Discover the fascinating tale of Jiao Meng, the Daoist priest who confronted a troublesome fox through spiritual intervention in this Chinese folklore.
In the home of Dong Mo’an, a Hanlin Academy scholar, they were troubled by a fox that often caused chaos. Suddenly, bricks and tiles would fall like hailstones, and the family had to flee in panic until the fox finished its mischief, only then could they return to their daily chores. Dong Mo’an was deeply worried about this situation, so he borrowed the residence of Sima Sun Zuting to escape the fox’s harassment. However, the fox continued to trouble them as before. One day, while waiting for the morning court session, Dong Mo’an told his colleagues about the strange occurrences with the fox in his house. One minister suggested, “There is a Daoist priest named Jiao Meng in the eastern region who resides in the inner city. He specializes in drawing talismans to ward off evil spirits, and his methods are quite effective.” Upon hearing this, Dong Mo’an went to invite Jiao Meng to help him deal with the troublesome fox. The Daoist priest used cinnabar to draw a talisman and instructed Dong Mo’an to stick it on the wall. However, to everyone’s surprise, the fox remained fearless and became even more aggressive, throwing bricks and stones. Dong Mo’an informed the Daoist priest of the continued disturbances caused by the fox. The priest became furious and personally visited Dong Mo’an’s home, where he erected a divine altar and performed his magic. Before long, a large fox prostrated itself beneath the divine altar. The family members of Dong Mo’an had suffered from the fox’s disturbances for a long time and harbored deep resentment towards it. One of the maidservants approached the fox and attempted to strike it but suddenly collapsed and died. The Daoist priest admonished, “This creature is extremely ferocious, and I cannot subdue it immediately. How could you, a young woman, dare to provoke it so easily?” He then said, “However, we can use this maidservant to interrogate the fox; it’s also a viable solution.” The Daoist priest merged his index and middle fingers, chanted an incantation, and the maidservant suddenly rose from the ground, kneeling before them. The priest asked about the fox’s place of origin, and the maidservant emitted the voice of the fox, saying, “I was born in the Western Regions, and a total of eighteen foxes entered the capital city.” The priest scolded, “The capital city where the emperor resides does not tolerate creatures like you residing here. Leave this place immediately!” The fox did not respond to the priest’s words. The Daoist priest pounded the table in anger and said, “Do you intend to defy my command? If you delay any further, my magic will not spare you!” At this, the fox showed signs of fear and anxiety, agreeing to obey the command. The Daoist priest urged it to leave quickly. At that moment, the maidservant once again collapsed and lost consciousness for a long time before finally recovering. After a while, everyone saw four or five white spheres, round and rolling like balls, sticking to the eaves and chasing one another. After a while, they all left. From that day on, the Dong family lived in peace and tranquility.