He turned around and saw a monster, about five feet tall, with tiger teeth and wolf eyes, fur like a monkey, and claws like an eagle or hawk, wearing leopard-skin pants.
During the Zhenguan period of the Tang Dynasty, Xu Jing and Zhang Xian studied together in the Yanyue Mountains. The study room had two rooms, one for each person, with a distance of one zhang between them. Xu Jing was in the west, Zhang Xian was in the east, and each had their own doors and windows. At first, the two of them respected each other and encouraged each other, and their feelings were very close. From spring to winter, they each studied by candlelight.
One night at two o’clock in the evening, suddenly something pushed open Xu Jing’s door and walked in. He thought it was Zhang Xian at first, so he didn’t pay attention. The thing had already stood by the desk. When Xu Jing finished reading, he turned around and saw a monster, about five feet tall, with tiger teeth and wolf eyes, fur like a monkey, and claws like an eagle or hawk, wearing leopard-skin pants. When the monster saw Xu Jing turn to look at it, it crossed its arms and stood with its eyes straight and its feet together.
Xu Jing was so scared that he couldn’t speak. He shouted for Zhang Xian to come and save him. He shouted for hundreds of times, but Zhang Xian turned off the lamp, shut the door, and pretended to be asleep. He didn’t even answer him.
The monster suddenly backed away to the fireplace near the north wall, then squatted there and looked at him. Xu Jing kept shouting for Zhang Xian. The monster stood up again, picked up Xu Jing’s axe from under the bed, and sat back down, guarding the fireplace as before.
After a long time, Xu Jing calmed down and said, “My name is Xu Jing. I came here to study with Zhang Xian. We didn’t visit the mountain gods soon enough. That was wrong. But I’m ignorant and inexperienced. Please don’t blame me.”
After Xu Jing finished speaking, the monster stood up and bowed with its hands clasped together. It then backed out of the room.
Xu Jing was angry with Zhang Xian for being so unkind. The next day, he packed up his books and went home. Zhang Xian also packed up his books and went home. In the end, their studies were not completed.