear to do it, so she placed the son in a cabinet and raised him there. From then on, she swore not to marry anyone to show her determination to raise her son to adulthood. However, having a pregnancy without getting married was always a shameful matter. So when the child reached the age of seven, he had never been seen by anyone outside. One day, the son suddenly said to Su, “Mother, I am gradually growing up. How can I stay locked up at home for so long? Let me go; I can no longer burden you.” Su asked her son where he was going, and the son replied, “I was never meant to be of human kind; I want to raise my head high and soar into the clouds and sky.” Su cried and asked when he would come back, and the son replied, “I will only return when you are on your deathbed. After I leave, if you need anything, just open the cabinet where I am hidden and you will surely find what you need.” With that, he bid farewell to his mother and left. When Su went outside, her son had already disappeared without a trace. Su told her mother, and her mother was also very astonished.

From then on, Su remained steadfast in her original aspirations and relied on her mother, but their family’s fortunes continued to decline. One day, while preparing breakfast and realizing they had run out of rice with no solution in sight, Su suddenly remembered her son’s instructions before his departure. She opened the cabinet and indeed found white rice to cook breakfast. From that moment onwards, every request she made was fulfilled.

Three years later, Su’s mother passed away, and all funeral expenses were covered from the cabinet. After burying her mother, Su lived alone for thirty years and never left her home. One day, a neighbor came to borrow fire from Su. After a brief conversation in her spacious house, the neighbor left. Not long after, the neighbor saw colorful clouds swirling around Su’s house, resembling a large umbrella, with a person wearing magnificent clothing standing within the colorful clouds. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be Su herself. The colorful clouds hovered in the sky for a while, flying higher and higher until they disappeared.

The neighbors were all puzzled and went to Su’s house to investigate. There, they found Su dressed elegantly, sitting upright, having passed away. They discussed among themselves, and since Su had no close relatives, they decided to provide the funds for her burial. Suddenly, a young man entered from outside, tall and handsome, and thanked the crowd. The neighbors had heard about Su having a son, so they didn’t suspect anything. The young man paid for his mother’s burial, planted two peach trees at the grave, bid farewell to everyone, and walked a few steps before colorful clouds formed beneath his feet, making him disappear.

Later, the two peach trees bloomed and bore delicious and fragrant fruits. The local people called them “Su Xian Peach Trees.” These peach trees continued to thrive, never withering or decaying. Officials in the area often brought some of these peaches as gifts for their friends and relatives.

《苏仙》

高公明图知郴州时,有民女苏氏,浣衣于河。河中有巨石,女踞其上。有苔一缕,绿滑可爱,浮水漾动,绕石三匝,女视之心动。既归而娠,腹渐大。母私诘之,女以情告,母不能解。数月,竟举一子。欲寘隘巷,女不忍也,藏诸椟而养之。遂矢志不嫁,以明其不二也。然不夫而孕,终以为羞。儿至七岁,未尝出以见人。儿忽谓母曰:“儿渐长,幽禁何可长也?去之,不为母累。”问所之,曰:“我非人种,行将腾霄昂壑耳。”女泣询归期,答曰:“待母属纩,儿始来。去后,倘有所需,可启藏儿椟索之,必能如愿。”言已,拜母竟去。出而望之,已杳矣。女告母,母大奇之。

女坚守旧志,与母相依,而家益落。偶缺晨炊,仰屋无计。忽忆儿言,往启椟,果得米,赖以举火。由是有求辄应。逾三年,母病卒,一切葬具,皆取给于椟。既葬,女独居三十年,未尝窥户。一日,邻妇乞火者,见其兀坐空闺,语移时始去。居无何,忽见彩云绕女舍,亭亭如盖,中有一人盛服立,审视,则苏女也。回翔久之,渐高不见。邻人共疑之,窥诸其室,见女靓妆凝坐,气则已绝。众以其无归,议为殡殓。忽一少年入,丰姿俊伟,向众申谢。邻人向亦窃知女有子,故不之疑。少年出金葬母,植二桃于墓,乃别而去。数步之外,足下生云,不可复见。后桃结实甘芳,居人谓之“苏仙桃树”,年年华茂,更不衰朽。官是地者,每携实以馈亲友。

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