The Dog Lamp: A Tale of Transformation and Farewell

Explore the enchanting Chinese legend of 'The Dog Lamp' where a servant's encounter with a mysterious woman leads to a journey of transformation and an unexpected farewell amidst lush sorghum fields.

The servant of Han Daqian, the main clerk of Guanglu Temple, slept in the corridor at night and saw a light upstairs shining like a bright star. After a while, the light floated down from upstairs, blinking and sparkling. When the light landed on the ground, it transformed into a dog. The servant secretly glanced at it, and the dog turned and ran behind the house. The servant quickly got up and followed it stealthily. The dog entered the garden and transformed into a woman. The servant knew in his heart that she was a fox, so he quietly returned to his room and lay down.

After a while, the woman also came from behind, and the servant pretended to be asleep while secretly observing her movements. The woman bent over him and vigorously shook him. The servant pretended to wake up and asked who she was, but the woman didn’t answer. The servant said, “The light upstairs, wasn’t it you?” The woman replied, “Since you already know, why bother asking again?” So, them sleep together, make love insanely, indulging in pleasure day and night, and it became a common occurrence.

Master Han Daqian finally learned about this matter. He sent two servants to sleep with him, sandwiching him in between. In the morning, the two servants woke up, only to find themselves lying under the bed, not knowing when they had fallen from the bed. The master, even more furious, said to the servants, “When that woman comes again, you must capture her and bring her here. Otherwise, you will be whipped.” The servants dared not argue and could only agree before leaving.

The servants thought to themselves that capturing her would be difficult, but not doing so would surely result in punishment. As they pondered their predicament, they suddenly remembered that the woman had a small red shirt, always worn close to her body and never taken off. This must be her vulnerability, and obtaining it could be used to compel her to comply.

In the evening, the woman arrived and asked him, “Did your master send you to capture me?” The servant replied, “There is such a thing, but the two of us have a deep bond. How can I do such a thing?” When it was time to sleep, the servant attempted to secretly remove the woman’s small red shirt. In her desperation, the woman cried out, broke free, and never came again.

Later, when this servant returned from elsewhere, he saw the woman sitting by the roadside from a distance. When the servant approached her, she covered her face with her sleeve. The servant dismounted and loudly asked, “Why are you behaving like this?” The woman then stood up, held his hand, and said, “I thought you had long forgotten our past affection. Now it seems you still remember our old love, and I can forgive your past actions. I know you were compelled by your master’s pressure, and there was no way around it. I no longer blame you. It’s clear that our fate has come to an end, so today I have prepared a small feast for you as a farewell. Please join me at the table.”

At that time, it was early autumn, and the sorghum in the fields was very lush. The woman held his hand and led him into the sorghum fields, and the servant soon saw a large mansion in the midst of the sorghum fields. He tied his horse and entered the courtyard, where the banquet hall was already set. As they sat down, a group of maids came to serve dishes and pour wine. The sun was about to set, and the servant needed to return to his master for some business. He bid farewell to the woman. After he left, the house, maids, and banquet all disappeared, leaving nothing but clearly delineated rows of sorghum fields.





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