Discover the intriguing story of the Zhunhua Fox Incident, where a fox's revenge leads to unexpected consequences in ancient China.
In Zhucheng, Qiu Gong served as the Dao Tai in Zunhua. There were always many foxes in the yamen, and in the last building, many foxes gathered and made it their home. They would occasionally come out to harm people, and the more they were driven away, the more ferocious they became. The officials in this place would often offer prayers and dare not offend the foxes.
After Qiu Gong took office, he heard about this and became very angry. The foxes were also afraid of Qiu Gong’s sternness. One of them transformed into an old lady and told Qiu Gong’s family, “Please convey to the gentleman: do not treat us as enemies. Give me three days, and I will leave here with my family.”
Upon hearing this, Qiu Gong remained silent. The next day, after inspecting the soldiers, Qiu Gong ordered the troops not to disband and had them carry all the cannons from various camps here. In an instant, thousands of large cannons were arranged around the building. With a command, the cannons roared in unison.
The several-story high building was instantly destroyed and reduced to flat ground, with flesh, blood, and fur falling from the sky like rain. In the midst of the thick dust and poisonous fog, a wisp of white smoke rose into the sky. People looked on and said, “A fox has escaped.” From then on, there was peace in the yamen.
Two years later, Qiu Gong sent a capable servant with silver to the capital to bribe officials, hoping for promotion. Before the plan was finalized, the silver was temporarily hidden in the home of a yamen officer. Suddenly, an old man came to the court to plead for justice, claiming that his wife and child had been unjustly killed and exposed Qiu Gong’s embezzlement of military funds and bribery of influential officials. He revealed that the silver was currently hidden in someone’s house and could be verified on the spot.
Upon receiving the imperial decree, the yamen officials took the old man to inspect the yamen officer’s home. They searched everywhere but found no stolen goods. The old man tapped the ground with one foot, and the investigators understood his intention. They dug on the spot and indeed found the silver, with the words “County of Some” engraved on it. After a while, when they looked for the old man again, he had disappeared. When they tried to locate him based on the village and name he had mentioned during his complaint, they couldn’t find any information.
As a result of this incident, Qiu Gong was later killed, and it was only then that they realized the old man was the fox that had escaped.
The chronicler of strange tales said, “Foxes causing harm to people deserve to be killed. However, since the foxes have confessed their guilt, they should be pardoned, which can also demonstrate human compassion. Qiu Gong can be seen as excessively resentful towards the foxes. Nevertheless, if someone as upright and incorruptible as Yang Zhen from the Eastern Han were to handle such matters, even numerous foxes would have no means of retaliation!”