Fox Capture: Confrontation with a Shape-Shifting Creature

A tale of courage and cunning as an elderly man captures a mysterious fox-like creature in Chinese folklore.

There was an elderly man surnamed Sun, who was my wife’s uncle and had always been courageous. One day, he was resting in bed during the day, and suddenly felt like something was crawling onto the bed. He felt his body swaying as if he were riding on clouds and mist. He secretly wondered if he had encountered a mischievous fox spirit. He took a peek and saw a creature about the size of a cat, with yellow fur and a green beak, slowly crawling forward from his feet as if afraid to wake him up. The creature carefully climbed onto his body, and when it touched his feet, they went numb; when it touched his thighs, they went weak. Just as it had climbed to his belly, Sun, the old man, suddenly sat up, grabbed it with his hand, and seized its neck. The creature screeched in panic but couldn’t break free for a moment. Sun quickly called his wife and tied a strap around its waist. Then, he grabbed both ends of the strap with his hands and said with a smile, “I’ve heard that you are skilled in transformations, but now I’m watching you closely to see what you can do.” As soon as he finished speaking, the creature suddenly contracted its belly, making it as thin as a small tube, almost slipping out. Sun was greatly surprised and quickly tightened the strap. At this moment, the creature inflated its belly again, making it as thick as a bowl mouth, extremely hard, and the strap couldn’t tighten anymore. Sun loosened it slightly, and the creature shrank again. Afraid that it would escape, Sun urgently asked his wife to quickly kill it. His wife looked around in a panic, not knowing where the knife was placed. Sun turned his face to the left, indicating the location of the knife. When he turned back, he saw that the strap was like an empty ring in his hand, and the creature had disappeared without a trace.

《捉狐》

孙翁者,余姻家清服之伯父也,素有胆。一日,昼卧,仿佛有物登床,遂觉身摇摇如驾云雾。窃意无乃魇狐耶?微窥之,物大如猫,黄毛而碧嘴,自足边来。蠕蠕伏行,如恐翁寤。逡巡附体:着足,足痿;着股,股耎。甫及腹,翁骤起,按而捉之,握其项。物鸣,急莫能脱。翁亟呼夫人,以带絷其腰。乃执带之两端,笑曰:“闻汝善化,今注目在此,看作如何化法。”言次,物忽缩其腹,细如管,几脱去。翁大愕,急力缚之。则又鼓其腹,粗于碗,坚不可下。力稍懈,又缩之。翁恐其脱,命夫人急杀之。夫人张皇四顾,不知刀之所在。翁左顾示以处。比回首,则带在手如环然,物已渺矣。

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